Rise Above

by Alex Yanes

St. Petersburg, USA – November 2020


Finding This Mural

St. Petersburg Museum of History, 2nd Avenue Northeast, St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Google Map

Story Behind This Mural

Artist Statement

Intended to highlight how climate change is accelerating sea-level rise, I was inspired to create a multi-level installation consisting of 18 precisely hand-cut panel pieces that create the image of a displaced fish when combined. The hand-painted panels are meant to mimic an intricate jigsaw puzzle, representing the complicated interconnection of factors that comprise the cause and effects of sea-level rise. By collectively doing our part to cut out fossil fuels and limit carbon emissions, we can “Rise Above” and reduce the impact of this inevitable threat. I have lived my whole life a stone's throw from the shores of South Florida’s coastline. The ocean has always been a sacred place for me, providing an escape from everyday overstimulation, an outlet of awe, always leading to inspiration. During the last decade, the catastrophic effects of sea-level rise have become ever more noticeable. I have seen destructive erosion, coastal and inland flooding, along with pollution from agricultural runoff causing toxic algae blooms leading to massive fish kills and habitat destruction. I grew up on my Dad’s boat exploring Biscayne Bay surrounded by its abundance of dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles. I revisit the same spots with my daughters today and am faced with the sad realization that we are losing this complex and very fragile ecosystem. I still have hope in humanity and our ability to reverse the effects of climate change. As a parent, I am obligated to leave my children a safe planet.

The Focus

Sea-level rise