Sea Lions | Patterns of Behavior

by Jet Martinez

Santa Cruz, USA – September 2021


Finding This Mural

This mural is located above the main entrance to the parking garage

601 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Google Map

Story Behind This Mural

Artist Statement

"The theme of my mural is plastic pollution and its effect on sea creatures... in this case the iconic California sea lion. The idea with this piece was to create a design that was simple and elegant but that also told a story. In some of my work, I use patterns to illustrate the idea that everything in nature is connected. The large overall background blue water pattern is mimicked within the sea lions and kelp forms. The viewer should see a simple and playful composition of sea lions doing their graceful thing in the water. But as one steps closer or looks longer, other shapes start to appear: specifically garbage. Masks, water bottles, plastic bags, etc. I wanted to allude to the idea that as there is more and more trash all around, we are becoming desensitized to it, and it somewhat fades into the background. However, trash is so prevalent in our oceans, that it seems an inaccurate depiction to paint natural scenes and not include it. I want to challenge the viewer to see the garbage we are putting into the world, and to recognize that it is creating a tremendous disharmony in the natural order of things."

The Focus

Plastic pollution impact on local marine mammals

Take Action

Reduce your own plastic footprint by

  • Using a reusable water bottle and avoiding drinks bottled in plastic
  • Bringing your own bag, cup, utensils, straw, etc.
  • Shopping in bulk, reducing packaging waste
  • Choosing reusable and compostable goods over less sustainable materials