Art Sheds Light On Ocean’s Shadows

Embrace by Shawn Heinrichs.

“Art is my passion; conservation is my purpose,” said Shawn Heinrichs. The Emmy award-winning cinematographer, photographer, and marine conservationist will exhibit photographs in the show “Light on Shadow” at the Southampton Arts Center, opening Saturday, May 26.

The show is the photographer’s intimate journey through both the beauty of marine life and the reality that threatens its existence, generating a powerful warning against complacency. It is co-presented by Blue Sphere Foundation.

Blue Sphere Foundation, co-founded by Heinrichs, is a not for profit that works to safeguard the planet’s oceans.

“Light on Shadow” seeks to highlight the struggle that sits at the very heart of Heinrichs’s fine art practice. The artist fuses dramatic imagery with intimate and thought-provoking stories to connect people to globally important issues and inspire action around conservation of our oceans and the vulnerable marine life within them.

“I have found art is the most powerful tool I can bring to bear to help protect the ocean’s most threatened species and habitants,” said Heinrichs, who is also the co-creator of the Emmy-nominated environmental documentary Racing Extinction.

“Art is a universal language that opens people’s hearts,” added Heinrichs. “We started the foundation to use art in all its forms to connect people on an emotional level with majestic, yet endangered, marine wildlife and inspire them to act before it is too late.”

The six-week presentation, which is curated by Matthew Hockley Smith, includes more than 40 photographs. A portion of the proceeds from art sales will go directly to help fund Blue Sphere Foundation’s projects, including protecting the Crown Jewel of Biodiversity in West Papua, using technology to safeguard marine protected areas, and stopping the impending extinction of tuna.

Additionally, part of the proceeds will support Southampton Arts Center’s commitment to sustainable programming that is crucial to advancing a discussion within the community.

“Shawn’s striking imagery creates the framework for SAC to activate weeks of dynamic programming, including a variety of ocean-themed films such as Laird Hamilton’s Take Every Wave, as well as engaging conversations and educational children’s events,” said Simone Levinson, Southampton Arts Center founding board co-chair.

“It’s an honor to work with Shawn Heinrichs and his sublimely moving art work,” said Smith. “Conservation elements are so beautifully entwined with his message, only adding to the power of the art experience and resonating with us on such a profound level.”

An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 26, from 6 to 8 PM. An artist and curator gallery talk with Heinrichs and Smith will be held Monday, May 28, from 6 to 8 PM. The screening of Racing Extinction, followed by a Q&A with Heinrichs, will take place on Friday, June 1, at 6 PM. A gallery tour with the photographer will be held on Sunday, July 8, at noon, as will an “In Conversation” on Sunday, July 15, at 11 AM. The show runs through July 16.

For additional info about the Blue Sphere Foundation and Shawn Heinrichs’s “Light on Shadow” exhibit, visit Learn more about Southampton Arts Center at

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