Carly Mejeur is a Lantana local artist. She was born and raised in south Florida, but moved to Baltimore to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art and receive her BFA in painting. She was a seasonal lifeguard for Palm Beach County Ocean Rescue throughout her college career and knew that eventually she wanted to return home for good. After gaining her Masters in Art Education, Mejeur and her husband, (also a native floridian) moved back to Florida where she accepted an art teacher position at the Palm Beach Maritime Academy. It just so happened that Marine Science and conservation is the over-arching theme of this Palm Beach County public charter school.
Blessed with a constant source of inspiration from her surroundings and hobbies, Carly strayed from her academic oil paintings of portraits and figures and began experimenting with watercolor and marine life. After an abundance of maps some how made their way to the Mejeur household from several friends, she took it as a cue to explore the medium. Her first Octopus, designed to fill an empty wall in her own home, became the official catalyst for the nautical chart series. Now she is showing and selling several in the series at local businesses and art festivals.
Mejeur states, “I knew that I wasn’t the first to paint on maps and I won’t be the last, but I wanted to bring something new to the concept by integrating the creatures with the chart to feel like they seamlessly belong, each piece presenting its own challenge. It has slowly transformed into a beautiful metaphor on its own. I use my painting of marine life to connect man-made lines and numbers with the organic composition of the islands and coastlines. It poses the question: How do we interact with nature in our own lives, and how will we protect it?”
Carly Mejeur hopes her artwork will bring more awareness to the marine conservation effort of South Florida. Natives feel proud to own a map of their home turf and protective of the sea life that they encounter on a regular basis, while visitors bring home a special souvenir of the place where they met so many of Florida’s gems to be remembered and cherished.
After 5 years teaching elementary through high school art, Carly and her husband welcomed a baby boy into their family. She has now turned her part-time passion into a full-time career while she raises their two sons, Cody and Tanner.