With the theme of this year’s event being around sustainability and environmental impact we felt it was important to do something subversive yet thought provoking. That being said, the Vans US Open of Surfing Poster art was actually created from trash that was collected at a beach clean-up in Huntington Beach.
Vans creative team arranged all of the found objects and debris to undergo a cyanotype process also known as sun printing. This is a slow reacting photographic printing formulation sensitive to the sunlight that creates blueprint style imagery. The goal of this art is to heighten the awareness of the ongoing issue of trash on our beaches and in our oceans. We hope it will inspire others to take positive action no matter how big or small because every little bit counts
Ethan Estess is a marine scientist turned artist who tells stories about the ocean through sculpture and printmaking. He grew up surfing, fishing, and making surfboards in Santa Cruz, California and channeled his love of sharks into Masters and Bachelors programs at
Stanford University studying oceanography, mechanical engineering, and studio art. He worked as a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for 7 years studying tunas and sharks from Japan to Nova Scotia before deciding he wanted to leverage his love of building stuff to get people to care about the ocean environment.
Estess has participated in several art residencies, including the Recology program at the San Francisco landfill where he constructed a life-size whale tail sculpture from reclaimed rope that was later displayed for millions of viewers at the San Francisco international airport. His artworks are currently exhibited in North America, Europe, and Japan, and he has created installations for the Bishop and J. Paul Getty Museums. In 2018, Estess worked with local nonprofits on O’ahu to build an interactive wave sculpture from beach trash that reached tens of thousands of in-person participants and millions of online viewers with a message of ocean stewardship. He started the non-profit Countercurrent in 2016 to develop educational public sculptures and engage youth in ocean sustainability through hands-on art workshops.
Sofia Heftersmith is a Los Angeles based multi-disciplinary artist. Her biggest influence is the female form — which she depicts with a balance of grit and vibrancy that makes her art feel alive, despite the subtle surrealistic tendencies of the paintings.
Kelly Breez is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Miami. She weaves a sharp eye for subtle humor into her work, acting like a mirror to the absurdities of life. With an uncanny attention to detail and the likeness to a sponge, Breez naturally absorbs the nuances of the unpredictable tropical wasteland she calls home.
Todd Francis is an American artist born and raised in Los Angeles. For the last two decades, he has created memorable and iconic skateboard graphics for a number of companies, including Antihero (Todd created the original Eagle logo), Real, Spitfire, Stereo, and Element. In addition, his studio art has been shown in galleries around the world, including Subliminal Projects, Fecal Face Gallery, and 3131 Clement. His work combines often-bleak humor with environmental and political themes, using a variety of media to convey his message.
Tony Whlgn ( Hoo - li - gen ) is a visual artist & designer based in Detroit. Tony describes his art as an imitation of his life and those he's encountered. Along with close friends, Tony created the Whlgn® – an unorthodox art and design firm out of Detroit which encourages creatives and individuals alike to be entrepreneurial and live out their dreams.
Mich Miller (they/them) is a Los Angeles-based painter, printmaker, muralist, and installation artist. Mich investigates the queer experience through abstraction. Their works employ saturated color, gradients, forms, and symbols referential of scientific, environmental, and cultural metaphors.