Mud Murals

Unfortunately, artist Lily Simonson will not be participating in the San Diego Coastal Expedition this time around. She will be on another research cruise in ANTARCTICA!  She will be missed, but we wish her a safe cruise! 

In July, during SDCoastEx 1, Lily used exotic deep-sea invertebrates collected by Scripps scientists as her inspiration for her art.  Also, Lily worked with an entirely new medium: deep-sea sediment. Each day, Lily painted a temporary mural on board R/V Melville using fresh mud collected during the research cruise. View her latest creations and see what results when science and art intersect at sea.

Lily Simonson

Lily shared these images on her blog throughout the cruise.


Wet and WildSimonson's current solo exhibition on view at CB1 Gallery through July 29, features large-scale paintings based on many specimens from the SIO Levin lab.  Oxygen Minimum Zones and cold seeps have been a longstanding source of inspiration for Simonson's large-scale work, but until now, Simonson’s models have been long-preserved specimens.  The San Diego Coastal Expedition will enable her to observe and depict freshly collected fauna.  Lily Simonson holds an MFA from UCLA and a BA from UC Berkeley.  She has delivered lectures and shown her paintings at scientific symposia including the Census of Marine Life Summit at the Royal Society of London and the World Conference on Marine Biodiversity in Aberdeen. Her work has been exhibited across the US and Europe and her art and criticism have appeared in a range of media outlets, including the LA Times, LA Weekly, MTV, the Art21 Blog, and Ms. Magazine.

Mural #7: Brachiopod (Laqueus californianus)

Mural #6: Hermit Crab in a Scaphopod Shell

Mural #5: Acharax Clam and Pogonophoran Worms

Mural #4: Mud Owl (Sternaspid Polychaete)

Mural #4: Octopus

Mural #3: Deep-Sea Spider Crab

Mural #2: Protozoa Mud Ball

Mural #1: Polychaete Worm