RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Roadside Murals

More Murals:
by Wyland
Key Largo, Florida
Contributed by Barbara Morgan of Pahrump, Nevada
Whaling Wall #95: Keys to the Seas
Barbara Morgan

If you've ever seen a photo of a painting of leaping killer whales or undersea vistas, it's a very good bet that you've seen one of the masterpieces created by the artist known by the single name of Wyland. Wyland started his career studying painting and sculpture at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan in 1976. In 1977, he painted his first exterior murals in California and opened the now-famous Wyland Studio Gallery in Laguna Beach, California in 1978. In 2009, he painted the largest depiction of earth ever paintd on top of the Long Beach Sports Arena in celebration of Earth Day 2009. In 1981, he embarked on a mission to paint 100 "Whaling Walls" by 2011 to call attention to the magnificent sea creatures and marine life. He finished this quest in 2008 when he painted a gigantic mural -- 2,430 feet long and 10 feet high -- in Beijing, China.

The mural above was dedicated on February 12, 2007 in Key Largo, Florida. 7,500 square feet in size, it covers the wall of a four-story building, located at mile maker 99.2 of US Hwy 1 in the center of the freeway.

"It's the gateway to the Florida Keys," Wyland said, going on to credit his frequent Keys reef dives as the ongoing inspiration for his work. "The idea was to welcome people as they drove in from South Florida with a depiction of the sun warming the tropical waters here - taking people above and below the surface to see the tremendous abundance of marine life and color."

This video shows the painter at work:

More information here:
Wyland's Web site
Local newspaper article about the mural
Wyland Marine Educational Foundation

The building is located adjacent to the Key Largo Inn
99202 Overseas Highway (mile marker 99.2 US-Hwy 1)
Key Largo, Florida


Photographed by Barbara Morgan 03/25/07
Posted on RoadTrip America 12/09
Links updated 03/22/22

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