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A Whale of a Tale


Explore the Underwater World Through the Eyes of a Child

April 14 – May 15

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is excited to announce its newest exhibit and educational program, Whales Are Superheroes!   To celebrate and launch all things whales, the Museum invited kids in kindergarten through 6th grade to submit their whale and ocean-related artwork.  Art submission finalists were selected by the museum’s curator and brought to life in “A Whale of a Tale” an interactive experience of whales and their environment as seen through the eyes of a child.  Free with admission to the museum, April 14 – May 15.

SBMM’s naturalist, Holly Lohuis, and art educator, Michael Matheson, brought whales and art into the classroom for kids in Santa Barbara and beyond, with a fun educational video on whales and art.  Whales are amazing creatures who help maintain the stability and health of our oceans.  Nutrients in the ocean slowly sink over time and, as whales dive down to feed and then surface to breathe, they act as nutrient pumps moving those nutrients back up to the sunlit surface water where they stimulate and fertilize the growth of phytoplankton.  Through photosynthesis, the phytoplankton convert large amounts of CO2 to oxygen, helping to sustain life all over the planet.  Whales really are superheroes!!

After viewing the video, kids were asked to submit drawings of their interpretation of a whale, a whale’s activities, and/or anything ocean-related, such as kelp, starfish, dolphins, and other sea creatures.  SBMM received over 500 submissions!! Now, their artwork has been transformed to create an illustrated underwater environment accompanied by the sounds and lighting of the depths of the ocean.

Watch “A Whale of a Tale” Video here:

“A Whale of a Tale” experience is made possible by the generosity of the following sponsors:


Dreier Family

Emmett Foundation

Hank and Mari Mitchel

Jack Mithun and Mercedes Millington

With special thanks to “A Whale of a Tale” supporting partners:

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Maybe there's a happy little waterfall happening over here. A little happy sunlight shining through there. Take your time. Speed will come later. God gave you this gift of imagination. Use it. Once you learn the technique, ohhh! Turn you loose on the world; you become a tiger. Work on one thing at a time.