2015 Speakers / Authors / Workshop Leaders

Carey Chen

Carey, drawn to the ocean since childhood in Jamaica, continues to fish and dive in Florida. His love of the sea shines through in his dramatic paintings. Carey’s works have graced the covers and pages of numerous tournament programs and fishing magazines. His wall-sized murals are on display in many of the world’s fishing destinations, including St. Thomas, Venezuela and Miami. When he’s not in his studio or at sea, Carey spends time preaching conservation or raising money for various charities including The Miami Project to cure Paralysis, The Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Make a Wish, Cystic Fibrosis, Miami Children Hospital and more.


Pascal Lecocq

Pascal has been exhibiting his work across US and Europe for the last thirty years, and his paintings can be found in galleries and private collections around the world. He has become famous for his images of divers in surreal situations enveloped in remarkable blue vistas. Pascal's characters evolve in their natural but surrealistic environment in which the spectators dive-- be it a diver "bullfighting" a great white shark, a group of divers playing leapfrog, or even ballroom dancing. The work of Pascal reflects his humor, poetry, dreams and imagination. Pascal is a graduate of the University in Paris with a doctorate in Art. His work is extremely personal and his matter is smooth, bright and delicate.

Wesley Carter

Originally from Annapolis, Wesley comes from a family of east coast artists dating back several generations. The experience of growing up on the Chesapeake Bay surrounded by artists, combined with her own diversified background in fine art, graphic design, and marine biology helped form her passion for painting wildlife, marine, and coastal subjects. Working with conservation organizations such as The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, she has developed series of paintings to help educate their members. Working in oil, watercolor, and mixed media, her paintings are built with layers upon layers of transparent colors, glazes and textures. With balanced combinations of imagination vs. realism, and detail vs. simplicity, the paintings are a reflection of her perspective of how opposites can interact within a greater whole, as part of a dynamic system.


Randall Scott

Randy grew up in Escondido, CA, and began painting sharks and whales as a child. He was taught various techniques by hi father and was inspired by Cousteau and Sea Hunt. Randy earned an Associate in Arts degree, and his first major dive painting was "Calico Bass" which appeared on the cover of California Angler. His goal is to give people an opportunity to experience ocean life as it really is, as if going down with a mask. He's also developed a sub-genre of dive art dedicated to sunken WWII bombers.

Alessandra Hally

Born and raised in the Florida Keys, Alessandra has always been drawn to the ocean. Growing up surrounded by water the ocean soon became her play ground. At the age of thirteen she began exploring underwater photography and never looked back. Showing others the beauty of the underwater world through photography and being able to spread ocean awareness has always been her main goal. Alessandra is currently attending Florida International University and is studying Art, she hopes to continue her love for photography and see where it takes her.


Craig Dietrich

Craig Dietrich found his passion for photography in high school, eventually joining the U.S. Navy and serving as a Naval Photographer. Rejoining civilian life, he joined his two loves of photography and scuba diving and embarked on a career in underwater photography. Craig's award winning work is on display at two hotels. He's had articles in several industry publications, and contributes to a monthly blog in Scuba Diving Magazine. Craig teaches all levels of undewater photography for Force-E.

Steve Ozment

Steve is a local artist who was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Florida at one year old. He attended Ft. Lauderdale High School and Broward Community College. He specialized in marine art, both fish and reef scenes, and he works with acrylic, oil, and pencil. He exhibits regularly at the Sailfish Marina outdoor show and has designed the artwork for many fishing tournaments. He enjoys fishing, diving, photography, cycling, and painting.


K.C. Scott

K.C. is an award winning artist who has a true passion for lakes and oceans and all its life. Starting his career as a golf professional, he then turned to art. He not only catches and studies these fish, but he also gets in the water and photographs them in their natural environment. His work is known for being very lifelike and has been featured in many of the major fishing publications.

Don Ray

Don Ray's oil paintings are the result of intensive study of the marine environment. His methods of research include diving with them in their habitat. Don strives to achieve a balance between artistic expression and realistic interpretations of life and light underwater. His art has graced many magazines/catalogs such as Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, Marlin, Game Fish (France), Cabela's, Penn Reels, Saltwater Sportsman Magazine "Offshore" and "Inshore" salt water fishing books, and IGFA World Records Books. Don is a member of Society of Animal Artists and has received the Society's "Award of Excellence".


Caleb Goins

Art has always been a big part of Caleb's life, ever since the first day his father, " Fishbone", handed him his first pencil and sketch pad. He grew up fishing the streams of the Appalachian mountains to freediving the beautiful reefs of the Florida Keys and Bahamas and found inspiration while studying species in their natural habitats. He's worked with his father for over 15 years now, conceptualizing and developing this unique style of pierced metal art -- each work of art being hand drawn, hand cut with a plasma torch, and burnished then lightly shaped. With each pierce of the torch, the drawing comes to life depicting a stylized version of marine and wildlife species. The finished piece is a highly detailed, sleek and dimensional, hand crafted sculpture.

Craig Lavin

Craig began creating marine life inlays in 1999. With a background in marine biology, living reef husbandry, sea turtle ecology, and scuba, he is a self trained artist beginning his career in inlay after prior time spent as an aquarist for a local science museum, and as a high school marine biology teacher. Drawing on his passion for marine life as well as the inlay art form in general, he has become one of the foremost inlay artists working, having produced museum quality collectible pieces for CF Martin guitars, Kamaka Ukulele, numerous hand build luthiers, as well as high end international private collectors, Vantage Automotive (Rolls Royce custom shop), rock stars, and other respected luthiers and guitar companies/collectors from all over the world.


Jose Debasa

Jose has an unbridled passion for photography. This passion grew during his teen years, photographing wildlife in the Everglades and prominent landmarks around South Florida. Many times he wandered into the swamp in search of the perfect close up of an alligator, snake, wood stork, or other native species of Florida. Soon enough his passion for the ocean led him to take the camera underwater. Jose is an avid freediver and captures shots on a single breath of air. Jose has been published in numerous publications and has worked with many leading companies in the watersports industry; apparel companies, fishing and dive charters, to help promote their venture.

Jason Mathias

As a child, Jason's two favorite pastimes were drawing and fishing, and it wasn't long before he started combining the two. Jason was accepted into The Ringling School of Art & Design where he majored in Illustration. While there, he began taking underwater video footage to use as reference material for his growing portfolio of realistic marine life paintings. As a student, he launched his career creating murals and commissioned artwork and also freelanced illustrations for Mote Marine Laboratories. Shortly after graduation, Jason was the premier featured artist at IGFA. Jason had also been featured artist numerous times and made several print signing appearances. Jason's current fine art compositions in oils, acrylics and watercolors are drawn from the extensive underwater digital video he took while diving off Florida and Cayman Islands.


Chris Gillette

Chris Gillette Chris has had a passion for animals, especially toothy ones, since a young age. Aside from being a devoted photographer, Chris’s passion has also fueled a career as an entertainer, television personality, and a researcher with a degree in Environmental Studies from FIU. His work has taken him to the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon, the Costa Rican rainforests, the Banco Chinchorro atoll in Mexico, and across the United States. Chris's unique skills allow him to bring the camera lens close to massive crocodiles, hungry alligators, and deadly venomous snakes. His photos have been featured in numerous magazines, books, online articles & databases, as well as art shows and displays.