Submitted by Westport Winery
Acclaimed California artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith has donated the mermaid sculpture “Porcelina,” her first large scale art installation, to the International Mermaid Museum in Aberdeen, Washington.
Becket-Griffith said, “We are pleased to announce that the mermaid “Porcelina” has found her Forever Home. We would like to thank the Mermaid Museum for helping us find a place where she can be appreciated by those who love our oceans and love mermaids!”
International Mermaid Museum board chair, Kim Roberts said, “We were contacted by one of our fans that this sculpture was available. We knew that Jasmine would have offers around the world to accept this incredible piece of art. The addition of ‘Porcelina’ to our collection is a significant achievement.”
The journey of “Porcelina” is a long odyssey. Her initial creation began in 2018 near New Orleans, in a workshop along the Mississippi River. Shortly after she began to manifest, a river barge crashed into the studio housing her. She was rescued from the water and moved to a public area of Mardi Gras World where New Orleans schoolchildren on field trips watched her transformation through a glass window.
She was then crated into a trailer and driven to the artist’s family home in Kansas, and across the West to California. She made her public debut at Jasmine’s Magical Thinking solo show at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles, accompanied by her original acrylic painting. “Porcelina” later made appearances at the Los Angeles Art Festival and other public events.
Becket-Griffith said, “We ran into a bit of an obstacle in 2021 when it came time to return her home to me. I had moved into a new studio in Long Beach. It’s a strange building that I love, but it was built in the 1960s. The front door is too narrow. We measured and tried to think about removing windows and getting a crane, but it started getting ridiculous. I love ‘Porcelina’ very much, and the situation seemed sad and frustrating to me. I eventually just put the word out on social media asking fans and the public for help. I offered to donate her to an organization willing to keep her on display to the public. Within a few minutes, it became an international effort to adopt ‘Porcelina.'”
“It took days and extra help to sort through the responses from museums, aquariums, the California public school and library systems, children’s hospitals, and the State of Florida. All were willing and excited to take her. It felt extremely validating and it made me feel thankful for the support and effort that the public put forth. It is an absolute honor for me to know that she is loved.”
“In the end, taking all factors into consideration, I selected the International Mermaid Museum as her new home where she could live among other mermaids in a beautiful kingdom by the sea.”
“The sculpture’s name is partially inspired by the Smashing Pumpkins song ‘Porcelina of the Vast Oceans.’ It is my love of our planet’s oceans and sea life that inspires a lot of my mermaid artwork. This statue is a powerful piece to me, I see ‘Porcelina’ as a strong water spirit. I utilized the symbolism of delicate blue willow porcelain to allude to the fragile balance of our marine ecology. Mermaids represent where humanity and the sea intersect. The International Mermaid Museum embodies the environmental and the mystical principles connecting humans with the sea. This is her perfect home. I look forward to visiting her there.”
Jasmine Becket-Griffith (b. 1979) is a traditional artist primarily known for her acrylic paintings of wide-eyed maidens portrayed through the lens of mysterious and fantastical themes. Her paintings explore symbolism and literalism through historic and cultural references. It has always been her goal to elevate the mundane world through magic. Jasmine’s Strangeling brand, and celebrated collaborations with Disney, LucasFilm, The Bradford Exchange, and other cultural touchstones, have a worldwide legion of fans.
Her fine art paintings can be found in books, tarot decks, coloring books, museums, galleries, public and private collections. Her upcoming show New Works opens at the Corey Helford Gallery in Los Angeles on January 8, 2022. Jasmine paints at her studios in Long Beach, California, and Central Florida, when she is not wrangling cats, spending time in nature, or staring at the sea.
The International Mermaid Museum is dedicated to teaching ocean ecology from seashore to sea floor immersed in mermaid mythology uniting world oceanic cultures. In addition to being self-sustaining, funds raised by the museum are dedicated to ocean ecology curriculum, and scholarship for students seeking careers in the marine industry. The museum is located on 15-acre grounds of Westport Winery Garden Resort, halfway between Aberdeen and Westport, Washington. For more information go to the Mermaid Museum website. The museum is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.