Southampton Arts Center: Shawn Heinrichs’ “Light On Shadow” / May 26 – July 16





“LIGHT ON SHADOW” Exhibition




Exhibit Seeks to Inspire Action and Drive Conservation of Our Oceans and the Vulnerable Marine Life Within It

Sphere Foundation, a not for profit that works to safeguard the planet’s oceans and halt the destruction of threatened marine species and habitats announced today, in collaboration with Southampton Arts Center, the unveiling of a new worldwide art exhibit called “Light on Shadow” by photographer and conservationist Shawn Heinrichs. The exhibit will run May 26 through July 16 and is an intimate journey through both the beauty of marine life and the reality that threatens their existence, generating a powerful warning against complacency.

“Light on Shadow” seeks to highlight the struggle that sits at the very heart of Heinrichs’ fine art practice. He fuses dramatic imagery with intimate and thought-provoking stories to connect people to globally important issues and inspire action around conservation of our oceans and the vulnerable marine life within them.

“Art is my passion, conservation is my purpose, and for me the two are inseparable,” said Shawn Heinrichs, who is also co-founder of the Blue Sphere Foundation and co-creator of the Emmy-nominated environmental documentary “Racing Extinction.” “I have found art is the most powerful tool I can bring to bare to help protect the ocean’s most threatened species and habitants.” 

The six-week presentation, which is curated by Matthew Hockley Smith, includes over 40 pieces of Heinrichs’ works of art. A portion of the proceeds from art sales will go directly to help fund three of the Blue Sphere Foundation’s critically important projects including: protecting the Crown Jewel of Biodiversity in West Papua, using technology to safeguard marine protected areas, and stopping the impending extinction of tuna. Blue Sphere Foundation, which believes art and media are essential tools to spark curiosity and inspire action, goes where there are urgent threats and critical resource gaps, and acts quickly to establish the necessary groundwork for others to join in. Additionally, part of the proceeds will support Southampton Arts Center’s commitment to sustainable programming that is crucial to advancing a discussion that is so critical to the community.

“Art is a universal language that opens people’s hearts,” adds Heinrichs. “We started the foundation to use art in all its forms to connect people on an emotional level with majestic yet endangered marine wildlife and inspire them to act before it is too late.”

“Partnering with Shawn Heinrichs and Blue Sphere Foundation is a powerful representation of our commitment to environmentally conscious programming. We are thrilled to provide the organization with a platform to allow our audience to reflect on the magnificent gift of our natural resources, while increasing awareness of the magnitude of destruction as a result our daily actions. Shawn’s striking imagery creates the framework for SAC to activate seven weeks of dynamic programming including a variety of ocean-themed films such as Laird Hamilton’s Take Every Wave, as well as engaging conversations and educational children’s events. By the end of the experience we expect visitors to be moved, enlightened, and inspired to impact social change.” says Simone Levinson, Southampton Arts Center founding board co-chair.

Photos: Shawn Heinrichs


The exhibit will feature several programs and events throughout the showing at Southampton Art Center that are open to the public including:


  • Public Opening Reception: Saturday, May 26 from 6 to 8 PM
  • Artist & Curator’s Gallery Talk with Shawn Heinrichs and Matthew Hockley-Smith: Monday, May 28 at 11 AM
  • Screening of “Racing Extinction” Followed by Q&A with Shawn Heinrichs: Friday, June 1 at 6 PM
  • Gallery Tour with Shawn Heinrichs: Sunday, July 8 at 12 PM
  • “In Conversation” with Shawn Heinrichs: Sunday, July 15 at 11 AM
  • Galleries are open Thursdays to Mondays from 11 AM to 6 PM


“It’s an honor to work with Shawn Heinrichs and his sublimely moving art work,” said Matthew Hockley Smith. “Conservation elements are so beautifully entwined with his message, only adding to the power of the art experience and resonating with us on such a profound level.” 

Following its debut in Southampton, the worldwide exhibit will travel to other cities including Los Angeles and London. The host committee for the exhibit in Southampton includes Ned Benson, Chris Buck, Jennifer Erwitt, Joel and Julie Greenblatt, Adrian Grenier, Joan and George Hornig, Elyn Kronemeyer, Marc Leder, Simone and David Levinson, Josh Lucas, Will McKee, Adrian Muzinich, Shannon O’Leary-Joy, Susan Rockefeller, Carl Safina, Rick Smolan, and Fisher Stevens.

For additional details about the Blue Sphere Foundation and Shawn Heinrichs’ “Light on Shadow” exhibit, visit or follow @bluespherefoundation.  To learn more about Southampton Arts Center visit and follow @southamptonartscenter.



Shawn Heinrichs is an Emmy-award winning cinematographer, photographer and marine conservationist. His stunning and often stark artwork is fueled by his passion to protect the oceans, and the profound recognition that people only protect what they love. His images have transformed communities, and he hopes his work will inspire people to act before it is too late. A renowned expert on oceans and tireless activist, Shawn is the founder of the Blue Sphere Foundation and a major force in the global fight to protect endangered marine species and habitats. His work takes him undercover to some of the most remote corners of the globe, providing a rare view of the people and circumstances surrounding the endangered species trade. He was one of the lead activists and co-creators of the Emmy-nominated film, “Racing Extinction”, one of the most watched environmental documentaries in history.


Blue Sphere Foundation works to safeguard the planet’s oceans, halting the destruction of threatened marine species and habitats. We go where there are urgent threats and critical resource gaps, and act quickly to establish the necessary groundwork for others to join in. We believe art and media are the essential tools to spark curiosity and inspire action, and it is therefore an integral part of everything we do. Blue Sphere Foundation is a not for profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For additional information about the Blue Sphere Foundation, visit



Southampton Arts Center is a not-for-profit located at 25 Jobs Lane, in the heart of Southampton Village. Our mission is to provide the highest quality programming to our entire community through partnerships with a diverse slate of world-class artists, performers, educators and cultural institutions. As stewards of one of the most beloved buildings and grounds on the East End, we serve as a hub to strengthen arts and culture in Southampton Village for this and future generations. For additional information, please visit and follow @southamptonartscenter.



AAQ Resource: McDonough & Conroy Architects


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