AN event to      

R E M E M B E R * H O N O R * R E J O I C E

Web Hosted by:



Commemoration Artwork 

This Marie Commemoration Artwork was created by Teresa Newton-Terres, daughter of Diego S. Terres, Jr. for use in the Marie Project. The artwork portrays the story around the June 7, 1960 Marie incident where seven victims were lost at sea in the Santa Barbara Channel off Santa Cruz Island on the m/v Marie - a vessel chartered by Raytheon Corporation to conduct infrared experiments. 

“The image tells the story of the Marie with a big picture perspective.  I knew the image was destined for this purpose," said Teresa of the artwork named Real-time Luke 15, which was originally created as an entry into the Prodigal Son Art Festival.

Image Deciphered

On the right side climbing up the rock cross are six cameo images of the men lost in the incident and also includes a mirror to reflect the seventh victim whose face was never printed in the news accounts.  These images were originally included in the 1960 Santa Barbara News Press publications in Teresa’s scrapbook.  Using a cameo void of a face for the seventh victim also represents the missing information about the Marie – either due to the Top Secret nature of the experiments, Mother Nature’s mystery of circumstance, or a simple fact that the newspaper never located Paul Lovett’s image.

Depicted at the ship’s helm, in the center foreground, are father and son, Diego S. Terres, Sr. and Albert Terres, who are pictured still searching the seas after the official Coast Guard Search and Rescue was suspended.  The helmsman holds the wheel of Santa Barbara's Sea Song, which was owned by Charles Beguhl, the Goleta California Postmaster.  The Sea Song’s crew included twelve men from the greater Santa Barbara community that searched the Santa Barbara Channel, charted its currents, and then traveled to distant places like Baja California in search of those victims who were never recovered. 

Santa Cruz Island with its Painted Cave are depicted in the top third of the image with the warmth of a days adventure shining in the yellow ochre setting sun.

A small black and white map in the upper left corner reflects the official Search and Rescue area and search pattern conducted by resources from the Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy as well as volunteer craft - this image is from the Santa Barbara NewsPress, 15 June 1960.  This map is enlarged and repeated in the background connecting the past with the present.  Headlines, images, and news listings from coast to coast is represented in black and white taken from grandmothers scrapbook of memories.

The Killer Whale family is majestic and moving.  This portrayal is symbolic of the depth of life within the sea, the reality of its deadliness and hints at our constant need for preparation, safety and wisdom.  Additionally, the whale's tale image provides a visual link to the Lost at Sea Memorial located at the end of the Santa Barbara Breakwaters which honors those in the Santa Barbara community and includes whale's tale benches. 

A stack of seven stones on the island's shoreline is a symbolic memorial to the seven men lost at sea, beaten by the waves of time as an image helping to divide visually the waters surface and its depths, what's seen and unseen, what's near and what's far, as well as close and big picture perspectives.  Stone stacking is an art and a practice with centuries of traditions and these seven stones stacked one rock on top of another form a cross because the words, Santa Cruz translated in Spanish is  "Holy Cross".  The Marie and its men had a destination off Santa Cruz Island and were presumably lost in sight of Santa Cruz Island.  It is why each man lost is represented by a single stone and then stacked to form a unified rock memorial.

Black encircles the artwork and represents the top secret classification of the defense contract and project that the engineers on the Marie were working on.  Clear white rays of heavenly light cut through the darkness of the past to connect with the more colorful present.

The focal point is the helm… to prompt questions such as Why at sea, Where’s the ship going, and Who’s steering?

The overall message of this artwork as related to the Prodigal Son Parable found in Luke 15 is that sons and fathers were lost with great sadness, lives have been spent searching for answers, and after fifty years it’s time to rejoice in their memories, honor their contributions to national defense and ultimately realize that our Heavenly Father is in control of the helm in our life’s journey.

The Marie Commemoration Artwork was originally created and placed on display in the Prodigal Son Juried Art Festival, Fall 2008 sponsored by Mustard Tree Arts.

Sources:  Santa Barbara NewsPress, Goleta Valley Times, Los Angeles Examiner, Terres Family Photos, Happy Whales Pillow, Kissing Dolphins by Wyland.

See other works of creativity by Teresa Newton-Terres.





Rejoice because we can.





Last Updated: 2-June--2015  Copyright © 2001-2015 Teresa Newton-Terres  All Rights Reserved.