Our Changing Seas VII - CODAworx

Our Changing Seas VII

Client: Oceanside Beach Resort Owner LLC for The Seabird Resort, part of Destination by Hyatt

Location: Oceanside, CA, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $45,000

Project Team


Courtney Mattison

Courtney Mattison Studio LLC

Art Consultant & Photographer

Rebecca Webb

Oceanside Museum of Art


By Courtney Mattison
Glazed stoneware + porcelain
213 x 350 x 40 cm (84 x 138 x 16 in)
At the Seabird Resort, part of Destination by Hyatt, Oceanside, CA. Permanent collection of Oceanside Beach Resort Owner, LLC.
Curated by the Oceanside Museum of Art / Art consulting + photography by Rebecca Webb.

“Three hundred fifty individually hand-crafted ceramic corals, sponges and anemones swirl in a double galaxy spiral of marine invertebrates behind the reception desk at the new Seabird Resort in Oceanside, CA. As the latest work in my Our Changing Seas series, this sculptural wall relief celebrates the immense biodiversity of coral reefs while raising the specter of climate change. Porcelain tentacles and the brittle bodies of living corals share a fragility that makes them vulnerable to human impact. Vibrant tones and textures of healthy reefs are juxtaposed against white glazes emphasizing the stark contrast of coral bleaching. By experiencing this work on the wall behind the reception desk at The Seabird, viewers may feel as if they are hovering over the seafloor and discovering details from every angle.”


This site-specific wall relief was commissioned for permanent installation behind the reception desk of The Seabird Resort in Oceanside, CA. It was designed in response to the space to engage viewers from across the hotel lobby while accommodating hotel staff working behind the desk. The installation overlaps a hidden door in the wall.


Worked directly with Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA), which curated art collection for hotel. Proposed concept design to committee of property developers (S.D. Malkin, Tynan Group), architects (Delawie), interior designer (Bill Bocken AIA), ownership and OMA curators. Made revisions based on input. Worked with architects to agree on acceptable weight for wall artwork and appropriate wall material for installation. Designed and fabricated artwork. Oversaw installation working with contractors.

Additional Information

Courtney Mattison hand-crafts intricate and large-scale sculptural works that visualize climate change through the fragile beauty of coral reefs. Her work has been commissioned internationally for permanent collections including those of the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta and Lindblad Expeditions’ National Geographic Endurance ship. Her exhibition history includes solo shows at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Lux Art Institute (now ICA San Diego), where she was Artist in Residence. In 2020, the U.N. Postal Administration published Mattison’s work on a stamp to commemorate Earth Day. Born in 1985 and raised in San Francisco, Mattison received an interdisciplinary BA in marine ecology and ceramic sculpture from Skidmore College in 2008 and an MA in environmental studies from Brown University with thesis coursework at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. Her work has been featured on the covers of American Craft, Beaux Arts Magazine and Brown Alumni Magazine, and by Smithsonian Magazine, Good Morning America, Oprah Magazine and BBC World Service. She lives and works in Los Angeles.