2023 OCMA Image
“Odysseus the Otter”
Cover Artwork Story by the Artist

Welcome Back, Otter! Odysseus the Otter comes to the Oregon Coast!

Odysseus is shell-a-brating Oregon Coast Music Festival’s 45th year of bringing a variety of music to the Bay Area in the summer! Wrapped in kelp, he’s floating along a nearshore area of the coast, enjoying some peaceful ocean time in the water.

Sea otters were once prevalent along the West Coast and there
is interest in re-establishing a population in Oregon. Odysseus
and his ancestors were integral to kelp forests, as integral as
the fish sheltered by the kelp, the sea urchins on the rocks,
ochre sea stars (starfish) and the sunflower sea stars. Here,
black and blue rockfish are hiding among the kelp. Dungeness
crab and sea urchins, both tasty treats for Odysseus, are hanging round the ocean floor and the rocks. A starry flounder coasts along the sandy sea floor and Octavius, the octopus made famous in posters from a couple years ago, also makes an appearance, hiding behind a rock.

And, just like healthy ocean ecosystems are enjoyed by everyone, the rainbow colors highlighting the “45” remind us that music, in all its forms, is intended for the enjoyment of everyone. I hope you enjoy Odysseus celebrating 45 years of the Oregon Coast Music Festival!

The Artist, Susan Chambers is a self-taught watercolor artist who builds on her love of all things relating to fish, shellfish, tidepools and the Pacific Ocean to create colorful, whimsical creations.

This year’s poster shows Odysseus the sea otter, wrapped in kelp, holding a “45” that signifies the festival’s 45th year of bringing fantastic music to the South Coast. Like the hero Odysseus trying to find his way back home to Ithaca in Homer’s epic poem (the Odyssey), this otter is also trying to find his way home to Oregon. This year’s poster is called “Welcome Back, Otter!” (Please pardon the punny reference to the show “Welcome Back, Kotter!” from the 1970s.)
Oregon’s beautiful kelp forests are home to colorful rockfish
and critters like sea urchins that cling to the rocks in our nearshore areas. Dungeness crab frequent some of the areas near the rocks, hiding from predators like the otter. These prolific ecosystems are key to what puts the “coast” in “Oregon Coast.”