Aquarium to Display New Art Exhibit

Eduardo Landa
SONAR IMAGE of underwater mountain.

On March 15 the Aquarium of the Pacific began displaying a new art exhibit that will run until May 31, 2018.

The artwork in the exhibit comes from the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Artist at Sea program. According to a press release from the aquarium the program “provides a platform where experts from different disciplines are brought together and cross-pollination of ideas can transform both the scientists and artists work.”

Some of the artists responsible for the exhibit have a past scientific experience which helps serves the purpose of the program to combine the scientific and artistic work.

The exhibit contained 53 pieces of art consisting of paintings, photographs and multi-beam sonar images. The exhibit also contained a 12-piece cartoon called “Mappin’ the Floor” by professional adventure cartoonist Lucy Bellwood.

The art pieces were done by different artists and inspired by the work that was done on the Falkor, the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel. The 13 artists responsible for the artwork have sailed on Falkor since 2015.

Upon entering the exhibit location, the first few pictures on the right-hand wall are paintings done by artist Molly Holmberg Brown “a visual artist, map maker and geographer.”

These particular paintings done by Brown have a theme color of blue. One of the paintings is called “The Phoenix Islands.” The painting is of the ocean and five small islands. The painting was enriched with dark blue and green colors.

Next to these pictures were art pieces by artist Natasha Russell an artist and illustrator based in Scotland. Her artwork had darker colors than the others. One of the pieces was a drawing of mountains, which according to the description was “drawn backscatter mapping data.” This art piece along with others drawn by Russell helped the ancient coral expedition by finding out “what kind of images could be used to determine research sites for the deployment of ROV Subastian.”

Down the same wall there are a couple of art pieces done by artist Michelle Schwengel-Regala, a scientific illustrator and fiber artist. These photographic pieces are of a boat trip. One photograph is of the side of a boat and the ocean right next to it.

Toward the end of the wall there were a couple of sonar images of the sea taken by one of the lead technicians on the Falkor research vessel, Leighton Rolley. One picture was of an underwater mountain that was discovered during an expedition in 2014.

On the left side of the exhibit there are a lot more photographs. A lot of these pictures show the research that is done on the sea.

For example, one of the pictures shot by photographer Logan Mock-Bunting is of a group of men that are working on a machine late in the evening.

The purpose for the exhibit is to show scientific research in a unique way that can draw the attention of people.

On January 2017 the exhibit began to display at different locations. By the time the exhibit got to the aquarium it had been to 11 different places.

Some of its previous locations include Arts at Marks Garage in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 13th Annual San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival, the Hanauma Bay Education Center and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

For the Schmidt Oceans Institute, the aquarium was a great place to host the exhibit for the next two months.

“We wanted to maximize viewership and reach a wide range of ages,” said Carlie Weiner, communications manager of the Schmidt Oceans Institute.

The exhibit is able to bring to light all of the scientific research done by the Schmidt Ocean Institute with beautiful artwork and achieves its goal of presenting it to a wide-ranging audience that will soon learn a lot about the science of the sea.

For additional information about the exhibit and the Artist at Sea program visit and for tickets to see the exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific visit



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