by Danielle Rose
Clean Ocean Access [COA] is opening their office doors for a reception from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm on Thursday, March 31. Instead of business as usual, Clean Ocean Access supports local artists with a full display of artwork. “Creations for the Ocean: Artists Supporting Clean Ocean Access” is centered around various media works inspired by the power of the local environment. The belief is that storytelling in all forms is essential to our sharing and understanding of the natural world.
“We look forward to sharing our first artist-focused event around our vision of a clean, healthy ocean that is accessible to all,” according to COA.
Attendees will have light refreshments and an opportunity to meet and chat with the artists. The original works will be on sale during the reception. Artists have the opportunity to choose how much of the proceeds for the sale of the piece will be donated to COA: 40%, 60% or 100%.
“It’s so important for artists to be able to support themselves, so they gave options for artists to choose their amount,” Communications Marketing Coordinator, Emily Conklin said.
Storytelling as an art for the environment
This is not COA’s foray into the storytelling power of art. Education Outreach Coordinator, Merit Shalom built a partnership with students and faculty at St. George during outreach programming. The class visited the Newport Harbor Marina trash skimmer, a technology that creates a slow current that pulls trash from the water. After explaining the background of plastic pollution, students were inspired to use trash that had been collected by the skimmer and trash they collected on the beach to create their own art. The debris was collaged into a mural, providing texture and color. The artwork was displayed during a January show at COA offices.
The students took the project one step further with a permanent installation called “Waves of Change.”
Following the success of this recent “Students for the Sea” event with St. George’s art students, it was a natural progression for COA to welcome other local artists to showcase their work.
“Through the tenure of the organization we’ve had tremendous support from artists including the banner image, and other photographers have done other works on our site, as well,” said Emily. “Living on the coast and having these connections in the community, we understand how deeply art, science and the environment are connected. This [exhibition] is another way of telling the story of how beautiful our environment can be.”
Clean Ocean Access supports local artists
Artwork from “Creations for the Ocean” will be on display throughout the month of April. Additional reception dates will be announced in the coming days. All proceeds from sales will go directly to benefiting COA.
“The idea of a fundraising event involving artists had been kicked around for the past couple of years, but it wasn’t until a local artist, Mandy Howe, donated a large mural from a summer project at DeBlois Gallery for us to hang in our office, that the idea of an art show to benefit COA came alive,” said COA events manager, Lesley Muir. “‘Creations for the Oceans’ is a fundraiser, but serves a dual purpose – bringing the community to us, where we work, showing them what we do and why the mission of eliminating marine debris, improving water quality, and protecting and preserving ocean access affects every single person living on our beautiful island.
“Our hope with Creations for the Oceans is that people will support COA, while supporting local artists, and at the same time, be inspired to get involved with beach clean-ups, water quality testing, and/composting.”
Entry to the show is free, but will be staggered to ensure attendance is in compliance with COVID safety protocols. Please visit COA online and register for your desired time slot here.
About Clean Ocean Access
Clean Ocean Access is a nonprofit organization with the vision of a clean, healthy ocean that is accessible to all. They have worked to support a healthy coastal environment through community science and engagement since 2006. The work in partnership with local communities to eliminate marine debris, improve water quality, and protect and preserve shoreline access. For more information, please visit www.cleanoceanaccess.org.
To learn more visit https://www.cleanoceanaccess.org/artists-for-the-ocean/