“Protecting our Oceans,” at the Whitney Galleries in Wells

“Protecting our Oceans,” opens Saturday at the Whitney Galleries in Wells. It’s a group show with Pamala Crabb, Maine photographer Robin Keus and Massachusetts painter Pamela DeJong.

Excerpt From the article on the Portland Press Herald by Bob Keyes:

Kara Lavender Law of Cape Elizabeth, an oceanography professor at Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, will discuss her research about plastic pollution in the Gulf of Maine at 3 p.m. Saturday at the gallery.

Crabb envisions bringing the show to coastal communities across New England, updating the exhibition with fresh artwork and different speakers.

Pamala The marriage of art and science serves both in different ways. For the art community, it’s a chance to learn about research in the gulf and the effect of accumulating plastics on marine life. For the scientists, it’s an opportunity to reach people who might otherwise not hear the message.

We’ve learned a lot about plastic pollution in the ocean in recent years, Law said, and the media is paying more attention to ocean health in general, related to climate change and rising sea levels. At the same time, artists are exploring those issues in their work, Law said.

“This is one topic that seems to have natural connections,” Law said.

Each artist will show multiple images. Crabb is exhibiting wax paintings on birch textured to suggest the bubbling and movement of the ocean. DeJong makes mixed media paintings of endangered sea life. Keus, who lives in Wells, makes finely crafted photos of the intersection of land and sea, capturing both the power of the water and its relationship with the earth and sky.

Keus’ goal is finding the beauty in nature, subtle or dramatic, and presenting it to the viewer so it inspires awe and wonder. If combining it with advocacy and awareness motivates people to preserve and protect the environment, all the better. “My hope is that the image I present will show to those who are viewing it an appreciation for what is left in our environment and inspire them to do what they can to save it,” he said.

DeJong, who lives in Ashland, Massachusetts, views her work in the arts as an extension of 40-year career as a nurse. Before, she helped humans heal. Now she is helping Earth.

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