Art Exhibit at Biscayne National ParkMay 19 – July 30, 2017
Thirty winning pieces from the Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs’ annual student art competition were on display in Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery from May 19 through July 30, 2017.
From the Bow Seat: Art, Advocacy, and Ocean Conservation features visual art winners from Bow Seat’s annual Ocean Awareness Student Contest, which challenges middle and high school students from around the world to research, interpret, and say something meaningful about the connections between human activities and the health of our oceans through art, poetry, prose, or film.
“The works make you think,” says Program Director Alyssa Irizarry. “They also invite you to feel, and sometimes those are very tough feelings.” Some of the pieces in the show depict the impacts of marine debris on wildlife: an albatross feeding her chicks a plastic bottle cap, or viewers in an aquarium looking at plastic bags that initially appear to be jellies.
“Through their artwork, the students are expressing how they feel about the planet they are inheriting,” continues Irizarry. “They took what they learned about threats to our oceans, and they felt so much that they had to make something with it. That’s hope! That’s why we do what we do – by building skills through the creative process, we want our participants to be able to look at issues from new perspectives, pose meaningful questions, and discover and make innovative solutions.”
Biscayne National Park Rangers, Bow Seat, and South Florida National Parks Trust also hosted a canoe cleanup of Mowry Canal with volunteers before the opening reception of the art exhibit to highlight the impact of plastic pollution our shores.
From the Bow Seat: Art, Advocacy, and Ocean Conservation is part of the park’s Community Artists Program, started in 1997 as an outlet for the works of artists who are inspired by the beauty of Biscayne National Park. The program is made possible by the South Florida National Parks Trust through the generosity of the Miami-Dade County Division of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support comes from ClubOne Athletics, Dr. Charles Palminteri, Catherine Grady Insurance and donations by park visitors.