The University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography recently asked aspiring K-12 student artists across the Ocean State a simple question: What is your ocean story? The response came in the form of hundreds of artistic submissions from all ages to the “Ocean View Exhibition and Youth Art Competition,” celebrating the 60th anniversary of GSO’s founding. The exhibit is presented by the URI College of Education and Professional Studies Arts and Culture Program and GSO.
Running from April 5 through April 29, with a Gallery Night on April 15th, “Ocean View” includes artworks in all media from 25 area professional artists and a youth art competition with more than 250 artworks by Rhode Island K-12 students exploring the many ways in which we are all connected to the ocean. The artwork explores the ocean as a place of constant change but not endless bounty, a source of food and the oxygen we breathe, with its dramatic character and an unknown future facing climate change.
“The 60th anniversary of the Graduate School of Oceanography is a major milestone for generations of the staff that built GSO, for URI and the Ocean State,” said GSO Dean Paula Bontempi. “For the past six decades GSO has been a trailblazer in monitoring the health of Narragansett Bay, an innovator in ocean exploration and technology, and an anchor for Rhode Island’s blue economy. We’ve been leaders of ocean and coastal education, and in building STEM capacity, but we still have a long way to go. This art exhibition is one way for us to engage and hopefully inspire the next generation of ocean explorers and stewards.”
All pieces of artwork will be on exhibit in the gallery at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus as well as in a virtual gallery on the GSO website and a virtual tour on the URI CEPS Providence Arts website. Three winners (first, second and third place) from each of four different K-12 divisions will receive prizes to further support their artistic development and oceanographic interest. These twelve award-winning original pieces of artwork will be framed and showcased on the URI Narragansett Bay Campus for a year after the April showing concludes.
“We are delighted to collaborate with the Graduate School of Oceanography on their 60th anniversary with this youth art competition and exhibition,” said R. Anthony Rolle, dean of the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies. “The Arts and Culture Program is an invaluable resource to the College community because it explores the embodiment of higher education, academic achievement, social and emotional development, civic engagement and equitable opportunity. In the liberal arts, art education fosters the universally important skills of research, analytical reasoning and creative problem solving, specifically in relation to STEAM education.”
In addition to the youth art competition, numerous regional artists will present their ocean-inspired artwork. Among the featured artists are: Roxanne Blackmore, Marjorie Ball, Mike Bryce, Amy Bartlett, Alice Benvie Gebhart, Harley Bartlett, Donato Beauchaine, David DeMelim, John Fazzino, Libby Manchester Gilpatric, Kathy Hodge, Lori Jeremiah, Frank Lally, Eric Lutes, Craig Masten, Allison Newsome, Barbara Pagh, Nick Paciorek, Zakk Prosser, Kyle Ringquist, Cynthia Rubin, Andi Sawyer, and Anthony Tomaselli.
“Ocean View” youth art competition judges
Maggie Anderson is the Arts in Education Director of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, a position she has held since January 2018. Anderson manages the Arts Council’s education-based programs and services, with an emphasis on working with state and community-based partners to ensure that all kids have access to quality arts education. In Spring 2018, Ms. Anderson was also appointed Rhode Island’s representative to SEADAE (State Education Agencies Directors of Arts Education). Ms. Anderson graduated from Pratt Institute with a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management.
Barbara Pagh is a printmaker and papermaker who is a Professor Emerita of Art at the University of Rhode Island. Pagh is a founding member of the Printmakers’ Network of Southern New England. She has been a member of Hera Gallery in Wakefield since 1985 and serves on the Board of Directors. She served as coordinator of the Rhode Island Visual Arts Sea Grant program until 2015.
A figurative colorist who skillfully utilizes color, depth, and design, Monique Rolle-Johnson’s trademarks are etched in her artistic flamboyance and rich, ethnic heritage. Affectionately penned, “The Artistic Diva,” her talents range from drawing, to printmaking, illustration to her signature bold paintings, and interior designs to curatorial oversight. Rolle-Johnson holds 25 years as a consummate educator instructing through curricula, life skills, and aspirational mentorship. She has taught within every academic level ranging from elementary to collegiate. A native of the Bahamas, Monique serves as co-principal of the House of Mōny, LLC and continues to be sought for her art and design consultations, educational expertise, and fine art commissions. Monique’s works are in private and gallery collections both nationally and internationally, including those of the late Dr. Maya Angelou, Marian Wright Edelman and the Children’s Defense Fund, Dawn Davies, the late Vincent D’Aguiliar, the Honorable Allison Maynard- Esq, and the Bannister Gallery of Rhode Island College. Her solo and group exhibitions have spanned the U.S. and the Caribbean.
The URI Providence Campus Gallery is located at 80 Washington Street, 1st and 2nd floor lobby gallery.
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