PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography is celebrating its 60th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the URI College of Education and Professional Studies Arts and Culture Program and GSO are holding an Ocean View Exhibition and Youth Art Competition, which is on display at the URI Feinstein Providence Campus through April 29, with a gallery night set for April 15.
The exhibit includes pieces in all media by 25 professional artists and a youth art competition with more than 250 submissions by Rhode Island students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The art pieces explore the ways in which we are all connected to the ocean as a constantly changing force of nature that provides food and oxygen, and that needs a balance to be protected.
“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,” GSO Dean Paula Bontempi said. “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.”
“We are delighted to collaborate with the Graduate School of Oceanography on their 60th anniversary with this youth art competition and exhibition,” R. Anthony Rolle, dean of the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies, said. “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.”
The professional artists, whose works in the show are also connected to the ocean, span the state and region. Those featured include 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. A virtual gallery will be made available soon on the GSO’s website.
Pagh, a URI professor emeritus and longtime Hera Gallery member artist, is also serving as a judge for the youth competition, along with fellow artist Monique Rolle-Johnson and Rhode Island State Council on the Arts in Education Director Maggie Anderson.
Winners of the Ocean View Art Competition will be announced April 27 at 10:30 a.m. during a live stream posted to the GSO’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. Participants are separated into four divisions based on age – Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12 – and each group will have a first, second and third place finisher. The first place finisher will receive $150 and a $50 gift card to a local art store and ocean science-themed book. The second and third place finishers will receive $100 and $50, respectively, as well as the gift card and book.
The 12 award-winning pieces will be kept on display at the Providence Campus Gallery, located at 80 Washington Street, through next April. Tour hours for the gallery are on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on Gallery Night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.