Arts Society & Culture

Athens Academy to display works by Sea Grant artists

Georgia Sea Grant exhibit - Oystering by Alan
Alan Campbell’s Oystering painting is part of the Sea Grant exhibition on display weekdays from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Athens Academy until Feb. 24.

Athens, Ga. – “Keeping Watch,” an exhibition of Georgia Sea Grant paintings that illustrates the connection of art and science and is inspired by the Georgia coast, will open Jan. 8 at the Myers Gallery, which is located in Athens Academy’s arts and science building on Spartan Lane.

Georgia Sea Grant is housed at the University of Georgia.

The exhibition features paintings from Sea Grant artists June Ball, Alan Campbell, Claire Clements, Paula Eubanks, June Frazier Johnston, Caroline Montague and Art Rosenbaum. They will be on hand at the opening reception Jan. 8 from 2-4 p.m.

The seven “Keeping Watch” artists are among 11 who participated in a program using art to communicate coastal science to Georgians, many of whom live far from the sea, said Jill Gambill, Georgia Sea Grant communications director. Beginning in 1979, Georgia Sea Grant commissioned artists to create diverse artworks featuring coastal landscapes, traditions, plants, animals and culture, resulting in a permanent collection of 60-plus paintings now at the Georgia Museum of Art.

“We are interested in the intersection of art and science,” Gambill said. “This show provides a focus on what we do: communicating complex local and global factors that shape our coast in a way that people understand.”

Lawrence Stueck, Athens Academy Upper School art teacher and gallery director, agrees. “Artists keep watch,” he said. “They call attention to important issues; they think about the future; they create messages; and they are concerned. With seven billion-plus people using resources on this small planet, we must be aware of our collective impact, keep watch of the results and strive to leave a beautiful, livable home for future generations.”

“Keeping Watch” will be on display weekdays through Feb. 24 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A discussion on the potential of art to communicate scientific issues will be held Feb. 1 from 2-4 p.m.

“This show calls attention to how important the coast is to Georgia,” said Stueck, who oversees the academy’s five galleries. “These artists appreciate the significance of nature and specifically the coast. To preserve, protect, enjoy and celebrate the beauty and importance of life on the edge of our state and continent is their implicit goal.”

Georgia Sea Grant, headquartered at UGA, supports research, outreach and educational activities promoting the environmental and economic health of the coast and is one of 32 state programs funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“My hope for the show is to extend the valuable mission of Georgia Sea Grant to educate and promote coastal Georgia, along with bringing some beautiful art by extraordinary local artists to our campus,” Stueck said. “My students will take away the perceptions manifest in the artwork, both the images and the energy. Having the galleries here with professional artists exhibiting adds an ineffable dimension to our art program.”