Arts Society & Culture

Georgia Sea Grant to host panel discussion on art and science

Athens, Ga. – Georgia Sea Grant, housed at the University of Georgia, will present a panel discussion on “Art: Connecting the Heart, Mind and Soul of Science” Feb. 19 from 2-4 p.m. in the Myers Gallery at Athens Academy. The talk accompanies the exhibit “Keeping Watch: Recent Work by Georgia Sea Grant Artists,” which has been on display in the gallery since early January.

Georgia Sea Grant, one of 32 state programs funded by the National Sea Grant, promotes education and outreach directed at creating a balanced approach toward land use, economic development and ecosystem health in the state’s coastal region.

More than 32 years ago, Georgia Sea Grant created a contemporary art collection to communicate coastal science and showcase Georgia’s coastal world. The continued impact of the art collection, which is now housed at the Georgia Museum of Art, has been the centerpiece of Athens Academy’s month-long celebration, featuring recent works by Georgia Sea Grant artists.

Panel members will include June Ball and Claire Clements, two of the original collection artists. Ball, the inspiration behind the art collection concept, said that she is just as excited today about the connection of science and art as she was three decades ago at the project’s inception.

“I viewed funding an artist to interpret the barrier islands as a logical extension of education and outreach,” Ball said. “The Sea Grant project was probably the single most important thing that has happened to me as an artist, and the experience has continued to influence my work. I hoped to evoke a sense of wonder and an impulse to protect these beautiful places.”

Additional panel members include R.G. Brown, a professor in the UGA Lamar Dodd School of Art, and Leigh Ellis, an Athens Academy art teacher.

Jill Gambill, Georgia Sea Grant communications director, shares in Ball’s excitement. “Our current art exhibit has been viewed by over 300 visitors so far, and we are expecting the same enthusiastic response to this weekend’s panel discussion,” she said. “Visually bringing the coast to interior Georgians helps develop a connection to this special natural environment and the science that drives it.”

The panel discussion is open to the public and will be moderated by David Bryant, assistant director of Georgia Sea Grant. Local band Hawk Proof Rooster will perform blended melodies of live bluegrass and folk music, and Earth Fare will provide appetizers.

For more information on the event, call 706/433-1812. For more information on Georgia Sea Grant, see http://georgiaseagrant.uga.edu/.