Art and science challenge for high school students

05/28/2013 7:15 AM |

EAST END SEAPORT MUSEUM COURTESY PHOTO | Cordelia Laren submitted this circular piece for the East End Challenge.

At the intersection of science and art lies the East End Challenge.

The art competition sponsored by the East End Seaport Museum and East End Arts asked high school students from across the North Fork to design a project based on inventive observation and creative interpretation of the region’s maritime culture.

The theme of this year’s inaugural challenge, “The Bays Around Us,” was inspired by author and activist Rachel Carson, whose writings — most notably in the book “Silent Spring” about the impacts of pesticides — are credited with advancing the modern environmental movement.

Ms. Carson once wrote, “The realities of science are the realities of life itself. We cannot understand the problems that concern us in this, our particular moment of time, unless we first understand our environment and the forces that have made us what we are, physically and men- tally.”

EAST END SEAPORT MUSEUM COURTESY PHOTO | A work submitted for the exhibition by Olyvia Vayer took home first place. 

It was in that spirit that area students were asked to create projects addressing the local marine environment and pollution. Students responded with proposals for sculpture, film, painting, music video, illustrated books and mixed media, according to the challenge’s co-organizer Arden Scott. Over the past six months the proposals were judged by a panel of seven local artists and scientists who narrowed the fi eld of finalists to 21 students representing 13 projects.

The exhibit was designed and organized by Greenport residents Bob Jester, a retired marine biology at Riverhead High School; Keith Mc-Camy, a retired geophysicist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ; and Ms. Scott, a longtime sailor and acclaimed sculptor.

“I think it’s great for the high school students to be involved and understand the local environment,” Ms. Scott said.

The museum hopes to continue the challenge annually as a way of encouraging students to learn about and help shape the future of Long Island’s coastline, she said.

The winner and scholarship recipients will be announced during a reception on Saturday, May 25, at 5 p.m. at the East End Seaport Museum in Greenport.

Those who wish to attend can RSVP by emailing [email protected] or calling 631-477-2100.

The museum’s exhibition will be open to the public through Oct. 14.

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