Join North Cascades Institute and the Whatcom Museum on January 11, 2 pm, for the Vanishing Ice Speaker Series! This final presentation in the four-part series will feature Expeditionary Artist Maria Coryell-Martin and marine mammal biologist Dr. Kristin Laidre presenting their project, “Imaging the Arctic: Communicating Climate Science through Art.” This free event is made possible with a grant from Humanities Washington and is part of the Whatcom Museum’s Saturdays on Ice program that also includes reduced admission to the Vanishing Ice exhibit at the Lightcatcher Museum, family activities and workshops covering art, science, history and exploration.
In Spring 2013, Maria Coryell-Martin accompanied scientist Dr. Kristin Laidre onto the pack ice of Baffin Bay, based out of West Greenland. Dr. Laidre and colleagues were investigating the effects of sea ice loss on narwhals and polar bears, iconic species that are highly adapted to the extreme Arctic environment and vulnerable to climate change.
“The Arctic is a remarkable and stunning environment that is rapidly changing,” explains Coryell-Martin. “Collaborating with Kristin has given me the opportunity to witness and help illustrate this region that so few people can access. Her research brings deeper meaning to my sketches and paintings as they go beyond being just environmental portraits, to having a story within a scientific context. Working together, we can use art as a hook for scientific outreach and to inspire appreciation and stewardship for the Arctic.”
Coryell-Martin worked alongside the scientists as they recorded data on the health and movements of narwhals and polar bears, creating ink and watercolor sketches, as well as multimedia recordings. Following the tradition of artists working with early explorers, her fieldwork complements the science, and is being developed into a collection of stories and imagery to illustrate stories of climate change. Learn more at imagingthearctic.org.