New art and science exhibition open at Bigelow Laboratory on November 9th


A new two-story art installation celebrating marine life in the Gulf of Maine and the scientific efforts to understand it is going to be around. opened Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences on November 9th. “Majestic Fragility” was created by Gulf of Maine EcoArts Artists, in collaboration with marine scientists and students from across the state.

The exhibition is the culmination of a three year project with scientists from the Bigelow Laboratory. Inspired by nature beneath the waves, the artists worked to create a scene of the normally unseen. The installation aims to capture the dynamic biodiversity of our oceans and encourage people to think about how they are connected to it.

“Our research around the world reveals so much about the wonders and possibilities of the ocean – and the significant threats it faces,” said Senior Research Scientist Nick Record, the coordinating scientist for the project. “All of these problems are complicated, but the fate of the oceans is the fate of humanity. We need new ways of imagining the future to meet these challenges, and this art helps us explore new possibilities and inspire people to be part of the solutions. “

Five Maine artists created pieces for the installation, a cross-section of sky and sea that illuminates the incredible diversity of life in the Gulf of Maine. It shows a range of important endangered and threatened marine life, from phytoplankton to birds, in sculpture, textile art, and prints.

At the center of the exhibition is a bone-white, 7-meter-high sculpture of a North Atlantic right whale, one of the most endangered species in the world. Inspired by walks in the forest, the artist Andy Rosen made the sculpture from parts of trees and other reclaimed terrestrial material.

“The whale is an abstraction of a model that would hang in a natural history museum,” he said. “It is a coexistence of marine and forest systems. A whale from a human point of view is a discrete thing, but in nature a whale is part of integrated networks. Abstraction is a way of blurring the lines between individuals. It’s a way of highlighting more fluid connections. ”

It was designed and built by Gulf of Maine EcoArts, a collaboration of Maine artists dedicated to creating art that is inspired by and celebrates the environment. In addition to roses, Lee Chisholm, Anna Dibble, Joe Hemes, and Pamela Moulton all contributed hanging art to the installation. It also included a team of educators and students from more than 16 Maine schools – from middle school to college.

“We created Majestic Fragility to raise awareness of our marine relatives in the rapidly warming Gulf of Maine and some of the valuable habitats they rely on, such as Cashes Ledge,” said Dibble, founder of Gulf of Maine EcoArts. “The exhibition also supports the efforts of organizations like Bigelow Laboratory, which are fighting the climate and biodiversity crisis, working on solutions and inviting us together to accept our fate as administrators.”

Majestic Fragility can be viewed on weekdays between 9 am and 4 pm at the Bigelow Laboratory at 60 Bigelow Drive in East Boothbay. All visitors must wear masks in the laboratory.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit research institute based in East Boothbay, Maine. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, Bigelow Laboratory scientists are using innovative approaches to study the fundamentals of global marine health and unlock their potential to improve the future of all life on the planet. Learn more at, and join the conversation Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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