The topic of the MDI Science Café for Monday, September 14, 2020 will be our current Art Meets Science project, “The first in a series of Art Meets Science 2020 programs, From Debris to Art partners eco-artist Mariah Reading with MDI Biological Laboratory’s Community Lab manager Anna Farrell.
Using Anecdata, a unique citizen science software program created at MDIBL, the artist will engage directly with scientists and community members to gather human-made debris from our beaches and use debris to create works of art. Completed art will be displayed on Anecdata’s online gallery “From Debris to Art.”
Exploring the intersection of art and science, this project will encourage participants of all ages to find their creative voice while raising awareness of the impact of plastics and other debris on the health of our coastal environment. Through the process of collecting, documenting and recycling debris found along the coast, participants will be asked to identify the trash source, define concrete steps that can be implemented to reduce waste and raise awareness within their communities.
Mariah Reading is an eco-artist and strong advocate for the existence, preservation, and accessibility of the National Parks. She was born and raised in Bangor, Maine where the surrounding landscape gave her a deep appreciation of nature’s beauty that was reinforced by her degree in Visual Arts at Bowdoin College. The 2016 National Park Centennial propelled her Recycled Landscapes, designed to bring attention to the need of preserving and protecting the environment. Having already visited 24 National Parks, she plans to continue her project in all 61 US National Parks. Mariah has dedicated herself to the field of eco-art through her Artist in Residence at Denali, Zion, and Acadia National Parks, working as an Arts In the Parks Volunteer at the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, assisting in Yosemite Facelift efforts, developing a K-12 STREAM curriculum with University of California Santa Barbara Oceanography students, and creating conservation workshops with the Channel Islands National Park. She has exhibited work in San Antonio, TX; Seattle, WA; Fort Collins, CO; McKinley Village, AK; Brunswick, ME; and Kamuela, HI and has an upcoming show in Poughkeepsie, NY. From April through September Reading is an environmental interpreter.
Anna Farrell manages the Community Environmental Health Lab at MDIBL where she coordinates the NIH/NIGMS-funded All About Arsenic project and various water quality monitoring projects. She also works to monitor and restore eelgrass in Frenchman Bay and is part of the Anecdata.org team. MDIBL’s Community Lab works to identify, locate, and help remedy threats to public health and the clean waters on and around Mount Desert Island by putting science in the hands of community volunteers, students, and teachers. Every project the Community Lab undertakes relies on volunteer efforts from students and community members and involves community education.
“From Debris to Art” was made possible through the generous support of the Onion Foundation. The Onion Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation based in Maine. Their mission is to encourage conservation and stewardship of the natural environment and to promote music and the arts in the state of Maine.
Our live online Zoom presentations will be recorded and uploaded for those who cannot make the live session. Please note, when Zoom records, it captures the audience as well as the presenter. If you do not wish to be recorded, please turn off your video camera. Audio will still be available.
MDI Science Cafés are offered in fulfillment of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission to promote scientific literacy and increase public engagement with science. The popular events offer a chance to hear directly from speakers about trends in science.
We ask attendees to please preregister online so that we can send you the link to the online presentation.