This Art Meets Science program, From Debris to Art, partners eco-artist Mariah Reading with MDI Biological Laboratory’s Community Lab manager Anna Farrell. To see more about Anna’s work with the Community Lab, watch her in action in the lab and on site on MDI.
Using Anecdata, a unique citizen science software program created at MDIBL, artists 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 trash 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.
Please join in our project! Citizen scientists of all ages are welcome to collect debris at any location and create their own artwork! For further inspiration, check out project submissions from the South Carolina School for the Blind and Nature Links here in Maine.
Here’s how to participate:
- Join Anecdata as a project participant at: From Debris to Art.
- Find some debris! We recommend looking in your local waters and coastal areas.
- Log the data points of what is collected, where, and how at From Debris to Art.
- Be inspired and create! We encourage all forms of artistic expression including recorded song, videos, dance, and written word.*
- Once you have completed your artwork, post it at From Debris to Art. Feel free to add an artist’s statement or description along with the title of your work of art.
- Join us on September 14 for our Science Cafe discussing the project and celebrating our Anecdata gallery opening!
*In an effort to ensure the project is accessible to all, free art supplies will be available for pickup at a number of locations throughout Hancock and Penobscot Counties. For more information, please contact Emily Burke.
This project was made possible through the generous support of the Onion Foundation.
Science Café Online: “From Art to Debris”
A progress report for MDIBL’s 2020 Art Meets Science project was presented as a Science Café:
Mt. Desert, Maine
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.
Mt. Desert, Maine
MDIBL Community Environmental Health Lab
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 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.