In 2019, Portland artist Anna Dibble began planning a collaborative public art installation to help promote stewardship and awareness by reconnecting people with the natural world. The multi-year art/science/education initiative would focus specifically on biodiversity changes in the Gulf of Maine caused by climate change and other human impacts. Anna founded the organization Gulf of Maine ECOARTS to coordinate the effort.
The exhibit’s central piece will be a fictional ecosystem—“a cross section of atmosphere, sky, and ocean featuring a 24-foot North Atlantic Right Whale and a selection of key endangered marine life, from phytoplankton to fishermen and Native Americans.” The installation will be designed and built by a collaborative team of professional sculptors and filmmakers, educators, and more than 100 students from across Maine, ranging from middle schoolers to college students. Disciplines will include science education, sculpture, painting, sound design, lighting, film, virtual reality, and—when the installation is in place—arts- and science-related programming. The sculptures will be fabricated from recycled material and repurposed beach debris.