Ceramic Sculptor Highlights Impacts of Climate Change in Gulf of Maine

ceramic sculpture by artist Paula Winokur
Ice Cores, by Paula Winokur

What do a ceramic sculptor, lobsterman, and climate scientist have to talk about?

Find out Friday, July 7 at 5:30 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church in Newcastle.

University of Maine marine scientist Bob Steneck will join Port Clyde lobsterman Gerry Cushman and artist Nancy Selvin to view images of artist Paula Winokur’s towering installations inspired by Greenland’s icebergs, and to discuss how melting polar ice impacts the Gulf of Maine. Nationally recognized radio producer and writer Julie Burstein will facilitate the discussions.

This is the first in a series of public conversations that bring together ceramic art masters, scientists, and Mainers working in natural resource-based industries to examine intersections between art and contemporary environmental issues.

The series, Elemental Intersections, is organized by the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, in partnership with University of Maine Cooperative Extension and the Maine Sea Grant Program. Funding is provided, in part, through a Creativity Connects grant from the National Endowment on the Arts.

“Elemental Intersections enables us to recognize the innovations and contributions of three master artists to the field of ceramics — Wayne Higby, Jack Troy, and Paula Winokur — and explore how their work relates to the natural world,” says Fran Rudoff, Watershed executive director.

“Art and science both arise from human creativity, and have inspired each other throughout history,” says Esperanza Stancioff, UMaine Extension/Maine Sea Grant climate change educator.

“Many scientists are influenced by artists; many artists create, interpret and react to scientific knowledge. In my work with coastal communities, as in Paula’s work, I see the power of images, sculptures and paintings to evoke and impress upon us how our climate is changing.”

The event is free and open to the public. St. Patrick’s Church, at 380 Academy Hill Road in Newcastle, Maine, is a fully accessible venue. Sign language interpretation will be available; contact Watershed at 207.882.6075. For more information, visit Watershed Legends.

The second conversation — featuring master wood fire potter Jack Troy, forest ecologist Nick Fisichelli, and Maine Guide Polly Mahoney — will be Friday, Aug. 25 at St. Patrick’s Church.

About Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts

Since 1986, ceramic artists have come to Watershed to grow their studio practice and connect with others in an environment that fuels peer to peer learning, experimentation and exchange of ideas. Through artist residencies, workshops and public programs, Watershed is a 501c3 nonprofit that serves the local, national, and international clay communities.

About Maine Sea Grant

Maine Sea Grant is a federal-state partnership program based at the University of Maine that supports relevant marine science research, education and outreach. For over 100 years, UMaine Extension has been putting university research to work in homes, businesses, farms and communities — in every corner of Maine.