Portraits of Antarctica
Rebecca Gast and Jane Baker (Falmouth high school studio art teacher) have used images taken on Antarctic cruises for class art projects. Gast visits the classroom and talks about where the images were collected and why microbes are important in polar marine food webs. The students then each choose an image and use the techniques they are learning (e.g. watercolor or linoleum cut printing) to create an image of their own. The final pictures are photographed and placed on the art class website, are displayed at the school science fair along with a paragraph written by Gast about why scientists study plankton, and are placed in a public exhibit at WHOI.
Rebecca Gast, Jane Baker (Falmouth High School art teacher) and Lauren Kenny (Falmouth High School english teacher) collaborated to introduce students to the local grey seal population. Students in the art and AP English learned about the ecology of the grey seals from Gast and colleague Andrea Bogomonli at WHOI, and scientists at the Center for Coastal Studies (Lisa Sette, Owen Nichols). They were also instructed in the method of Haibun, a Japanese form of travel poetry, by Elizabeth Bradfield (Cape Cod poet-naturalist).
The students traveled to Provincetown to visit the seal haul out. The art students were charged with doing plein air paintings of the dunes and capturing images of the seals for charcoal drawings back at home. The english students wrote haibun poems about the trip that were placed in book of handmade paper. In addition, the art class constructed a life-size seal made of fishing net. All of the items were exhibited at the Falmouth Museums on the Green, along with a 'seal-posium' where Gast, Bogomolni and Gordon Waring (NOAA NMFS) participated in presentations and discussion regarding the seals. The large, green fishnet seal was included in the Provincetown Green Arts Festival later that spring.
The field trip, camera and project supplies were supported by a Falmouth Education Foundation grant to Jane Baker.
Oceanography Badge (Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts)
Gast participated in a local troop meeting to help introduce the scouts to the field of oceanography as part of their effort to earn Oceanography badges.
Illustrating Science (2018)
FHS Advanced Art students used artwork to bring attention to scientific topics being studied by WHOI Biology faculty. Scientists were asked to submit a paragraph describing their work, or an aspect of it. The students then created acrylic on panel door murals that illustrated their interpretation of the research. The students and faculty had an opportunity to meet at a public reception where the murals were displayed. Murals are currently mounted on scientist’s laboratory doors.