Time for some crewed sketches

Nestled in the woods at the foot of Cascade Head, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology is the perfect place for artists and researchers seeking to pursue their work away from the distractions of modern life.

But just in case the rustic campus is not isolated enough, Sitka is offering the chance for one adventurous artist to get truly remote, by tagging along on a 10-day ocean research expedition off the West Coast next March.

Visual artists, writers and musicians are invited to apply for the Artist at Sea Residency position, which will see them become part of the crew of an Oregon State University research vessel on a mission to study mesozooplankton off the coast of Oregon and California.

The artist’s job will be to create a product that gives a unique voice to the research team’s findings and processes. The goal of this collaboration is to enhance both the scientific process and broaden cultural understanding of science.

This is the third in a series of four oceanic research trips for which OSU received Artist at Sea Residency grant funding from the National Science Foundation.

The first of the four trips took place in February 2018 with artist Rebecca Welti spending 10 days on the research ship Sikuliaq observing and conversing with scientists from OSU, University of Oregon and Portland State University.

“The exchanges of ideas and varying perspectives of life, work and the ocean over several days provided a uniquely stimulating environment for an artist,” Welti said. “I drew, photographed and planned sculptures based on the waves, the microscopic plankton and the excellent library of marine science books. Many dedicated and playful individuals onboard made the trip a fascinating and complete adventure.”

The upcoming expedition will run from Feb. 28 through March 13, and the deadline for residency applications is Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Applicants need not be experts in plankton, but must be creating work that highlights ocean ecology and the importance of understanding the benefits and health of this ecosystem.

The chosen artist will receive free room and board while on the ship, plus an optional two-week stay at Sitka’s main campus to creatively respond to the experience

The position also includes a $1,000 artist stipend, $300 travel stipend, plus a materials stipend of between $100 and $350, depending on the creative medium

Artwork created in response to this residency experience will be displayed or shared through a variety of channels, including the Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center, the Sitka Art Invitational and at a scaled traveling show with the intent of touring both Oregon’s metropolitan areas as well as underserved coastal communities.

To apply, go to www.sitkacenter.org and follow the link for “Residencies.”

For more information, call 541-994-5485 or email sarahaug@sitkacenter.org.

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