Academic Spotlight
Faculty Research, Performance and Exhibitions

Kent Island Inspires Student Exhibition In Canada

Story posted October 05, 2010

One of New Brunswick, Canada's, premiere galleries, the Saint John Arts Centre, has mounted an exhibition of works by five Bowdoin students who have lived and worked at the Bowdoin Scientific Station (BSS) at Kent Island.

"Island Bound," on display through Oct. 30, 2010, features photographs, and art work by Evan Graff '11, Elsbeth Paige-Jeffers '10, Colin Matthews '10, and Carina Sandoval '10; and poetry and prose of Anne Rothacker '11.

Kent Island Exhibition Online
Evan Graff photo

View selected photographs, prints and poetry by Bowdoin students in display at the Saint John Arts Centre, New Brunswick, Canada, through Oct. 2010. Their work documents the intricate balance of nature and human endeavor at the remote Bowdoin Scientific Station at Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy.

View online gallery of selected works.

Their works illuminate the textures of Kent Island—the stunning physical landscape of this remote island in the Bay of Fundy, and the intricate human enterprise of living and working together in a small community.

"The BSS has supported summer research since 1936," notes Kent Island director Damon Gannon. "Our artists-in-residence bring a unique viewpoint to the experience of what it's like to be in a tightly-knit scientific community, working side-by-side with leading scientists, graduate students and other undergrads. Their creative output captures things we sometimes don't see when we're steeped in daily island life."

It was a return trip, with a new lens, for Evan Graff. The biology major spent the previous summer at BSS doing fieldwork on savannah sparrows for his honors project. This summer he returned as the McKee Photography Fellow.

"My idea was simple," he says. "Not that many people from Bowdoin get to go up there, since it's so hard to get to, so I wanted to put together a group of images that would show people what it's like to spend a summer there doing research and living on the island."

Graff is an experienced wildlife photographer, however, photographing people was a bird of a different feather, he found: "With animals, sure, you can scare them away. But if you don't scare them, it's not like they're going to act self-consciously around you."

Over time, Graff says he learned that the best way to make people feel comfortable was to join the action. "I would try to be part of the process, whatever it was," he said, "and then in the middle I would take some pictures."

Graff will have a solo exhibition of black-and-white images from Kent Island on display at the Visual Arts Center, Oct. 22-Nov. 4, 2010.

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