Exhibit Highlights Human Impacts on Marine Ecosystems

Jul 24, 2017

"Off The River - Journal Entry" is one of Robert Perkins' multi-media pieces in the "Risk in the Marine Environment" exhibit.
Credit Courtesy of Robert Perkins / Sargent Gallery

Human activities are altering rivers and ocean ecosystems in dramatic ways. Science is one way of knowing this, and of communicating it. But it’s not always the most effective way.

Robert F. Perkins is a multimedia artist who has been solo canoeing in the Arctic for close to thirty years. He’s also canoed the Limpopo River in Africa, and the Connecticut River – right here in our own backyard.

Not surprisingly, he says there's a common theme: more people, more contamination and degradation.

Perkins has written books and produced films about his canoe voyages. Now, his paintings are part of a three-artist exhibit at the Sargent Gallery, on Martha's Vineyard, called Risk and the Marine Environment. Perkins says his goal is to appeal to people's hearts, to help people appreciate the natural world ... "and not treat the earth like dirt."

Perkins has collaborated with poets before, but never scientists. He says he'd be interested in trying that. If you study an Arctic river or vulnerable marine ecosystem, and would like to give it a shot, let us know!