Current Art Exhibits

Anna Dibble of the Gulf of Maine EcoArts & Senior Research Scientist Nick Record viewing the Majestic Fragility exhibit

As part of our mission to inspire people to embrace the importance and opportunity of the ocean, Bigelow Laboratory scientists regularly collaborate with artists to share their work with the public. The artistic process can provide the emotional translation needed to communicate the significance of science and spread the passion researchers feel for the natural world. Through our visiting artist-in-residence program and artistic collaborations, we help connect people with the heart of discovery and encourage them to care as much as we do, a vital component to building a society guided by science.

To view the current art installations on our campus, please visit Bigelow Laboratory, located at 60 Bigelow Drive in East Boothbay, on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. For the safety of our community, masks are required at all times when indoors.

"Majestic Fragility," Gulf of Maine EcoArts

Majestic Fragility exhibit currently on view at Bigelow Labs

"Majestic Fragility" celebrates ocean life and the scientific efforts to understand it. The two-story installation is the culmination of a three-year project focused on the Gulf of Maine and the human impacts that affect it. Inspired by the natural world under the waves, five artists worked with scientists to create a scene of the normally unseen.

The installation features a range of key endangered and threatened marine life from phytoplankton to birds in sculpture, textile art, and prints. At its center is a bone-white, 24-foot sculpture of a North Atlantic Right Whale, one of the most endangered species on the planet.

The work aims to capture the dynamic biodiversity of our oceans and inspire people to think about how they are connected to it. It was designed and built by the Gulf of Maine EcoArts, a collaborative of Maine artists who set out to create art inspired by, and to celebrate, the environment. It also involved a team of educators and students from more than 16 Maine schools – from middle school through college. The exhibit is slated to be on display until Fall 2022.

“Ultra-Fine Art of Coccolithophores,” William Balch

Coccolithophore under great magnification

Coccolithophores are one of the most ubiquitous types of phytoplankton on the planet. They have a major impact on food webs and global carbon and chemical cycles. They also have a unique mechanism for protection. Coccolithophores cover themselves with minuscule limestone plates called coccoliths. The result is a beautiful mosaic in an extensive range of otherworldly shapes.

Senior Research Scientist Barney Balch celebrates the beauty and diversity of these amazing microalgae in “Ultra-Fine Art of Coccolithophores,” a freely available e-book, which can also be purchased in hard copy. The images were created from samples taken over decades of field research around the world. The book shares the wonder of these tiny organisms and the underlying science that connects them to our planet – and ourselves.