PORT TOWNSEND — This Friday evening, three lovers of the natural world will invite the public to travel across time and space to Cooper Island, just off Alaska’s North Slope.
This free, livestreamed discussion, titled “Communicating Climate Change through Art, Science and Education,” will start at 7 p.m. Friday, with expeditionary artist Maria Coryell-Martin of Port Townsend and researchers Katie Morrison and George Divoky of Seattle.
The trio will discuss their work on the island, the site of the largest black guillemot colony in Alaska and an important breeding site for horned puffins.
The Jefferson Museum of Art & History is presenting the online event via JCHSmuseum.org from the Calendar link.
While there’s no charge to register, donations to the nonprofit Jefferson County Historical Society are welcome. The one-hour program will be recorded and made available for later viewing.
The museum is also hosting Coryell-Martin’s art exhibition, titled “Witnessing Climate Change.”
A combination of atmospheric paintings from Coryell-Martin’s studio and artifacts from her research trips, the show is on display through December, while the Jefferson Museum of Art & History is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays at 540 Water St.
Friday’s program and the show are “a multidisciplinary effort to understand our changing environment,” said Coryell-Martin, who also presented an outdoor art workshop in September.
“I love bringing science into non-science spaces,” the artist added.
Divoky, for his part, has been studying Cooper Island’s guillemots for nearly half a century. These seabirds are circumpolar — found throughout the North Pole region — and depend on sea ice all year.
In 47 consecutive summers of research, Divoky has created a unique time series, documenting population trends. It’s an unprecedented data set.
Morrison is the educator link in Friday’s discussion. A teacher who works with Seattle’s University Child Development School as well as the National Science Teacher Association, she has also collaborated with Divoky and serves as board chair for the nonprofit Friends of Cooper Island (cooperisland.org).
When her art exhibition was installed, Coryell-Martin was delighted — and relieved. It was originally scheduled to open in March 2020.
At last, her images of the Arctic — 46 miniature works plus about two dozen full-size paintings — fill the museum gallery, transporting viewers to a remote place in the midst of sweeping change.
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]