Artists’ Talk At Bell Gallery

(4.5) The plight of the endangered saltmarsh sparrow will be the subject of a new installation at the Bell Gallery. Collaborative artist team Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson will discuss their new exhibition “The Only Show in Town” this Friday with reception to follow. Exhibit runs through July 7.

Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir and Mark Wilson’s socially-engaged and research-based practice explores contemporary relationships between human and non-human animals in the contexts of history, culture, and the environment. The Only Show in Town is the artists’ response to the plight of the saltmarsh sparrow, resident in the world only along a narrow and depleted margin of the east coast of North America. The survival of these small birds—which nest in the grasses of the saltmarsh—is threatened by climate change and sea-level rise, and ornithologists predict the extinction of the species by 2050.

During the summer of 2018, Snæbjörnsdóttir and Wilson joined biologists Deirdre Robinson and Steve Reinhart of the Saltmarsh Sparrow Research Initiatives at Jacob’s Point in Warren, RI. The initiative is racing the tides to learn as much as possible about saltmarsh sparrows—the “canaries in the salt marsh”—before their expected extinction, and to build support for saving other saltmarsh species.

A second event, ‘Canaries in the Saltmarsh: averting extinction in the era of sea-level rise,’ takes place 5:30pm, Thursday, April 18.

More at the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture. Robinson spoke with the ProJo in 2017.

Free and open to the public, 5:30pm, Friday, April 5, Bell Gallery, 64 College Street, (directions)

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