Funded by a generous grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, the Bristol Art Museum will host a screening of To the Surface, a film by Bristol-native Tyler Murgo who raises questions about the global impact of Narragansett Bay’s seafood industry and sustainability efforts by local fishermen. The event will also feature a panel discussion and announcement of the launch of the Bristol Waterfront Story Project. The screening will take place in-person and virtually, on Thursday, May 26 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The screening and Waterfront Story Project are made possible through a community grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.
Panel Discussion Following the screening, Murgo and Skylar Bayer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology and Aquaculture at Roger Williams University will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Bristol-based artist Kendall Reiss. The discussion will explore: • What is the role of art in the face of climate change? • How can artists address public advocacy and civic responsibility in their work? • Can storytelling lead to awareness and change?
“I'm looking forward to hearing from the community about their experiences living along the ocean and what it means to them,” shared Professor Bayer. “Our connections to our communities and environment are so important to share with one another. I'm also looking forward to sharing my experiences as both a storyteller and marine scientist at this panel.”
The Bristol Waterfront Story Project At the screening, Reiss will introduce the Bristol Waterfront Story Project, an initiative that invites individuals to record stories, reminiscences, and local lore related to the Bristol, R.I. waterfront. Funded by a Community Grant from the Rhode Island Foundation, the project seeks to engage the Bristol community for individual storytelling and to form a collective archive of memory to be preserved for future generations. Stories collected between May 27 and July 10, 2022, will be made available on the Bristol Art Museum website.
The project invites individuals to respond to three prompts: 1. How does the waterfront make Bristol a community for you? 2. Do you have memories of the waterfront? From childhood? Or otherwise? What stories would you want to pass on to your kids or grandkids? 3. If you had to predict the future for Bristol and the waterfront, what would that look like? What are you hoping for? What worries you about our future?
The audio recordings can be made by phone, through Zoom sessions, or in-person recordings held throughout Bristol.
Meet the Panelists Tyler Murgo is an accomplished cinematographer and photographer based in New York City and New England. His clients include Thom Browne, New York Times, L.L. Bean, Publix, and RI Tourism.
Skylar Bayer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology and Aquaculture and Extension Specialist at Roger Williams University, specializes in developing field methodologies that combine classic techniques of measurement and analysis with modern tools including environmental DNA analysis and nutrient analysis. Professor Bayer holds a B.S. in Marine Biology from Brown University, an M.S. in Biological Oceanography from the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, and a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from the University of Maine.
The moderator, Kendall Reiss, is a Professor of the Practice at Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Reiss is also a Bristol-based artist with a gallery and studio there. With expertise in metals, her work has been exhibited in the Clark Gallery, Greenville Center for Creative Arts, Bristol Art Museum, and Haskell Public Gardens. She holds a B.S. in Geology and an MFA in Jewelry + Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Land Acknowledgment Bristol Art Museum is located on the ancestral homelands of the Pokanoket, Wampanoag, and Narragansett tribal nations whose people have an enduring, reciprocal relationship to this sacred site. The museum is also sited on the grounds of Linden Place, which was once a slave-holding estate. Colonial inhabitants of this land benefited politically and economically from the economies of slavery that cultivated Bristol, Rhode Island.
Through this acknowledgment, the Bristol Art Museum seeks to recognize the complex cultural and social history of the land upon which the museum is physically situated, as a way to resist ongoing settler-colonial narratives that marginalize Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.