New art exhibition documents ocean research

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Watercolor of bow of boat with sun over ocean horizon.

"Seascape #4," a watercolor by Wendy Klemperer.

A new exhibition, "Wendy Klemperer: Artist at Sea," will be on view at the UNH Museum of Art beginning Aug. 30 and running through Oct. 15, 2021. The Museum of Art and programs are open to the public free of charge.

In 2019, Wendy Klemperer joined Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds, director of the UNH Center for Acoustics Research and Education, for a unique three-week artist residency at sea as part of a project focused on the development of the Atlantic Deepwater Ecosystem Observatory Network (ADEON). Her pencil sketches of the crew members highlight the collaborative nature of scientific research and her watercolors of the sea and ocean life celebrate the scientific and experiential rewards of conducting environmental research outdoors.

Ink on paper sketch of man with glasses.
ink on paper by wendy klemperer: Kyle Covert, Junior Engineer, R/v Neil Armstrong, 2019.

“Having an artist onboard highlighted elements of science that I as a scientist often either take for granted in the unpredictable atmosphere of field work, overlook, or underappreciate," says Miksis-Olds. "Wendy’s ability to capture the humanity onboard the ship in her portraits of the ship and science crews really captured the message that at-sea research is a team sport. Every person Wendy captured in her portfolio of portraits was essential to a successful science cruise. From the cooks who took such good care of us to the often unseen engineers that kept the vessel and everything on it running, every person played a role. Often it is only the scientists that get credited with the research results. Wendy reminded us all that each person on the ship is essential in successful oceanographic research.”

“I have always admired explorers — scientists, artists and adventurers seeking information from the natural world — and was happy to join their ranks on this three week excursion at sea," Klemperer says. "This saw me deciphering the massive marine migration each day on computer screens, throwing net tows at midnight, drawing portraits of scientists and crew and painting watercolor ship details and seascapes whenever time allowed. The experience whetted my appetite for more, and deepened my admiration for scientists probing the ocean depths for greater knowledge.”

An ArtLAB lecture Sept. 8 from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Museum of Art in the PCAC will be followed by a reception in the museum from 5 to 6:30 p.m. This hour-long discussion will include the work of Klemperer and Miksis-Olds, as well as accounts of their experiences and research from the three weeks aboard the R/V Neil Armstrong. An additional ArtBreak artist talk will take place with Klemperer on Sept. 15 from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in the PCAC. Klemperer will present work from her artist in residence and share her studio practice.

For more information on these programs visit the museum's website. The Museum of Art hours of operation during the academic year are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Sundays and university holidays.

About the artist

Exhibiting artist Wendy Klemperer earned a bachelor’s in biochemistry at Harvard before moving to New York City to pursue art full time, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture at Pratt Institute. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, and Nelson, New Hampshire. Klemperer is known for her large-scale animal welded sculptures created from industrial refuse, rebar and reinforcement rod used in buildings, bridges and highways. Exhibitions include Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, New York; Bridgewater-Lustberg Gallery, New York City; Pratt Institute Sculpture Park, Brooklyn, New York; and DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts. Her works are installed throughout the U.S. and are part of permanent installations at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine and Lay Sculpture Park in Missouri, Great Falls International Airport in Montana, Farmingdale State College, in Farmingdale, New York and SIAS University in Xinzheng, China. Klemperer has taught welded sculpture workshops for more than a decade at several venues, including the Educational Alliance and 3rd Ward, both in New York City, and the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland, Vermont. She has been a visiting artist and lectured about her work at universities throughout the United States.

About Atlantic Deepwater Ecosystem Observatory Network (ADEON)

The Atlantic Deepwater Ecosystem Observatory Network (ADEON) for the U.S. Mid- and South Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) was developed and deployed in November 2017. The lead P.I. for this project is Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds, director of the UNH Center for Acoustics Research and Education and research professor in the UNH School of Marine Science & Ocean Engineering. Miksis-Olds leads a collaborative research team consisting of individuals from UNH, Observing AirSea Interactions Strategy (OASIS), Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research, JASCO Applied Sciences, Stony Brook University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

This observatory network generates long-term measurements of both the natural and human factors active in this region, thus informing the ecology and soundscape of the Outer Continental Shelf. These data will provide further a mechanistic understanding of the cumulative impacts these factors have on marine resources and provide insight for ecosystem-based management efforts. Long-term observations of living marine resources and marine sound will assist federal agencies, including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in complying with mandates in the Endangered Species Act (ESA), Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), and Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA).

Exhibitions and accompanying programs are supported by Friends of the Museum of Art. UNH plans a fully open and in-person fall semester. Some precautions may remain in effect such as decreased density as recommended by the CDC and state public health officials. Any precautions affecting the museum will be noted on our website prior to each event or program. For more of the latest updates visit UNH COVID19 guidelines.