2021 2021: Sea Scallops: Sentinels of the Deep
Sea Scallops: Sentinels of the Deep

The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute & School for Marine Science and Technology collaborate to feature an exhibit highlighting scientific archival photography pivotal in the revival of the scallop industry.

Patagonian scallops captured by SMAST researcher Kyle Cassidy during research cruise to Argentina.
Patagonian scallops captured with Dr. Kevin Stokesbury's underwater video technology (Photo courtesy of K. Stokebsury.)

The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA) in partnership with UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) will present “Sea Scallops: Sentinels of the Deep.”  The exhibit, which runs from June through October, is part of DATMA’s collaborative venture called “WATER 2021.” The free public art projects examine the role of water within the histories, economies, and cultures of several countries as well as SouthCoast Massachusetts—from its geographic location and its wide-ranging fishing industry to the technologies of the 21st century providing new sources of energy while protecting the fragile ecology of the region.

The “Sea Scallops: Sentinels of the Deep” exhibit comprises scientific archival imagery that captures the region’s seafloor. Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, SMAST Professor of Fisheries Oceanography, and his team of researchers capture scallop imagery using advanced underwater video technology. The image-based, drop camera survey, developed by Stokesbury and his team, counts, and identifies scallops while immersed in the ocean, helps to protect specific habitats, identify specific species in every image, and guide regulators on the management of fishery. This method has also been pivotal in the revival of the scallop industry and has helped the city of New Bedford maintain its position as the nation’s No.1 fishing port for two decades. The “Sea Scallops: Sentinels of the Deep” exhibit also highlights the women in fisheries science conducting this important research, which has given the local scallop industry a re-birth and revolutionized fishing on the East Coast.

The public outdoor exhibition will be displayed on storefront windows on a series of historic buildings in downtown New Bedford along Union Street between Acushnet Avenue and North 2nd Street from June 17 to October 17, 2021.

About the Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute

The Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute (DATMA) was founded to enhance the evolving dynamic cultural and economic life of Southcoast Massachusetts. DATMA is committed to bringing world-renowned art, design, and technology exhibitions, programs, and initiatives to the visitors and citizens of New Bedford and the region, identified as one of the Commonwealth’s most creative economies by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. As an exhibitor of public art, DATMA collaborates with the business and education sectors of the region to expand public awareness, bringing new cultural assets into the mix.

In 2020, DATMA presented “LIGHT 2020,” consisting of virtual programs and outdoor exhibitions for audiences to engage with artwork from the outdoors during the Covid-19 pandemic. “LIGHT 2020,” inspired by the 19th-century whaling industry in New Bedford (also known as “the city that lit the world”) focused on programs united by the theme of light. Three large-scale digital projections with a unique musical accompaniment called “Vessels” by Boston’s MASARY Studios and artist Soo Sunny Park’s “Photo-Kinetic Grid” exhibition were showcased last summer. Previously in 2019, DATMA and its partners kicked off a city-wide, collaborative venture called “Summer Winds.” DATMA commissioned a large-scale, site-specific architectural art installation called “Silver Current”—created by internationally celebrated and Los Angeles, CA-based artist Patrick Shearn and his Poetic Kinetics team—hanging over Custom House Square in New Bedford, MA, receiving notable reviews near and far.

Founded in 2016, DATMA has a diverse, highly motivated 16-member Board of Trustees including prominent members of the regional and global business, civic, philanthropic, arts, design, and technology sectors. Roger Mandle, Co-Founder and former Board Chair of DATMA, passed away in November 2020. He had 40 years of experience in building museums around the world and was a major contributor of the STEM to STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education initiative, championed by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which he had served as President. www.DATMA.org.