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Celebrate World Oceans Day with Georgia Southern University

Casey Schachner (above) forms a sculpture made of algae for an exhibit at the UGA Marine Education Center. “SUBMERGED: An Underwater Exhibition of Bioceramic Artwork” will be open on June 10.

As part of World Ocean Day on June 10, Georgia Southern University will display sculptures in 16 exhibit tanks at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium in Savannah. The pieces are part of an exhibit at the aquarium titled “SUBMERGED: An Underwater Exhibition of Bioceramic Artwork.”

The sculptures were designed by students and faculty of Georgia Southern’s Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art, and supported by the UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

The bioceramic sculptures range in subject matter from realistic ocean species, such as octopus and sea turtles, to abstract sculptural forms that were created to engage with the aquarium fish in a new and interesting way. The students were encouraged to consider the coastal environments of Georgia but also to interpret the exhibition however they felt inspired by the material.

Casey Schachner, assistant professor of art, said working with these materials in this way was an exciting process, and the goal of the exhibit is to raise environmental awareness on coastal Georgia ecosystems.

“It’s important to consider environmental impacts of the materials we work with as artists,” said Schachner. “This collaboration between art and science is just one creative way of dealing with the algae waste from our waterways and hopefully, this show inspires others to consider how they can make their own unique impact.”

The displays are more than good for the eyes. They’re also good for the ecosystem. They are made from native algae and will be placed in the Skidaway River after the art exhibit closes. In this position, they will help form new oyster reefs.

The World Oceans Day event will take place between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but the exhibit will be open until 5 p.m. Admission is free and no registration is required. For more information, go to this website.

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