If you have ever thought about traveling to create art, Antarctica would be a great place to visit.
No really, Antarctica!
Although it's considered one of the coldest places to visit, the wildlife and natural surroundings of Antarctica provide an artist an experience to be remembered forever. A journey through Antarctica begins at the windy Drake Passage. Named after the 16th century ocean explorer Sir Francis Drake, this passage has views of King George Island, Neko Bay and Peterman Island, among many other beautiful landscapes. Antarctica is also home to diverse birds, graceful whales, cheerful seals and a variety of penguins that you will not see in any other part of the world, living among enormous icebergs in the Arctic Circle.
A Community Of Art
Antarctica is a place of great exploration with a vibrant art community. Led by Argentinian artist Andrea Juan and the Antarctic National Management, “Art in Antarctica” is a cultural program aimed at taking care of the Antarctic heritage. Juan’s work focuses on environmental issues. Through her amazing artwork, Juan is able to convey the colorful and oddly shaped icebergs (which change color and tone according to the daylight), landscapes and different species inhabiting the area.
Together, the Antarctic National Management and Juan have created a program that promotes student participation in “Art in Antarctica.” The program allows a chosen student from Basque Country University, to travel to Antarctica to create artwork among the beautiful landscape. Viewed as a “scientist’s environment”, this program also creates an opportunity to see the relationship between art, science and technology in Antarctica.
Antarctic Artists and Writers Program
Another program offered to artists and writers, is the U.S. Antarctic Program. Although the main purpose of the U.S. Antarctic Program is scientific research and education, it also supports writing and artistic projects specifically designed to increase awareness and appreciation of the Antarctic. In order for artists and writers to complete projects in the region, the program provides three year-round stations and many austral-summer research camps, research ships in the Southern Ocean, as well as air and ground transportation.
Previous participants in the program include:
- Jessica Grindstaff: The Shackleton Project - used of Marionettes to tie modern-day scientific exploration to the "Heroic Era".
- April Surgent: 21st Century Antarctica - The Science and Landscape of Palmer Station - honed a rare artistic technique using glass etchings to document the research conducted at Palmer Station.
- Diane Tuft: The Hidden Light of Antarctica -images taken in the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum of Antarctic landscapes.
- Lily Simonson: Painting Between the Ice: Antarctic Biodiversity from the Dry Valleys to the Sea Floor - produced painted murals that reproduced microscopic creatures in diverse ecosystems.
Although operational support, and round-trip economy air tickets between the United States and the Southern Hemisphere is provided, one downside to the program is that funding is not provided for salaries, materials, completion of projects, or any other purpose. Nevertheless, this is a great opportunity for artists and writers.
BY Sachiko "Sachi" Ito
Contributing from Fort Worth, Texas. (United States)
NOTE: Currently, Andrea Juan is developing SUR POLAR (www.surpolar.org). She is the founder and head of this project that converges 100 artists from around the world.
To learn more, visit:
Video: Art in Antarctica 2016 is provided here as a viewable link from Youtube. Neither journalist nor organization claim any rights to its production.