Tina Green-Price wasn't just looking for pretty pictures of the ocean when she invited a dozen Northwest artists to exhibit works for a show related to the Oregon State University 150 Sea Grant Festival.

Green-Price, the curator of the Giustina Gallery in the LaSells Stewart Center at OSU, wanted art that would represent the research done at the university and that also would feature diverse media and perspectives.

The exhibit, "An Ocean of Impact," opens today in the Giustina Gallery. The reception is tonight. Most of the participating artists are expected to attend.

"It's a good opportunity for people to come an engage with the artists and researchers," Green-Price said.

Two such OSU researchers, Jerri Bartholomew and Chi Meredith, will have art on display in the exhibit.

Bartholomew, who is a professor and head of the Microbiology Department, shows a glass piece featuring images of microscopic plankton embedded in the glass.

Meredith, a retired oceanography research assistant and professional artist, created acrylic paintings based her research. She went to sea on research vessels and always traveled with drawing materials, a camera, pipettes and acids. When she returned home, she would create paintings and prints.

"Both of those two women have been instrumental in pushing OSU research forward, and they're also artists who are well-known," Green-Price said.

Like Bartholomew and Meredith, artist Heather Fortner has an ocean research background. For more than 30 years, she worked as a commercial fisherman and deckhand aboard research vessels in Hawaii and Alaska.

Fortner displays Gyotaku, an ancient Japanese method of printing.

"She actually takes the fish and sea life and prints it on rice paper," Green-Price said.

The exhibit features a variety of watercolor paintings by the late Nelson Sandgren. They were loaned by his son, Erik Sandgren, who also displays acrylic and watercolor paintings.

One of Nelson Sandgren's main pieces is a painting of an OSU research boat called the Puma in the Sea of Cortez.

A friend of Sandgren's, Humberto Gonzalez, who taught art at Lebanon High School from 1971 to 1999, also displays watercolor paintings of fishing boats and other subjects.

Additional painters featured in the exhibit include Annalee Fuentes, Becky Miller, Mike Rangner, and William Shumway.

Green-Price said Shumway, a mid-valley artist, always does amazing work.

"He's created some beautiful pieces of not just scenery but sea life," she said.

One of the more unusual pieces in the exhibit comes from Jeff Goldberg, who displays a three-dimensional sandstone sculpture that has formed metal sea life attached to it, Green-Price said.

"An Ocean of Impact" is rounded out by woodblock printer Kevin Clark, who lends a lighter side to the exhibit, Green-Price said.

The curator hopes the exhibit will draw people to the OSU 150 Sea Grant Festival, Feb. 12-24, and vice versa. She also hopes that attendees will see the bigger picture.

"I think the viewers will take the opportunity to engage in what the university is doing to help save our oceans and planet, not just here at the Oregon coast, but it actually reaches throughout the world," Green-Price said.

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