Southern Maine artist Ann Thompson, introduced me to the IFF and their Crochet Coral Reef project in January of 2010. It was one of the most impressive Fiber Art displays I had ever seen! As the annual organizer of the Fiber Center exhibit at Fryeburg Fair, I began to daydream of how great it would be to bring this amazing visual art project to Maine; create a coral reef from fiber, and show it at the Fiber Center during Fair week.
As a Fiber Artist, I only saw it as a fiber project and perfect for the annual Fiber Center display at Fryeburg Fair. Visions of all kinds went through my head as I thought of the creations that might come from the many talented women that make up the Fiber Center volunteers. I also thought of how this project would provide a common purpose and bring together many people throughout the state who crochet and practice fiber arts making this an awesome statewide community effort.
Once I began to have serious thoughts about making this happen, I learned about the nexus that the Institute For Figuring (IFF) presents in the making of a crocheted reef. I contemplated the art, math and science connection but became very interested in the ecological implications it presented as well. I began seeking to find connections between Maine and the coral reefs of the world.
In but a few hours of on line research I discovered that the state of Maine's oceans, shellfish and economy all have potential to experience the same impact of increased acidification of our oceans, that coral reefs are experiencing in all but a few places on earth. This new information instantly expanded my views of what kind of impact this project could have. Since that time, I have also been made aware that Maine indeed does have coral reefs in it's oceans.
It brings me the greatest pleasure to be organizing a project that has potential to do so much!
Here are some of those things:
- For Maine to be a part of an international educational art project
- To bring an amazingly beautiful Fiber Art Project to the people of Maine
- To encourage and build community by participation in creating and displaying the reef
- To create opportunities for teaching artists to teach workshops
- To create opportunities for people to learn a new hobby
- To offer children a venue for creating fiber art that will be displayed at the fair
- To increase awareness in the people of Maine that we are not immune to the issues affecting the health of coral reefs around the world
- To increase awareness of research efforts regarding the health of our Maine waters and how it affects local shellfish and economy
- To connect universities and colleges throughout the state with the IFF and the message it shares about the connection of math, science, art and ecology
- To share our accomplishments and progress on the internet with the world
- To have fun!