SCHOOL is an international traveling exhibition spearheaded and conceptualized by artist Joseph Rossano that casts light on the diminished state of global salmon and steelhead populations. The installation features a life-size school of mirrored salmon-like forms, sculpted from molten glass by concerned individuals from around the world, as well as first hand video accounts from renowned scientists, artists, and indigenous peoples.
"Rossano's SCHOOL asks each viewer to consider the value of wild salmonids in their lives"
The Joseph Rossano Salmon Project: A Collaboration in Conservation SCHOOL is inspired by the Skagit River, the fourth largest outflow to the Pacific Ocean in the continental United States, and its dwindling run of salmon and steelhead. Once numbering in the millions, the Skagit’s salmon stocks now number barely in the tens of thousands. Whereas the river's steelhead population, which once numbered in the tens of thousands, now numbers only in the hundreds. Because the steelhead return to the Skagit in the late winter when cupboards were historically bare, they once served as an important food supply to indigenous peoples. The stories of the region’s people and their use of its land over thousands of years offers captivating and actionable insights that Rossano hopes will bring disparate groups together for the benefit of these fish and those dependent on them. In the fall of 2018, Rossano gathered with glass artists, scientists, and a community of the concerned at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, to begin creating fish for the exhibition—kicking off a series of making events at venues including Schack Art Center in Everett, WA and Hilltop Artists in Tacoma, WA. In partnership with glassmakers across the globe all are invited to create fish at makers events hosted by partner institutions or in their own studios. The finished fish are then sent to be silvered by Joseph Rossano before joining the exhibition at its first stop, Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, WA.
01 THE PROJECT
Conceptualized by artist Joseph Rossano, School is an international, multi-media, traveling art performance and exhibition that casts light on the diminished state of global salmon populations and the habitat on which they depend. The installation features a life-size school of mirrored salmon-like forms, sculpted from molten glass by concerned individuals from around the world, as well as first-hand video accounts from renowned scientists, artists, and indigenous peoples.
As SCHOOL travels to different regions of the globe—regions with their own rivers and issues unique to each stock of fish that depend upon them—the narrative of the exhibition will change to cast light on that region's river and its fish populations. With School's return it will tell the story of vanishing and endangered fish, their world, your world, and the world of makers that grew this symbol of awareness through art.
02 THE FACTS
Wild salmon are in jeopardy of extinction across the globe SCHOOL conjures the plight of the passenger pigeon. This species once congregated in flocks too vast for humans to comprehend, and too vast for them to imagine ever disappearing. Hoping to learn from this bygone species, School seeks 20/20 hindsight. Flocks of passenger pigeons, which once took three days to finish their non-stop migrations, were vanquished by the beginning of the 20th century.
Focusing on Salmonoids, including all six species of Pacific salmon, Steelhead, and the Atlantic salmon, School is a project designed to bring a community together to show the world that these fish are like the passenger pigeon—finite—but if we act together we can change their future and our own. For more information about this work, for to the SCHOOL website at: https://www.thesalmonschool.com
03 THE MISSION
SCHOOL unites communities. School engages local communities through educational programs that blend art, natural history, and modern scientific methods, crafting a story unique to a region's salmon. These programs are realized as part of both School's Maker Events and its Exhibitions. For more information on this project and how the work is created, watch this short video: https://www.thesalmonschool.com/about
For each river system School visits, our science team will work with regional biologists to engage local communities in Citizen Science Workshops. Together, they will learn how to collect eDNA samples, recording a genetic snapshot of the region's salmonid species and the communities in which they live.
These activities will be captured in a documentary film that records this unique community-based collaboration of learning, science and art. Each film will be included as part of the in-gallery exhibit telling the unique story of that region’s people and its school of salmon.
Crafted of blown glass and silver, School positions an entire run of salmon within a known space, such as a basketball court. Placing a seemingly endless resource in a universally understood space offers all who see it true perspective of a seemingly endless world beyond their own homes.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information on this project, watch this short video: https://www.thesalmonschool.com/about GENERAL INFORMATION: [email protected] 206.962.0561 UPCOMING EVENTS SCHEDULE: https://www.thesalmonschool.com/events