EVENTS AND PERFORMANCES ON VIEW TODAY – The Joseph Rossano Salmon Project: A Collaboration in Conservation


The Joseph Rossano Salmon Project

A Collaboration in Conservation

This work is featured in a Special ARTSY Viewing Room at this link:

School isan international traveling exhibition, conceptualized and spearheaded 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 glassmakers from around the world, as well as first-hand video accounts from scientists, artists, and indigenous peoples.
Hosted by STARworks NC, glassmakers across the globe will create fish as part of the Glass Art Society’s 2021 virtual conference, May 18 -21. Participating studios and universities include Studio BLAST in Tromso Norway,  Devereux & Husky in Wiltshire, UK, Benefield & Spencer Glass in  Ballintoy, Northern Ireland, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, STARworks in Star, NC, Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY, Australian National University in Canberra, and Osaka University of Art in Osaka, Japan. Each will host fish-making events.

MAY 19, 2021
STARworks / Star, NC – 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m PDT
Urban Glass / Brooklyn, NY – 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PDT 


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 steelhead return to the Skagit in the late winter when cupboards were historically bare, they once served as an essential food supply to indigenous peoples. The stories of the region’s people and their use of its land over thousands of years offer captivating and actionable insights that Rossano hopes will bring disparate groups together to benefit these fish and those dependent on them.

Joining this ambitious collaboration are, The Missing Salmon Alliance, The Wild Salmon Center, the Atlantic Salmon Trust, Salmon Nation, and the Smithsonian Institution. Together these organizations are working with Joseph Rossano to propose School as the backdrop for the United Nations Conference on Global Climate Change, COP26. The conference will take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November of 2021. 

The proposal to feature School as the Salmon School at COP26 is described in detail in this booklet:
Before School returns to its natal river, Museum of Glass, in 2022, a population of makers will strive to exceed a symbolic 2,504 fish — the estimated lowest steelhead return to the Skagit River to date — demonstrating how a group of concerned individuals can work together to foment recovery.
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 will change to cast light on that river and its fish populations. When in Scotland the story might focus on the River Clyde; in New York, the Connecticut; in Montreal, the Grand Cascapédia; yet, at the exhibit’s end, like the salmon and steelhead it mimics, it will return to the place of its spawning in the Pacific Northwest. With that return, School will tell the story of vanishing and endangered fish, their world, and the world of makers that grew this vision of awareness through art. 
All are welcome to join the School.

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