Seattle-based artist Dakota Gearhart is gearing up for an experience of a lifetime–a chance to document and explore the only coral reef in the contiguous United States. Located three miles east of Key Largo in the Florida Keys, the 7,000 year-old reef has captured Gearhart’s attention (as well as thousands of other visitors), for its unique and varied environment.
Gearhart is hoping to raise $6,000 in order to create an underwater film exploring economics, new media and the marine biology of the coral reef. Gearhart’s film acts as both a tool for education and exploration of this unique reef, but also as a way to push her work “into new conceptual territory.” Gearhart states, “By allowing me to study our underwater world from an artistic point of view, your support will play a direct role in re-imagining the ways in which we perceive and move through our many possible futures.”
The coral reef holds both an economic and ecological existence. While the economy surrounding the region is flourishing (thanks to tourists looking to experience the coral reef for themselves), the coral is becoming depleted and bleached. Gearhart’s film, entitled Sunken Hot House, seeks to explore this relationship, and will focus on the “interplay and the competition between our notions of the environment as an object of conservation and as an object of entertainment.”
As a graduate from the University of Washington’s MFA program, Gearhart has been featured in many galleries and shows throughout the Pacific Northwest. Dakota Gearhart has exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery, 4Culture, On the Ground Floor in Los Angeles, BronxArtSpace in New York, FalseFront in Portland and Vulpes Vulpes in London. She is the recipient of the Art Trust Project Grant, the 4Culture Individual Project Grant and the Jane Davis Fellowship.
If you are interested in supporting this unique and exciting project, or in learning more about it, click here.