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Art + Environmental Advocacy Panel Discussion

6 pm     Newport Art Museum (76 Bellevue Avenue)



Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Jonathan Stone, Executive Director of Save the Bay

Joan Hall, Exhibiting Artist 

Moderated by Avory Brookins, Environmental Reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio


Artists often serve as bell-weathers for contemporary issues and concerns. Fearless, artists are frequently some of the most vocal, animated, forward-thinking, and inspired champions of underrepresented social, economic, intellectual, moral, spiritual, humanitarian, global, and environmental issues. 

The current solo exhibition, Sea of Heartbreak by artist, sailor and environmental activist Joan Hall, is as visually stunning as it is a disturbing cautionary tale. Her delicate, complex and lacy large-scale works of art and installations have a dark underbelly. They seek to expose the damage to the global marine ecosystem caused by thousands of metric tons of un-biodegradable plastic waste floating in our seas. Increasing ocean temperatures has contributed to devastating ecological shifts, invasive algae blooms and dying coral reefs. 
The Art + Environmental Advocacy Panel will dive into issues of global warming and ocean health, public policy and personal responsibility, in a panel discussion held at the Newport Art Museum in partnership with Rhode Island Public Radio on July 6, 2018 at 6 pm. 

Admission to this event is free, but space is limited and advanced reservations are highly recommended. Donations welcome. 



About our Panelists:

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

In the United States Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse has earned a reputation as a fierce advocate for progressive values and a thoughtful legislator capable of reaching across the aisle to achieve bipartisan solutions.  The Providence Journal described Sheldon as “a strong-willed and articulate member of the Senate on national issues and an energetic champion of Rhode Island economic and other interests.”
Senator Whitehouse’s work in the Senate has focused on defense of Social Security and Medicare, delivery system reform in our health care system, confronting threats in cyberspace, the health of our oceans and coasts, campaign finance reform, and improved American infrastructure. 
Whitehouse has been at the center of bipartisan efforts to reform the criminal justice system, overhaul federal education law, and strengthen our nation’s cyber-security protection. In 2016, his comprehensive legislation to address the nation’s opioid abuse epidemic was signed into law.  A member of the Senate Budget Committee since 2007, he has also worked closely with Republican members of the Committee to improve the Senate budget process.

A graduate of Yale University and the University of Virginia School of Law, Sheldon served in senior roles in state government before his appointment by President Clinton as Rhode Island’s United States Attorney in 1994.  Sheldon was elected Attorney General of Rhode Island in 1998, and in 2006 to the Senate, where he serves on the Finance Committee; the Judiciary Committee, the Environment and Public Works Committee; and the Budget Committee.

He and his wife Sandra, a marine biologist and environmental advocate, live in Newport.  They have two children.


Joan Hall, Newport Art Museum Exhibiting Artist 

Known for her large-scale installations of primarily handmade paper that is combined with mixed media with an emphasis on glass and steel, Hall is known for her innovation approaches to materials and process.

Hall’s work has been exhibited at international museums and galleries that include: The Brooklyn Museum of Art, St. Louis Art Museum, Leopold-Hoesch Museum, Germany, Newport Art Museum, Museum of Nebraska Art, Walton Arts Center, Silkeborg Art Center, Denmark, The Blue Star Contemporary Art Center, The Rijswijk Museum, Holland and the Appledoorn Museum, Holland. 

She is an Emerita Professor at Washington University in St. Louis where she taught printmaking and sculpture and currently is a visiting critic in the graduate program at the Rhode Island School of Design.  She has received numerous grants and awards in her field, including two from the NEA.

Selected books include:  500 Paper Objects, New Directions in Paper, Papermaking for Printmakers, The Art and Craft of Papermaking, Critical Mass, Papermaking for Printers, Artforms, and the Art of Papermaking.

Jonathan Stone, Executive Director of Save the Bay

Jonathan joined Save The Bay in early 2009 as the organization’s fourth executive director.  After growing up in suburban Boston and spending summers on Buzzards Bay, he first moved to Rhode Island in 1976 to attend Brown University, before going on to earn an MBA at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Business Administration and begin a finance career in Seattle and Boston. His love of the sea brought him to back to the Ocean State in 1989, when he promptly joined Save The Bay as a member and swimmer.

Like many Rhode Islanders, Jonathan has always enjoyed a deep connection to the Bay, where he regularly swims, kayaks and fishes. Taking the helm of Save The Bay gave him a unique opportunity to play a leadership role in protecting Narragansett Bay and inspiring the next generation of Bay stewards. During his tenure, Save The Bay has successfully challenged ill-conceived and damaging infrastructure projects, sounded the alarm on changing climate conditions, completed dozens of habitat restoration projects, achieved major legislative victories, expanded Save The Bay’s environmental education programs, and strengthened its financial foundation.

“My dad always encouraged me to view every turn in life as an opportunity to learn, and introduced me to marine life and the beauty of the ocean.  It is a privilege to lead such an outstanding organization that has been at the vanguard of protecting the Bay for nearly 50 years,” Stone said.

Before taking the helm at Save The Bay, Jonathan commuted to Boston, where he worked in financial services as a securities analyst, investment manager and co-founder of an investment management company. During these years he also served on the Board of the Gordon School in East Providence and joined the faculty of Providence College as an adjunct professor. 

Avory Brookins, Environment Reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio

?Avory started as Rhode Island Public Radio's environment reporter in April 2017.  Before joining the station, she was a general assignment reporter at Wisconsin Public Radio. Previously she reported on health, science and the community for Philadelphia's public radio station, WHYY.

Avory is a Philadelphia native and proud Temple Owl.

When she's not reporting on the environment, she loves listening to K-pop, watching K-dramas, and researching Korean culture.