Kovel public art sculptures

The Niantic Center School in Connecticut designated the 1999 – 2000 school year as “Year of the Ocean” and a big part of it was a ground-breaking public art installation by Kovel. Kovel, an art pioneer, created large colorful fish and jelly fish sculptures and he wrapped the building with them. These public art sculptures remained on the school for almost twenty years. They became part of the community with locals giving directions using the “fish school” as landmark. The sculptures only had to be taken down during a recent redesign of the building.

Lucy Schuman was the forward thinking principal who not only fully embraced teaching the importance of the ocean back then but incorporated ocean studies as a significant part of the school’s curriculum. In addition to creating the sculptures, Kovel gave lectures to students about creativity, art, and ocean issues.

In a time when ocean health was not the hot topic it is today Kovel was addressing issues of over fishing, ocean warming, plastics dumping, pollution, and acidification, both with his artwork, and his teaching and public outreach. He was a tuna fisherman himself with first hand knowledge. The school project also received attention from the Cousteau Society with a featured article in their January 2000 edition of the “Dolphin Log.”

Visit http://oceanart.org/schooltour.html for a photo tour of the Niantic Center School sculpture.