Sea Change, A Social, Environmental and Globally Conscious Art Exhibition

Featuring Scott Lapham and Joan Wyand

On Exhibit March 6 – 30, 2019
Artist Reception: Saturday, March 9th from 2:00 - 5:00 PM (Snow Date: March 10th)
Artist Talks and Special Presentation by Clean Ocean Access at 3:00 pm


Scott Lapham and Joan Wyand’s creative practices engage the community, and their sculptural works share a compatible material and aesthetic quality.  Both are dedicated to confronting destructive social habits through their visual art, while simultaneously working with youth to connect new generations to the natural world.  ‘Sea Change’ will incorporate photography, sculpture and installation at Coastal Contemporary Gallery in Newport, Rhode Island during the month of March 2019.  This exhibition has the legs to continue its message way beyond our gallery walls and into other spaces for future collaborative opportunities.  In April, a portion of ‘Sea Change’ will be displayed in the Middletown facility of Clean Ocean Access, affording its guests a unique look at the gritty realities of our world.  Join us for a champagne artist reception with a special presentation at 491 Thames Street, on March 9th from 2:00-5:00 pm.  Snow date, March 10th.  15%-30% of net proceeds from these shows will be donated directly to Clean Ocean Access. 



Scott Lapham
Joan Wyand

Scott Lapham was born in North Adams Massachusetts and came to Providence RI to attend the Rhode Island School of Design. His photographic and sculptural bodies of work have most often explored life in urban neighborhoods, environmental and cultural trends. Through personal relationships he looks to find the emotional value, historic relevance and an appreciation for lives being lived in places not often appreciated.  These same observations have extended to the coastline with the series titled “Perfectly Preserved Sea Shore” where he creates "sculptural snapshots" from the natural organic and manmade inorganic flotsam and debris that accumulates on the ocean's shore. A second series of sculptural work titled “A is for Antrhropecene” explores the concept of transformation of human made objects when affected by sea level rise due to climate change. 


Lapham’s art educational work has included co-founding the AS220 Community Darkroom and teaching youth from predominately underserved communities. In addition to free-lance photography and teaching he is currently producing a gun violence prevention public art project titled One Gun Gone.



Perfectly Preserved Sea Shore


Quite simply I have preserved sections of sea debris with epoxy resin on site along the ocean tide line without altering or constructing any of it myself. The only editing process I have used is determining which sections of tide line to preserve. I have started calling these three-dimensional pieces sculptural snap shots. Like a photographic snapshot they are un-staged documents of our wider world. Instead of showing candid moments of family and friends these sculptures show us a candid sample of what comprises our natural environment these days. These are true samples of our world with the natural organic and the man-made inorganic matter concentrated by the rain, winds and tides of our shared environment. Once isolated and on a gallery wall these pieces can transform from ignored trash to meditative sculptures. Here the viewer can contemplate the beauty of the forms created by natural cycles while also considering their origins.


Joan Wyand is a performance artist, experienced collaborator, educator, and skilled maker.  With an intense awareness of our material environment, her creative mission is to inspire joy in everyday life while confronting challenging social issues.  Primary mediums used in her work are clay, performance, fabric, and shoreline debris. 


Joan grew up in Indianapolis, IN and moved to Providence, RI in 2009 to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a BFA in Ceramics.  While exploring with friends in 2002, she discovered an abandoned shoreline on the Narragansett Bay that was covered with washed up plastic debris.   For fun, this group would continually visit the shoreline and build sculptures onsite with the found materials.  Joan quickly developed a passion for these discarded materials, and began bringing trash back to work with in her studio. 


The artist is fascinated with the way nature reclaims these mass-produced objects.  The sun, water, and weather cracks and fades plastics leaving the surface looking similar to ceramic glazing techniques or metal patina. The trash often has living things attached like barnacles, seaweed and live ant colonies.  ‘Nature’s resiliency to these toxic materials is inspiring.  Living things continue to grow and adapt within our global mess.’  While Joan is in awe of Nature’s persistence, she feels it is way past time that we do our part to clean it up. 


Joan additionally owns and operates Joan Zone, an action-based learning space that cultivates wild, independent children who have the skills to communicate, collaborate, and bring their ideas into reality.  Located on the West End of Providence, her facility provides care for children ages two to five.  She draws inspiration from working with these young creatives, into her own artmaking processes.