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On the Edge - Our Maritime Forests

New works by Laura W. Adams at Mystic Osprey Gallery to benefit

Port Royal Sound Foundation, Friday, May 7th, 4-6PM, Beaufort, SC

Renowned Atlanta Collage Artist, Laura W. Adams, is teaming with Mystic Osprey Gallery in Beaufort to create awareness about our country’s diminishing Maritime Forests, and to raise money for Port Royal Sound Foundation. 15% of proceeds from the show’s art sales will be donated to the foundation.

Adams plans to have fifteen original works in the show, ranging in size from 12 x 12” to 48 x 72”. The works will feature animals found in the maritime forest such as Woodpeckers, Kingfishers, Bobcats, migratory neotropical songbirds, raccoon and deer. Plants and trees of the maritime forest will be highlighted such as Spartina Grasses, Scrub Pine, Live Oak, Palmetto, Holly and Wax Myrtle.  


“When Laura said she wanted to focus her artistic spotlight on the diminishing maritime forest, I knew she’d agree that The Port Royal Sound Foundation was the perfect partner. They are the leader in protecting the maritime forest and our estuaries in this region. We are excited our sales will contribute to the important educational work that PRSF is doing.  We’re both proud to bring more awareness to not only the beauty of the maritime forest, but also of the need to enhance its protections,” said Robert Howell, Owner of Mystic Osprey Gallery.

Adams’ collages include found items from nature, textured papers, painted papers and exotic patterned papers from many different countries of origin that have been cut up, layered, and adhered with acrylic medium. Often, ten or more layers of material are used to create a single work. The result is a “painting” with a distinct, three-dimensional effect.

 “I strive to create artwork that is aesthetically beautiful and speaks to maintaining, even increasing, the beauty of the natural environment around us. Protecting the birds, animals and their habitats enhances our quality of life and makes us better stewards of the earth. I hope my art brings better awareness of the beauty of the natural world and inspires us to conserve it,” Adams shared.


Maritime forests are increasingly rare coastal ecosystems that support a diversity of plants and animals. Hardy species of trees and bushes withstand high winds, periodic salt water flooding, and salt spray. Mammals and reptiles make the forests their home, and thousands of birds migrate through these forests each year.


When these forests thrive, the surrounding ecosystems thrive as well. Root systems prevent topsoil from washing away during storms and help purify and contain groundwater. Tree canopies slow wind and provide a resting place for migrating and breeding bird populations. Larger, robust trees shield smaller trees, creating a more diverse environment.


However, these forests are increasingly threatened by human related activity. Climate change has caused sea level rise. When the ocean expands, the salt marsh, the maritime forest, and the creatures that rely on these habitats, decrease.


Maritime forests are also increasingly threatened by fresh water intrusion.  Roads and buildings and sewer systems cause an influx of fresh water into brackish water systems around the forests, and upsets the salinity balance.  The fish and birds and animals relying on the brackish water estuaries suffer declines in their habitat and food supply.


Chris Kehrer, Naturalist and Education Coordinator at Port Royal Sound Foundation described the many ways each of us can help. “Helping coastal ecosystems can come in a variety of forms. You can join a beach sweep, volunteer with a turtle protection program, visit a state park, donate to organizations with missions that help educate and protect natural resources and you can contact local and state officials to object large scale developments on coastal islands.”


The protection of more of these amazingly beautiful areas is key to ensuring their survival.  The more protected areas we have, the more species we will see thriving along the coastline. Not only does protection help the wildlife, but it ensures the enrichment of human lives now and in the future.


“The Port Royal Sound Foundation’s mission is to preserve the Port Royal Sound for the environmental, cultural, and economic well-being of our area. We have hosted thousands of locals and visitors alike both at our Maritime Center and virtually, educating and informing people of all ages of the important role the health of the Sound plays in our community. We hope the environment-first artistic endeavor produced by Laura and Mystic Osprey Gallery will help support our mission,” said Julia Luzon, Director of Development, Port Royal Sound Foundation.


The reception for Laura W. Adams begins at 4PM on Friday, May 7th and will run until 6PM and all visitors have had a chance to see the works. Recommended CDC social distancing guidelines will be followed. Masks are required inside the gallery, and the gallery will have masks & sanitizer available. Beverages will be served, and several Habersham Marketplace restaurants will be open for meals and snacks ranging from Italian, Mexican, charcuterie and thin-crust, pizza. Mystic Osprey Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday, 12PM – 6PM and by Private Appointment, 843-475-6781. The Address for the gallery is 23B Market, #1, Beaufort, SC, 29906.

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