A collaborative effort between art and science took shape in Mr Bugara’s science lab at the Blue Mountain School in Croton last week. With the guidance and support of Mrs Krause and Mr Gioacchini, the talented art educators on staff; the invitation by R.A.R.E. and ArtsWestchester to build a “fish tank” of wildlife for the sculpture garden at the Arts Exchange Gallery (in White Plains) spurred a fury of recycled creativity, problem solving, team building and lots of duck tape. Take an inside look into the high school’s process of representing the wealth of species in the estuaries that call the Hudson River and the Long Island Sound their home.
Out of a large red ice box, Chris Letts from the Hudson River Foundation pulls out a cat fish (also known as bull heads) caught on the Hudson River by a fishermen. His young audience sits at picnic tables at Croton Point Park, mouths agape just as the fish is, some let out a gasp of fascination and delight. Mr Letts points to the tail and spreads it out, explaining how the cat fish has a slightly dipped, wide tail which basically is a sign of a slow, strong swimmer. He moves on to the “whiskers” which he mentions are called barbells. They act like sensory tongues outside of the mouth that detect food.
“For protection”, Mr Letts pulls on the dorsal fin on the back, “they have serrated spines they can lock into position”. A child whispers out loud, “Cool…”
An excited student yells out, “I will pay you for the fish so I can take it home so my mom can cook it.” Mr Letts smiles mentioning the fish is for study and not for sale.