Mixed reality sculpture installation “transports” visitors to the Alaskan tundra

Open Saturday, January 20 – Sunday, April 22, 2018

Mystic, Conn. (Jan. 8, 2018) — Mystic Seaport is proud to host the international debut on Saturday, January 20, 2018, of Murmur: Arctic Realities, the creation of one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, John Grade.

Using salvaged Alaskan yellow cedar, Grade has created an intricately carved sculpture (15’ x 38’ x 42’) that represents a pingo, a hill of ice that grows over centuries in the Arctic’s highest latitudes, then collapses, pockmarking the tundra. This sculpture simulates a pingo in Alaska’s Noatak National Preserve, mapped by the artist using photogrammetry. Visitors will not only witness the pingo’s impressive scale, but will be able to enter inside the sculpture as its walls open and close, mimicking the pingo’s life cycle at a time when this is accelerating due to unprecedented environmental change.

The exhibition is being staged in collaboration with Anchorage Museum, where it will permanently reside following its tour. Grade first became aware of pingos when he traveled to the Alaskan Arctic three years ago as part of Anchorage Museum’s Polar Lab residency for artists. Grade used a team of 20 artisans over a five-month period in his Seattle studio to create the sculpture. It will take a crew of eight to install it in the Collins Gallery of the Thompson Exhibition Building, including a mechanical engineer.

“This is an experience more than an exhibition,” said Museum President Steve White. “Given the capacity of the new Collins Gallery, we had the opportunity to think of exhibitions that could capitalize on the space and to embrace non-traditional, contemporary work. Murmur will be unlike anything we have ever shown at the Museum.”

Grade, of Seattle, has teamed with New Media Artist Reilly Donovan to bring a mixed reality experience for visitors to Murmur. Using Microsoft’s HoloLens Mixed Reality technology, visitors wearing a wireless HoloLens headset will see themselves within a holographic representation – one using visual images and spatialized sound of a precise geographic location 80 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

The title Murmur evokes both the sound of Arctic wind and the shapes made by flocks of Arctic birds in flight called murmurations. The installation will provide an experience in which people can virtually explore the interior of a pingo’s ice core and the unusual textures, flora and fauna of the land form.

“I thought it would be very interesting to compare these two phenomena that happen in such different time scales,” Grade said, “one so ephemeral and the other so slow. To try to put a viewer inside each of those things, which is a place none of us literally are ever going to go. What would it feel like, merging them together?”

Murmur: Arctic Realities is open through April 22, 2018 (Earth Day), during regular museum hours. In addition to the exhibition itself, there are scheduled talks by both Grade and Donovan, the opportunity to take a yoga class with renowned instructor Coral Brown within the exhibition, and other programs related to the piece. Visit our online calendar for the full schedule. Use #wearethemurmur #arcticrealities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Related Programs

Members Only: Artist Talk with John Grade
Contemporary artist John Grade will lead members on an exclusive walk-through of Mystic Seaport’s new exhibit, Murmur: Arctic Realities before it opens to the public. Grade will discuss his inspiration and the process he utilized to craft this innovative, kinetic sculpture of the Arctic land form called pingo. Members will be able to meet the artist and tour the sculpture with Grade before the exhibit opens to the public at 10 a.m. January 20.

Murmur: Tech Talk with New Media Artist Reilly Donovan
Join us for a talk and presentation by new media artist Reilly Donovan, designer of the mixed reality experience in the new exhibition, Murmur: Arctic Realities. Donovan works with emerging technology to produce interactive installations, virtual reality artworks and augmented reality exhibits. His work explores how computer simulations, machine learning, and interactive environments challenge the boundaries of our senses. January 20.

Seaport After Seven: Party at the Pingo
Embrace the season with Party at the Pingo, the inaugural event in the new Seaport After Seven party series. Guests will have exclusive access to Murmur: Arctic Realities, a vast kinetic sculpture of a “pingo,” by contemporary artist John Grade. Enjoy arctic cocktails, dancing, a DJ and classic games – upsized in a re-envisioned Thompson Exhibition Building lobby! It will be a night at the Museum that you’ll never forget. February 2.

Murmur Yoga with Coral Brown
Join world-renowned yoga instructor Coral Brown in the Museum’s newest exhibition, Murmur: Arctic Realities. She will guide a grounding yet dynamic all-levels vinyasa yoga class. February 10 and March 3.

Murmur Business After Hours with Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT
Join Mystic Seaport and the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut for a Business After Hours in the Museum’s newest exhibition, Murmur: Arctic Realities. Enjoy food and beverages as you experience the mixed reality art installation. February 21.

About Mystic Seaport

Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the Charles W. Morgan, America’s oldest commercial ship and the last wooden whaleship in the world. The Museum’s collection of more than two million artifacts includes more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography in the country. The Thompson Exhibition Building provides a state-of-the-art gallery to host compelling, world-class exhibitions, including the upcoming Murmur: Arctic Realitiesopening January 20, 2018. The Collections Research Center at Mystic Seaport provides scholars and researchers from around the world access to the Museum’s renowned archives. Mystic Seaport is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. Admission is $28.95 for adults ages 15 and older and $18.95 for children ages 4-14. Museum members and children three and younger are admitted free. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org  and follow Mystic Seaport on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.

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GBA’s January Meeting Kicks Off Networking for 2018

GROTON – The Groton Business Association (GBA) will kick off its 2018 networking year with its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, January 18.

The meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Incredible Weight Loss Center at 565 Long Hill Road.

The GBA will present the awards for the 2018 Groton Lights Holiday Parade.  These presentations have been a tradition for the first meeting of the year.

The meeting is open to all members of the Greater Groton business community.  GBA membership is not required.  There is no admission charge.  Attendees are encouraged to become members of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Mystic.

Bring your business cards and any concerns you have about how things are going in Groton. Coffee and breakfast will be provided by the Incredible Weight Loss Center.

The GBA’s February general meeting will be held at the newly renovated Center Groton Branch of Chelsea Groton Bank at 1317 Gold Star Highway.

The GBA, a coalition of representatives from the local business community, the educational sector, the non-profit community and governmental units, is an affiliation of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce.

Contact us at:

Frank E. Winkler
Public Relations Chair
Groton Business Association
Of Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce
(860) 446-4095
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The Light House Announces
New Executive Director Kassidy Brown

a light house director

The Board of Directors of The Light House announces the retirement of Founder and Executive Director, Kathy Greene, as of Nov 1st. Ms. Greene founded the non-profit in 1992 to provide community based functional academics and life skills for children and adults with disabilities, with the mission “to educate and prepare for life”. What was created over the past 25 years has been ground breaking. All The Light House sites are directly in the community where students and adults can immediately access what they need and want. As Ms. Greene has said many times, 80% of our participant’s lives are spent as adults, so they need to be prepared for their adulthood.

The Light House has announced the selection of Kassidy Brown, MBA as its new executive director. The Board of Directors conducted a regional search in May, and after an extensive interview process with a number of highly qualified candidates, the Board and staff stood unanimously behind Brown. His experience, knowledge of the organization, and vision for the future made him the ideal choice to take The Light House forward,” said Harry Watson, Board President.

Brown’s resume includes over 15 years of program development, disability services, and non-profit management. Prior to this appointment Brown was the Director of Operations for the Light House, overseeing all campus programs, business operations, and strategic development.

“I am so pleased that the Board of Directors has chosen Kassidy Brown to succeed me. With all his knowledge of the agency he will carry on the legacy well. I am excited about the future of The Light House with him at the helm”, stated Ms. Greene.

About The Light House

With a mission to educate and prepare individuals with disabilities for life, The Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center (The Light House) is a nonprofit that serves the needs of individuals with disabilities throughout Eastern Connecticut. Divided into three “campuses”, The Light House has a broad range of programming including two state-approved private schools, residential and transitional services, and state contracted adult services. To learn more about The Light House visit www.lhcampus.com or call 860-445-7626.


Harry Watson
President, Board of Directors
The Light House (Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center)

Kathy Greene
Executive Director, Founder
The Light House (Lighthouse Voc-Ed Center)



 Bloomberg News Names Grass & Bone as one of "The Most Exciting Butcher Shops in America."


Friday, January 5, 2018, Mystic, CT – Bloomberg News Names Grass & Bone as one of "The Most Exciting Butcher Shops in America." Grass & Bone is honored to be named one of the superior butcher shops in the country in an article published today by Bloomberg Pursuits, the lifestyle, food and travel hub of Bloomberg News.

Kate Krader, food editor for Bloomberg News and former restaurant editor for Food & Wine Magazine, says “…at a new high are the number of superior butcher shops that double as restaurants. Across the country, meat-oriented chefs are fronting places that cater to the demand for aged cuts, expertly made sausages, and cured meats. These spots offer pasture-raised, humanely treated beef, pork, lamb, and chicken, as well as less common choices such as goat, venison, and game birds.”

“You’d expect the coastal town of Mystic to be all about fish—and perhaps pizza. Yet last summer, Daniel Meiser and James Wayman transformed a Tim Horton’s doughnut outpost into a cafe with offerings such as the Grandpa Reuben (made with house-made pastrami) and bronzed rotisserie chicken with garlic mayo. The focal point of the space is a refrigerated case filled with cuts of meat dry-aged up to 90 days and sometimes more. “We didn’t want to do a fake butcher program,” Meiser says. “We want people to come here and say, ‘I want a 2-inch-thick aged rib-eye to make for dinner.’”

Grass & Bone is the newest addition to the Oyster Club, Engine Room, Stone Acres Farm family, and the first butcher shop/restaurant in Southeastern Connecticut. In addition to offering a full menu of comfort food, rotisserie chicken and sandwiches, Grass & Bone specializes in whole animal butchery sourced from local farms, and dry aged on site.

Catherine Dzilenski
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24 E. Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355