Textile Art

A defining feature of the Chesapeake Bay is its crab and oyster populations. But, according to NOAA and other scientific reports, the oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay are only one percent of what they have been historically. Their loss has caused a mass destruction to the Bay environment including loss of water quality and loss of reef systems for other marine life to reside in. NOAA states, “It has been estimated that oysters were once able to filter all the water in the Bay in about a week. The sharp decrease in the number of oysters means that it now takes the current oyster population about a year to filter the same amount of water.” The oysters have met such a steep decline due to over harvesting, habitat destruction, parasites, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, as well as pharmaceuticals. These contaminants not only come from the Chesapeake Bay area, but from up to seven states away due to the tremendous agricultural industries and increased human population density throughout the East and the Midwest dumping these chemicals into rivers that eventually terminate at the Bay. These chemicals also travel in the form of rain as well.

I chose a circular design to imbue a feeling of movement and to represent the idea that all things are connected. It’s so easy to look out on a body of water and feel a sense of peace or even adventure, but a view under the surface reveals the extreme damage that marine systems worldwide have been plagued with due to human activity.

All oyster shells used in this piece were collected along beaches in Southern Maryland.

To find out more about oyster habitats in the bay, check out the following links…

NOAA – Oyster Reefs

Chesapeake Bay Program










2 Comments on “Diminishing”

  1. Hi Erica,

    I think your art is beautiful & thought provoking. My wife & I would love to display one of your pieces in our home. Are you selling anything at this time? We would love to get some more information about your artwork.

    Thank you,
    Matt & Kim

    • Warm Greetings! I’m sorry for the late reply. I am not making a lot of art these days but would be happy to discuss this with you further. Please use the ‘contact me’ link above so I can work directly with you! Erica

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