Atlantic Ocean 2020

Found In Our WaterInspired by Robert Kramer’s 1987 Documentary Route 1 USA, I am creating art works-sometimes collaboratively – inviting local artists -from objects I am finding in our waters as I drive from from Key West, Florida to Fort Kent, Maine.

I have spent a lifetime pondering waves. Hailing from Maine,  I have experienced and reflected on, the impact of waves on us as biological organisms – often fighting against each other. Where the waves meet is where the action is.

I have spent many hours examining, oftentimes in excruciatingly minute detail, theoretical waves of human thought. Waves deliver tranquility, sustenance and insight – along with trash and terror.
I have become increasingly concerned with the ocean trends I has seen over the last several decades.

The future water concerns are here today.  Our concern for the quality of our water should be a national and international dialogue.

In the largest body of fresh water on the planet, Lake Superior, there is a toxin alert on the salmon. In Barbara’s Treasures of the Inland Sea series she looked at what has happened to this natural resource- our inland sea.

We seek grant support and collaborators for the Atlantic Ocean 2020 to stage exhibitions (inviting local artists), panel discussions, student workshops, school visits and adult events around the country.

It is my belief that social practice art invites the participants to consider serious social issues while experiencing the joys of collaborative creating.

Join us in the non-profit Art To Change The World for more information.  Contact Barbara at

Image: See deconstruction: LOVE


7 MainerMainer-with Love

22″ W X 2 2″ W X 48″ T  Mixed Media  Canvas, rescued chair, shells, rope, buoy, hand hooked pillow

The creation of Mainer was a five year labor of love. My oil painting of  the Heritage Schooner was inspired by the needlepoint chair backs I have enjoyed viewing at the Searsport Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine. The pillow was a wool hooked rug pillow created  by a Castine, Maine rug maker and the buoy came from my lobster people family in Stockton Springs.  The lobster claws are from three pound lobsters I buy, dry and clean using ant helpers.  When “cured”, I seal them in boat epoxy.  The large rope comes from local boat yards and found on the beaches I walk from Kittery to Eastport.  Sandy Point, Maine

Sit on this chair and you will hear the oceans.   More Mainer

Penobscot Bay

Penobscot Bay

Penobscot Bay, Maine

24″WX24″WX55″T, Mixed Media. Drift wood, authentic buoy, Sandy Point lobsters, buoy rope, sea glass, Morgan’s top sider, beads, tanker rope, metal findings, rocks, drift wood.

After 36 years of living on Sandy Point Beach in Chateau Mer, I finally created this work in August of 2014. We consumed these lobsters, I saved all these objects for some higher purpose over the course of 36 years.

This work captures the soul of Maine.   Read More

Double Click to View Larger

Harborside, Maine. The Good Life Center, Helen and Scott Nearing 

Chesapeake Bay
Dowell, MD  

AMAnn Marie Gallery

After a grueling road trip from Gary, Indiana, I arrived at the Ann Marie Gallery in Dowell, MD. I have been around more than a few blocks but AnnMarie offers a unique experience which includes highly creative educational programing (theater in the woods, message in a bottle, materials and technique classes and more), special exhibitions (Seagoing “Woolies” was there when I arrived), forward thinking /interactive participant calls for art (Instagrams), and a darling Fairy House project which has inspired me to create a similar call for houses in Sandy Point!  Read More


Dry DockAs I sit at the Dry Dock Restaurant in the Solomon Islands,  MD on Chesapeake Bay (known as the Solomon Islands), I am experiencing the adrenalin rush I enjoy when I am “on the hunt for objects and data.  I have found a giant horseshoe crab, a weathered board of great character and a oyster midden. Does it get any better?

I am awaiting my dinner of ‘rockfish”. I am amused with my rockfish since this culinary delight is known to me in Maine as “striped bass” also known as Bluefish”. Mainers scorn this fish as “oily”. I just paid $57.00 for a four inch square of what is rejected in my home state. As many of you know, semantics is a special area of cultural context that I find mesmerizing.

The Working Waterfront (a Maine fisherman weekly) and other publications, claim the striped bass (stripa’s- as they are called Down East)  are in decline. Details  PropTalk ( Chesapeake Bay Power Boating) claims they just had the best “rock fish” season ever. Perhaps they caught all the rock fish in Maryland before they are reaching Maine?

On page 17 of the June 2014 PropTalk, Zach Ditmars has a fix for the Chesapeake Bay invasive fish- the Snakehead. Rename them the ” spotted channa” and eat ’em – he directs and gives a recipe including breading and deep fat frying. Bridges, B. Chesapeake main

Orange Roughy was once called ” slime head.”  I would challenge the Mississippi waterways wardens to run a cooking contest for the “invasive carp” (renamed in Minnesota to avoid offending the Asians) . Then let’s eat ’em.  Click here for one idea. We homo sapiens seem especially skilled at eating most everything which walks, crawls, swims or flies!


18″W X 72″T. Mixed Media. Driftwood, oyster shells, horseshoe crab shell, pearls.

Jersey Shore  –  Art In Progress

js4The  Jersey Shore was an icon of middle class access to the Atlantic Ocean. This was NOT the haven for the Duponts and the Biddles.  Snookie  brought infamy to the Jersey Shore but Hurricane Sandy brought the real devastation.  The warren of what some would describe as shacks and others as “the cottage on the Jersey Shore” was scoured clean down to the sand, along with what ALL would agree, was many generations of memories.

I had a hard time finding access TO the shore. The hurricane fence runs uninterrupted for 10 to 15 blocks. They are protecting the dunes.  I finally made my way to the water and the beach was beautiful and deserted! See Video below

Today, in May of 2014, the view is sanitized. Row upon row of brand spanking new tiny pastel  dwellings. Average size= 20X20 feet. Learn More-Watch Testimony


Coney Island –  Art In Progress

ci sign

As I pulled over the Brooklyn Bridge after driving from the Long Island Cross Sound Ferry dock in New London Connecticut, I was still open to where my New York waterfront study would be the most meaningful. I suddenly saw a small little 12” green “Coney Island” sign. It captured my imagination. Hard to do.

ci alexandreConey Island has most assuredly been sanitized from what we have read in the history books.  The beach was quite clean but with the grit, went the texture.

This snap to the left illustrates the weird new aesthetic which is coney island

More on Coney Island


Brighten Beach , Brooklyn–  Art In Progress

swansSWANS???  The first thing I noticed when I arrived at the Brighten Beach, Brooklyn waterfront were the swans- in salt water!  That was a first for me. Hundreds and hundreds of swans. The hotel sent me to Liman’s for dinner.  This Turkish restaurant delivered one of the best meals I have enjoyed anywhere!  When I asked about the swans- they declared they had always been there and reported the EPA had tried to kill them! Asking Dr. Google for confirmation revealed the STORY Does it get any better?  The mute swans could not speak for themselves!  I checked with the fisherman and I wish I had had the video running. They had many choice words to describe how the plethora of swan poop had changed the chemistry of the water and ruined the flounder and fluke fishing!!

As I drove under the train on Brighten Beach Boulevard I could not help but think about Neil Simon’s Brighten Beach Memoirs about growing up in Brooklyn in 1937.  You can read about the play and see it at the Kelsey Theater.

Brighten Beach changed dramatically in the late 1930’s with the German Jews fleeing from Hitler and Russian Jews from Stalin, next the fall of the Soviet Union and most recently the conflict in the Ukraine have contributed to what is now a  predominantly Russian speaking 10 block section of Brighten Boulevard. I can testify.  I shopped for sculpture materials. Read More

liman -shark torurneyIt is illegal to have a shark fin in Minnesota and I noticed a tournament in Brooklyn. Interesting, No?

Click below to hear what Brooklyn fishermen have to say!  More Brighten Beach


Boston Harbor   
Quincy MA Beach

Wollaston Beach in Quincy, MA was a pungent experience when I stepped from the car.  I saw many people running and playing and swimming in the water but it smelled of chemicals to my nose.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to verify and identify any studies done on water quality.  I  did find several federally funded reports which reported raw data which was difficult to analyze with no legend for acronyms but I did find the following summary which indicated that the risk for swimmers was human waste-not chemical.  Click here to review

quincy seagullI found a perfectly dessicated seagull in Quincy. Johnathon Liv:Boston Harbor

Bridges, B., Johnathon Liv -Boston Harbor


Florida Keys  2013

Conch Key, FloridaConch Key, Florida, Rescued objects,  24″ X 24″

Conch Key, Florida

Marathon Key

Melbourne, Florida

Key Largo

Outer Banks


  1. Barbara Bridges says:

    Thanks! Hoping to get my quote soon

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