Krisanne Baker is a Maine art and ecology educator, a former professor at the University of Maine Farmington, and an avid ocean advocate. She exhibits her paintings, installations and short films both nationally, and internationally. She has received a wide variety of awards, such as Fulbright, numerous fellowships and residencies; most recently collaborating with a lead scientist at Bigelow Laboratory for the Ocean Sciences combining art and science. Her paintings reveal not only the wonders beneath the surface of the ocean, but a world of sensations that accompany her unique ‘research’ process of snorkeling prior to painting.
In 2019 Baker was one of six people who received international recognition from the Bow Seat Educational Innovator Award; and she was named the 2019 Honoree from the United Nations International Women’s Caucus for Art group concerning her work in the realm of arts, ecology, and education. Her research, teaching, studio practice, and public installations intertwine as water advocacy. Krisanne’s favorite saying is, "water is life".
Baker bares the beauty of our interconnectedness and precarious balance we share with the ocean. Her fascination is with research on glowing marine phytoplankton, and their symbiotic ecology within aquatic bodies; the micro and the macro, and our relationship to both. These gems feed the planet, give us life; our future depends on their wondrous light. She recently was a Visiting Artist in Residence at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, collaborating with scientists Michael Lomas and Joan Blanchette in Bigelow's world-renowned living marine algae lab. Baker's collaboration with Bigelow's scientists resulted in a two-story installation at Bigelow’s visitor atrium with a structure that is based on the largest daily migration on Earth of marine phytoplankton created as phosphorescent glowing glass sculptures. Baker’s work with phytoplankton has led her to combine her lifelong ocean snorkeling practice with this new series of works from The Gulf of Mexico; highlighting the symbiotic relationship between phytoplankton and corals, the beauty and fragility of the coral reef systems that provide a nursery to ocean waters, as well as the protection the reefs provide to so many coastlines.
From Krisanne’s heroine: “No ocean, no life. No blue, no green. No ocean? No us.”
------------Mission Blue marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle