Thursday night brought the 7 Artists & 7 Fishes event to Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Pop-Up Museum in the North End to celebrate both the sea and sustainable seafood with local artists and chefs. Visitors came from Boston communities near and far to celebrate the gallery opening set up by Save the Harbor’s artist in residence Robyn Reed, and to try out the tasty recipes prepared by chef Basil Freddura of The Daily Catch restaurant.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Director of Strategy and Communications, Bruce Berman, kicked off the event with the festivities’ driving message: “Each year dietary guidelines call for Americans to eat more fish. With so many species under pressure, we feel it is important to share our list of the seven sustainable, available and delicious species of fish to serve at the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes this Christmas Eve.” The fish on the list this year includes farmed oysters, mussels, shrimp and salmon raised in the United States; Gulf of Maine or Georges Bank haddock; black sea bass caught by handline, rod & reel or fish pots; and Loligo squid – better known as calamari.
The focus of the feast was on the Loligo squid, as The Daily Catch prepared calamari seven different ways. Chef Freddura noted that he “aims to inspire others to be creative with their cooking by taking advantage of the first certified sustainable squid fishery in the world.” His menu included calamari meatballs, fried calamari, calamari scampi, grilled calamari, marinated calamari salad, stuffed calamari, and squid ink bruschetta aglio e olio. Many of the guests only were familiar with fried calamari going into the event, and the spread had them going back for more until they had tried all seven dishes.
Surrounding the calamari feast was an array of environmental art featuring the “Changing Course” installation by North End artist Robyn Reed. The exhibit features fish made from painted plastic water bottles collected from the neighborhood and produced by participants in Save the Harbor’s free youth and beach programs to spark discussion about reducing the amount of plastic in the ocean. In addition to Reed’s piece, the interactive exhibit included rope sculptures from Alex Buchanan, paintings by Helen Kamins, drawings, sculpture and music by Justice McDaniel, intertidal art by Andres Amador, visual art by Olga Karyakina, and the Boston Harbor Mural by Guillermo Erice.
On Thursday night Reed reflected on the artists who were in attendance and their work, saying that she “chose these artists because of [their] shared passion for the ocean and that they all agree that a clean safe ocean is what they need to continue to inspire their work.”
Save the Harbor would like to thank Robyn Reed and the artists who donated their time and work, Chef Basil Freddura and The Daily Catch, and Save the Harbor’s partners at Rockpoint Group and Rockhill Management for their enthusiastic support of this celebration of the sea and sustainable seafood. With more than 100 guests in attendance, Rockhill Management Assistant Property Manager Christine Pulsifer remarked that “the art, food and visitors brought the space to life.”
The Boston Harbor Pop-Up Museum brings the harbor, the islands and the beach to the heart of the city for everyone to enjoy. Kids of all ages can explore the harbor, create sand art and color murals, sing sea shanties and pose for a picture with a big striped bass. The museum also includes fish prints, photographs and videos created by Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s Youth Environmental Education program staff. The museum is located at 226 Causeway St., right next to Title Boxing Club, at the corner of North Washington Street. It is open daily from 10-4 p.m. and Sundays from 12-4 p.m.
For more information or to arrange to bring your school or youth group to the museum, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-451-2860.