Funded by the National Science Foundation, Rutstein sailed in November 2018 on the R/V Atlantis with a science team representing the United States, Mexico and Germany and in collaboration with oceanographer, microbiologist, geochemist & Professor Mandy Joye from the University of Georgia. This expedition took place in Guaymas Basin in the Sea of Cortez, with the mission to explore hydrothermal vents, sedimented vents and the unique carbon cycling processes occurring in this location. Rutstein made her second descent in the submersible Alvin on this expedition to a depth of 2,200 meters. She set up a studio in the science lab of the ship and created work reflecting her experiences and working with data collected from the science team. The paintings shown here were all completed on the ship while at sea.
Rutstein’s collaboration with Professor Joye continued through the 2018-19 year at the University of Georgia, where Rutstein was awarded the Delta Visiting Chair for Global Understanding at the University of Georgia, an annual award given to leading global scholars and creative thinkers who conceive and produce ground breaking collaborative works with University of Georgia faculty. She participated in public lectures, community events and had a year-long exhibition at the Georgia Museum of Art. Included in this exhibition was, Shimmer, a 64′ long modular steel sculptural installation with LED lights and motion sensors that creates trails of light in reaction to the movements of the viewer. Both the hexagonal sculptural forms, inspired by hydrocarbon structures, and the programmable lighting, inspired by bioluminescence, relate to their presence at Guaymas Basin. Shimmer was permanently acquired by the Georgia Museum of Art.
Rutstein’s exhibition was generously funded through the Delta Visiting Chair Award established by UGA’s Willson Center for Humanities and Arts with a gift from the Delta Airlines Foundation in 1997. The chair is founded upon the legacy of the Delta Prize for Global Understanding, which from 1997-2011 was presented to individuals – including Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ted Turner, Desmond Tutu, and Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter – whose initiatives promoted world peace by advancing understanding and cooperation among cultures and nations.