Pam Longobardi was born in Glen Ridge, N.J., the daughter of an ocean lifeguard and the Delaware State diving champion. She has since lived for varying time periods in Wyoming, Montana, California and Tennessee, and worked as a firefighter and tree planter, a scientific illustrator and aerial mapmaker, a waitress and a bartender, a collaborative printer and a color mixer. She has shown her artwork across the US and in Finland, Slovakia, China, Japan, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Poland, Germany, and Monaco and her artworks are in numerous collections both public and private. A recipient of many awards, Longobardi is Professor of Art at Georgia State University in Atlanta and created the Drifters Project in 2006, a conceptually-based artistic research project focusing on the global ocean marker of contemporary archeology, the drifting plastic object.
She exhibited this work in Beijing at NY ARTS/Beijing (2008 Olympics) and at ARTLIFEfortheworld in (2009 Venice Biennale ARTE VISIVI collateral exhibitions). Edizione Charta (Milan, NY) published a book on the project titled Drifters: Plastics, Pollution and Personhood in 2010. Recent past exhibitions include Voyages on an Uncanny Sea at Gallery Diet in Miami, a commission of new work for Oceanomania at the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, and at Savvy Contemporary in Berlin. She is engaged in a long-term project in Greece in collaboration with the Ionion Center for Art and Culture in Kefalonia, having completed its 4th year.
Longobardi participated in the 2013 GYRE expedition, an art-science research project along Alaska’s remote coasts culminating in the 2014 GYRE exhibition at the Anchorage Museum and traveling to the CDC Museum in Atlanta in 2015, and was also featured in the National Geographic film on the GYRE project. She created an installation for the Island of San Francisco of the Desert in a special project Oltre il Paesaggio Mistico for the 55th Venice Biennale, and exhibited photography in Seescape at George Adams Gallery in New York.
In 2013, Longobardi won the prestigious Hudgens Prize, one of the largest prizes to an artist in North America. She was recently featured on the cover of SIERRA magazine, on the Weather Channel and was selected for ‘State of the Art’ a survey of American art now at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. She will exhibit the long-term project on Kefalonia at the Goulandris Museum of Natural History in Athens, Greece from May to November 2015.
The Drifters Project is a collaborative global artistic research-based initiative involving the accumulation, documentation, and transformation of oceanic plastic into installations and photography. See videos here