Below the Surface in Plymouth

Below the Surface in Plymouth

A season of experiences for discovering the arts, culture and environmental beauty and history throughout the Town of Plymouth.

You know Plymouth for our history. But did you know that Plymouth is a recognized leader in its preservation and restoration of our natural environment? Thanks to the efforts of the Town’s Department of Marine & Environmental Affairs, Plymouth offers dozens of beautiful spaces to explore, including rivers, ponds, lakes, beaches, conservation lands, and preserved open spaces. These spaces provide inspiration for artists throughout our region, which is reflected in many works of art exhibited in our galleries year-round.


See how nature inspires our artists.

Plymouth Center for the Arts is proud to be part of PLYMOUTH’S ARTS & CULTURAL DISTRICT. We’re serving up a full calendar of art shows this summer. Visit online or in-gallery as part of your “arts and the environment” exploration of what’s Below the Surface in Plymouth


Online & In-Gallery Now

Fine Art of Photography 2022 (Online Now)
New England Watercolor Society Signature Members Exhibit - thru July 6
Luminosity – PCA Members Show - June 8-July 10
New England Watercolor Society All Members Exhibit - July 8-Sept. 7
Reflection – PCA Members Show - July 13-Aug. 14
A Different Vision – Tactile Art Exhibit - Aug. 17-Sept. 11
Indigenous Artists Exhibit & Events - Aug. 17-Sept. 11


River Herring of Plymouth's Town Brook

A Special Exhibit of Underwater Photography by Keith Ellenbogen

River Herring of Plymouth’s Town Brook, by acclaimed underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen, is a series of images showcasing the visual beauty and complexity of the underwater environment that brings tens of thousands of migrating river herring from the Atlantic Ocean up Plymouth’s Town Brook to spawn in Billington Sea every spring.

In-Gallery July 14 - Aug 15




WATER – New Exhibit in Our Online Galleries

Art and nature flow together in Water, a special online exhibit of artwork curated from the archives of Plymouth Center for the Arts’ member and juried art shows.

This exhibit highlights the relationship between the arts and our natural environment – how nature influences art and how art can inspire stewardship of our environment.






Play Seashore Summertime Bingo!

Plymouth Center for the Arts is proud to present Seashore Summertime Bingo. Now through Sept. 5th, join the fun by exploring participating Below the Surface locations around Plymouth. Play bingo for a chance to win prizes in our end-of-summer raffle.







Step into the natural beauty of Plymouth.

Thanks to the Town of Plymouth’s commitment to preserve and restore natural assets throughout the town, there are dozens of places to visit, explore and enjoy the beauty of Plymouth.

All of the Town’s Conservation Areas and Preserves are multi-use and open to passive recreational activities, like hiking, biking, nature viewing, fishing, and more. For information on trail lengths, surfaces and maps, see the FULL LIST OF PLYMOUTH'S CONSERVATION AREAS.

River Herring Photo by Keith EllenbogenPRESERVATION & RESEARCH

Understanding our relationship with our natural surroundings.

One example of Plymouth’s environmental leadership is the work done to restore and preserve the waterways that enable the river herring and eel migrations that take place annually between April and June. In this rite of spring, tens of thousands of river herring and eels migrate from their maturing habitat in the Atlantic Ocean, up fresh-water rivers to spawn every year. 

Town Brook and the herring ladder at Plimoth Grist Mill off Spring Lane provide a great vantage point, with benches and an observation platform that are open to the public to enjoy the migration.

The Town Brook herring have been an important part of Plymouth’s history since the Pilgrims arrived in 1620. The stories in history books that tell of Patuxet tribe member Squanto showing Pilgrims how to use herring to fertilize corn seeds are referring to the ancestors of our present-day Town Brook fish.

The Town works with a number of research partners, including NOAA, Northeastern University’s CLEAR Lab Research Team, and others, to study the impact of conservation efforts.

Photo Credit: Image of river herring by underwater photographer Keith Ellenbogen.


The CLEAR Lab team has been studying how photography and the arts can inspire stewardship of our environment. Learn how Plymouth’s work to restore the herring migration waterways plays into their research.

Northeastern University’s CLEAR Lab. Explore the Cognitive Laboratory of Environment and Arts Research.

SOLVE IT FOR KIDS PODCAST: How Can Photography Inspire Conservation? Listen in to a discussion with CLEAR Lab’s Brian Helmuth & Keith Ellenbogen.


Below the Surface in Plymouth is the result of a collaboration between Plymouth Center for the Arts, Plymouth’s Department of Marine & Environmental Affairs, and Northeastern University’s CLEAR Lab Research Team.


Promotional support for Below the Surface in Plymouth is funded in part by the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism.