Learn more about Roy Rossow - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Learn More about Roy Rossow

The Stars That Guide Us


For centuries, mariners, travelers, and explorers have used the celestial skies to navigate the world. New Bedford, a historic and contemporary epicenter for maritime travel, fishing, and industry is built on this foundation of celestial navigation.

Artist Roy Rossow (b. 1975), drawn to nocturnes as subject matter, explores themes that tie the night skies to maritime culture and navigation. He pictures the radiance of celestial forms as luminous, burning bodies in the dark—drawing connections between star charts and celestial navigation practices of mariners in centuries past.

In The Stars That Guide Us, the waterfront, and Rossow’s contemplative studies of the night skies, serve as inspiration for his new body of work on view in the Center Street Gallery through April 21, 2024.


Roy Rossow in the Studio

These time-lapse videos show Rossow in his studio creatively working through some of his sketches and paintings of the New Bedford Harbor.

Finding Inspiration

A Decade of Sun

Since childhood, Rossow has been captivated by the sun, the stars, and space exploration. In his studio he often streams the NASA (The National Aeronautics and Space Administration) time-lapse footage of the sun. The subtle changes in the sun and meditative state of the footage inspired Rossow to create similar suns for The Stars That Guide Us.

Marine Traffic Maps

Thousands of boats and ships move in and out of New Bedford Harbor every year. From his studio on Purchase Street, Rossow can see and track the daily marine traffic going into the harbor. To better understand where the vessels are traveling, what they are transporting, and to see what they look like up-close, he follows a live map on the Marine Traffic Maps website. This site shows vessel traffic from around the world.

Roy Rossow on the South Coast Artist Index

In April of 2020, artist Ron Fortier hosted Roy Rossow for the South Coast Artist Index podcast. They discuss life and work in the New Bedford area and Rossow's life as an artist. This interview is archived at the New Bedford Whaling Museum as part of the Common Ground oral history project.