On Sunday night, as the sun set in Aquinnah, Barbara Norfleet was waxing poetic about swamps.

“I just love swamps,” said the 91-year-old photographer. “No swamp is the same.”

Ms. Norfleet was referring to the 22 New England swamps that she photographed with her Hasselblad film camera about 10 years ago, the result of which hang in large panoramas on the walls of the Sargent Gallery in Aquinnah. The photographs are part of the gallery’s latest exhibit, Biophilia, meaning “the idea that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.”

Exhibit runs through August 17. — Alison L. Mead

Formerly the Gay Head Gallery, owner Megan Otten-Sargent, along with co-curator and daughter Anastasia Sargent, curates the gallery’s shows with a conservation mission in mind.

“When I re-invented it in 2011, the moniker that I was operating under was protecting the rare and endangered,” said Ms. Ottens-Sargent. “Part of that came from my own frustration that we were always talking about climate change, but we weren’t focusing on wildlife and threatened species. So I wanted to help change the conversation.”

Ms. Ottens-Sargent hadn’t intended to re-open the gallery with an environmental mission, but when she picked up a small book at the Chicken Alley Thrift Shop about protecting the wolves in Yellowstone, something clicked.

“My younger brother was a real wolf activist in the 1980s and we all grew up with environmentalism, even if we didn’t call it that then,” she said. “And I found this beautiful book that was filled with [wolf] photographs by Jim Brandenburg, plus poetry honoring nature. What I saw was utilizing literature and poetry and visual arts and policy issues to help people understand what is going on and why it’s so important to engage, and that’s what inspired me.”

Sargent Gallery explores the creative necessity of saving the environment. — Alison L. Mead

Several photographs of wolves by Mr. Brandenburg, who is based in Minnesota, are included in the Biophilia exhibit.

Artist Gin Stone’s “humane taxidermy” was on also display. Ms. Stone uses reclaimed longline fishing gear that would otherwise end up in landfills to create her animal sculptures. She cleans and dyes the gear to use it as the pelt or fur of a sculpture.

Ms. Ottens-Sargent also invited Tracy Davids, a board member of the Fund for Wild Nature, to speak at the Biophilia’s opening. Made up of nine board members with backgrounds in environmental activism, the fund gives grants to small environmental groups all over the North America that protect wildlife and wild places.

“This is my first time on the Vineyard,” said Ms. Davids, who grew up in New Hampshire. “I’ve never been here but I’ve always known that this is a special place. It really is amazing place, teeming with wildlife, unique ecosystems...and there are places like this all over the country.”

A discussion about activism and environmentalism followed.

“Yesterday I walked all around the beach [in Aquinnah] and I picked up a whole grocery bag full of trash,” said Ms. Davids. “If we all protected what was in our backyards, maybe that would be enough.”

“Think locally, act locally has never been more important than it is now,” said Ms. Ottens-Sargent. “Our gallery can’t change things, but maybe we can inspire action.”

The Sargent Gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Monday and by appointment. Biophilia runs through August 17. Visit sargentgallery.org.