New York Artists Interpret the Legacy of Whaling in an Innovative Exhibit
Mystic Seaport, in conjunction with the artists of the New York-based Dalvero Academy, will open a new exhibit, “Restoring a Past, Charting a Future: An Artistic Discovery of America’s Whaling Legacy by Dalvero Academy,” Saturday, April 28, 2012.
The exhibit is an artistic interpretation of the restoration of the last wooden whaleship in the world, the Charles W. Morgan. Utilizing numerous mediums, including ink, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, sculpture, photography, and embroidery, twenty-four of the Academy’s artists have created a remarkable exhibit that reflects the inspiration found within the Morgan and Mystic Seaport.
During the winter of 2009, Veronica Lawlor and Margaret Hurst, the founders of the Dalvero Academy, a private, New York-based art school, traveled to Mystic Seaport and instantly were inspired by the Museum. Always on the lookout for new locations for the Academy, they believed the romance and history of Mystic Seaport would create an ideal environment for artistic pursuits.
During their many subsequent visits, the Academy’s artists and two of its two instructors created a wide range of art inspired by the Morgan. Varying aspects of the ship will be displayed in this exhibition, including reflections on her whaling past, careful illustrations of her current restoration, and symbolic representations of her future: a 38th Voyage to make peace with those she once hunted.
Drawings large in scope depicting the 113-foot whaleship and the vast Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard where she is being restored will be exhibited alongside fine, detailed illustrations—one of which depicts the intricate whaling knot used to secure a line to a harpoon. Different perspectives of the vessel’s past, present, and future journey will be shown to Museum visitors.
Visitors will also notice a reoccurring model throughout the exhibition: the Cinderella stamp. The minute scale of a postage stamp forces the artist to pare his or her ideas down to the essentials. A “Cinderella” stamp is so named because it is a fantasy stamp that serves the artist’s ideas. It is the artists’ hope that, just like Cinderella, one day their stamps may “go to the ball” and become official U.S. Postal Service stamps. Lawlor and Hurst asked the Academy’s artists to design their own Cinderella stamps depicting any aspect of the Morgan. The resulting stamps led the artists to a world of illustration and art that will be proudly exhibited to the public.
The exhibit is a departure from normal practice for Mystic Seaport in that it is truly a joint effort. Mystic Seaport provided access to its collections, grounds, and the Morgan, and let the artists express their vision individually and then be integral in the design process for the exhibit. The result is a unique and different museum experience.
“What makes ‘Restoring a Past, Charting a Future’ special is that it is a contemporary look at an historic artifact, the Charles W. Morgan, and the Dalvero artists help us see what she represents from a fresh perspective,” said Mystic Seaport president Stephen C. White. “Hopefully this is the beginning of more such projects with outside groups who wish to take advantage of our collections to help tell the story of America’s maritime heritage with different voices and views.”
Dalvero Academy was founded by Veronica Lawlor and Margaret Hurst in 2005. It is a private academy of drawing, illustration, digital photography and design. The name Dalvero comes from the Italian “dal vero,” from the truth; from life. Ms. Hurst and Ms. Lawlor are freelance illustrators and designers who also teach at Pratt Art Institute and Parsons the New School for Design in New York. The Dalvero studio is located in Brooklyn, New York. For more information regarding the Dalvero Academy, as well as bios and statements from each participating artist, please visit http://dalveromystic.com.
The participating artists include Michele Bedigian, Susan Buroker, Alexander Charner, Sara Dilliplane, Christine Foltzer, Audrey Hawkins, La Benida Hui, Margaret Hurst, April Kelly, Jennifer Kiamzon, Veronica Lawlor, Rosa Lee, Siyeon Lee, William Martin, Danielle C. McManus, Nathaniel Miller, Kati Nawrocki, Eddie Pena, Laura Vila Rawson, Todd Rawson, Dominick Santise, Jeanette Simmons, Julia Sverchuk, and Evan Turk.
The exhibit is located in the second-floor gallery of the Museum’s Stillman Building. It will be open through September 9, 2013.
Images are available upon request.
About Mystic Seaport
Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Founded in 1929, the Museum is home to four National Historic Landmark vessels, including the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the oldest commercial vessel in the United States. The Museum is located in Mystic, Conn. and is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the spring, summer and fall. For more information, please visit https://mysticseaport.wpengine.com/.