Tag: Plunge

Catalog Lookback: Cross Currents: Water/ Art/Influence an online exhibition

Moby Dick underwater
What Lies Beneath, is a mixed media sculpture created to submerge Moby Dick by Herman Melville underwater, 2016. Photo by Lawrence Labianca

Rippling, roiling, teeming with life…Deep, dark, waiting to be explored…Water has long been a potent influence for the artists we exhibit, artists who explore its mystery and majesty in widely divergent ways. Cross Currents: Water/Art/Influence is an online exclusive exhibition on Artsy that features works reflecting rivers, oceans and life aquatic. It highlights three catalogs we have published, Of Two Minds: Artists Who Do More Than One of a Kind, vol. 38; Plunge: explorations from above and below, vol. 43 and Blue/Green: color/code/context, vol. 44 and several artists for whom water has been an inspiration. The multifaceted exhibition combines sculptures, tapestries, installation works, paintings and ceramics. Each work resides at the intersection of the maker’s fascination with a variety of nautical and natural themes and the artmaking process. 

Sail Cloth Art by Grethe Wittrock
Artica, Grethe Wittrock, sail cloth, 2015. Photo by Tom Grotta

Judy Mulford’s meticulously detailed sculptures, inspired by her home at the beach in California, join Grethe Wittrock’s Arctica, a sculpture made from a repurposed sail from the Danish Navy. Debra Sachs‘ water studies evoke a sense of movement by distorting a static grid using the color blue as akin to a living thing, like the rivers and the oceans, shallow to deep, static to moving. Lawrence LaBianca creates experiences in which water is an integral part. In Skiff, an antique telephone receiver links viewers to sounds of a rushing river. Twenty-four Hours on the Roaring Fork River, Aspen, CO, is a print created by Drawing Boat, a vessel filled with river rocks that makes marks on paper when it is afloat. For What Lies Beneath/Moby Dick Book, LaBianca lowered an encased copy of Moby Dick into the water to capture an image. “I love the images that Melville created in Moby Dick, he says, “the idea of something greater below governed by forces deep within a person’s soul. What Lies Beneath/Moby Dick Book draws a continuum with the idea of something great below. It also is comical and slightly absurd.” Karyl Sisson works with found objects — clothespins, zippers, tapes — to create sea creature-like sculptures. In creating Haystack River Basket, Dorothy Gill Barnes was moved by the natural forms created of tree roots sculpted by rushing water.

River teeth basket by Dorothy Gill Barnes
Haystack River Basket, Dorothy Gill Barnes, early river teeth, 2011. Photo by Tom Grotta

In all, the work of 21 artists will be included in Cross Currents. Some are moved by water as a natural force, for others there is a more spiritual connection, still others are interested in how Man is impacting our oceans and rivers — in each case the results are thought provoking and intriguing. One-half of the works will appear on Artsy on June 8th, the reminder will be added on June 15th: https://www.artsy.net/show/browngrotta-arts-cross-currents-water-slash-art-slash-influence.

Dispatches: New Bedford, Mass — history, art and eats

We’ve all heard of the common stomping grounds of an affluent New England traveler. Many New Yorkers head to the Hamptons, but for those who are farther north (or willing to take a longer trek), Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket make up the holy trinity.

But for anyone who’s ready to switch things up, enjoy the opportunity to take a break from driving this summer by stopping in New Bedford, MA on your way to whichever classic summer vacation spot lies ahead. Whether you’ve visited before or it’s your first time stopping through, New Bedford will capture your heart with its rich history, quaint cobblestone streets and incredible art offerings.

New Bedford’s historic downtown boasts a working waterfront brings the nostalgia of old whaling days. Filled with a variety of restaurants, shops, and museums, the downtown district of New Bedford offers something for everyone while bringing the past to life. If you are looking for a lively experience, check out the North End of New Bedford; teeming with an array of cafes and bakeries, the North End illuminates New Bedford’s multicultural heritage.

More into the museum scene? Don’t miss the New Bedford Art Museum, Artworks!, which plays host this summer to Plunge: Explorations from Above and Below, a fascinating group exhibition of works influenced by water.
And because there’s so much to catch and so little time, press this list of to create your perfect New Bedford itinerary.


What to Do in New Bedford and environs:

New Bedford Whaling Museum

Above: Entry to the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Photo by Tom Grotta


The New Bedford Whaling Museum chronicles the history and impact of the “Old Dartmouth” whaling industry. Whale oil harvested by crews from New Bedford once lit the entire East Coast. The museum houses everything from whale skeletons and a model of the world’s largest whaling ship to work by internationally known maritime artists. The museum also gives you an opportunity to explore the importance of whale science and conservation, as well as informing you about what you can do to advance the cause.

New Bedford Art Museum/Artworks!

Above: Facade of the New Bedford Art Museum, Photo by Tom Grotta


The New Bedford Art Museum is a must-see for visitors of all ages. The museum offers a diverse array of engaging artwork, as well as a dynamic and interactive experience for kids and an extensive collection for parents and art lovers. This summer, the New Bedford Art Museum collaborated with browngrotta arts to create Plunge: Explorations from Above and Below, a unique exhibit that combines 16 artists working in numerous media to create a body of work that pays tribute to the nautical and natural processes around us. Artist featured in Plunge used fish scales, Danish sail cloth, and even an old Moby Dick book as material for their work.  Plunge can be viewed at the New Bedford Art Museum until October 8th.

Above: Plunge: Explorations from Above and Below at the New Bedford Art Museum, Photo by Tom Grotta


The Seamen’s Bethel

Life at sea was exhausting and monotonous, after returning to landwhalers would spend the majority of their time and money at gambling dens, brothels and saloons. However, Quaker whalers in New Bedford saw this as a threat to the dignity and good order of their community. Therefore, the citizens of the town created the New Bedford Port Society for the Moral Improvement of Seamen, which offered church services to whalers before and after their whaling ventures. Due to the varying religions of the whalers, the church was declared non-denominational and is still that way today. Moby Dick’s author Herman Melville was one of the many whalers who found solace in the church before venturing out to sea.

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center

The Fishing Heritage Center, which opened just over a year ago, works to share the story of New Bedford’s fishing community by educating the public about the history and culture of the fearless fishermen who spent their lives working to provide for the community. Where the Whaling Museum celebrates the past, the Fishing Heritage Center celebrates the contemporary fishing industry.The Center offers free admission and provides engaging educational programs for people of all ages.
More art is to be found in nearby Westport, MA.


Where to Stay:

In addition to the larger chains, like the Fairfield Inn, Seaport Inn and Conference Center in Fairhaven, the area is home to charming Bed and Breakfasts like the Cranberry Gardens Inn; in nearby Wareham, Massachusetts (Contact: 508-295-9475 www.bbonline.com) or the Delano Homestead & Gardens in Fairhaven (Contact: 508-992-5552; http://www.delanohomestead.com).



Above: Dedee Shattuck Gallery, Photo by Neil Alexander


Dedee Shattuck Gallery (Just 25 minutes West of New Bedford)

A contemporary art gallery situated among acres of meadows and forests in neighboring Westport, Massachusetts, the Dedee Shattuck Gallery exhibits an ever-broadening selection of noted international, national, regional and emerging artists, and select artistic gifts — jewelry, scarves, tableware — establishing a cultural destination in the heart of Westport, Massachusetts (Contact: 508-636-4177; Dedeeshattuckgallery@gmail.com).


Above: Partners Village Store & Kitchen, Photo by Tom Grotta


Partners Village Store and Kitchen (also 25 minutes West of New Bedford)

Just next door to the Dedee Shattuck Gallery in Westport is Partners Store and Kitchen offering gifts, toys, books, cards, candy, specialty foods — great coffee and light dining. Come to shop, stay for lunch (Contact: 508.636.2572; http://partnersvillagestore.com).
Decided to stay the night in New Bedford? You’ll be sure to find an option to please even the pickiest traveler.
Prefer a tried and true staple when choosing your accommodations? Post up at the Fairfield Inn or Seaport Inn and Conference Center in Fairhaven. Or, if B&Bs are more your style, the area is home to charming options like the Cranberry Gardens Inn, in nearby Wareham, MA or the Delano Homestead & Gardens in Fairhaven.
Your itinerary is almost complete – now for critical decisions. What will you eat?
There are some epic choices for fine dining in and near New Bedford.
A short walk from the New Bedford Whaling Museum, The Black Whale consistently serves phenomenal seafood. With a great drink menu and a great kids menu, the Black Whale is the perfect destination after a long day of sightseeing.
Cork Wine & Tapas is among the hidden gems of New Bedford. Offering a variety of wine flights, there is no chance you’ll leave this place displeased. Not to mention, the food is to die for. Cork’s menu offers everything from savory short rib tacos to delicious lobster crostini.
Margaret’s, in nearby Fairhaven, offers a variety like no other, and for an affordable price. Margaret’s is also known for their delicious breakfast; order the ‘Home Friends’ and I promise you won’t regret it. With amazing service and a cozy atmosphere, Margaret’s will become your home away from home.