Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Restoring a Past, Charting a Future" Exhibit is Open!

Today is a big day for me and the Dalvero Academy: our group gallery show "Restoring a Past, Charting a Future" that we curated for the Museum of America and the Sea is officially open to the public, and will be on view through September 2013. I'd like to commemorate this big day by posting a drawing I did during our very first visit to Mystic Seaport three years ago. The temperatures were way below freezing and my watercolors turned to frost right on paper.

Mystic Seaport became a milestone: never before have I had such a dive into American history.

On May 19th, we will be launching an Augmented Reality exhibit for this in-gallery show: visitors are able to experience artworks at locations that inspired them, visible on mobile devices, while walking the grounds of the Seaport. I believe this new technology will become ubiquitous one day, and it's a beautiful extension to our show as a connector between "Restoring a Past" and "Charting a Future".

*Special thanks from all 24 of us to Sander Veenhof for making this possible*

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nude Study

The idea: "If the artist only reproduces superficial features as photography does, if he copies the lineaments of a face exactly, without reference to character, he deserves no admiration. The resemblance which he ought to obtain is that of the soul." ~Auguste Rodin

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Positive Feedback Loops in Wood Planks

I spent many contemplative hours drawing planks of wood inside the belly of the world's last surviving wooden whale ship at the Mystic Seaport. As I was drawing ship's interior undergoing restoration (old planks are taken out, new planks are put in), I was thinking about healing and regeneration. Regeneration is essentially the creation of a positive feedback loop: making an old whaling vessel seaworthy again gives it a new meaning in today's context. 

I kept looking at these drawings over time, they held true to me for an unknown reason. Until I looked up meanings of "positive feedback loop":

"Feedback Loops can enhance or buffer changes that occur in a system.
 Positive feedback loops enhance or amplify changes; this tends to move a system away from its equilibrium state and make it more unstable."
"Positive feedback is used in digital electronics to force voltages away from intermediate voltages into '0' and '1' states."

And...back to looking at these drawings. Now they become abstract illustrations of binary code and how information is encoded in digital electronics. Or maybe it's my attempt at understanding how events are encoded within the wood fibers as the tree grows. Thinking through the hand makes new connections happen. I'll keep looking...

Breathing new life into the boat

P.S. The installation of the upcoming gallery show at the Mystic Seaport's Museum of America and The Sea has officially commenced on Monday, April 16th. I'm one of the 24 participating artists. More info here:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Public Art Project :: Cat's Cradle

An idea for a public art installation "Cat's Cradle" at the World Financial Center's Winter Garden (2011).

Cat's Cradle from Julia Sverchuk on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Guest Blogger :: Alex Charner

Today's Guest Blogger is a dear friend, artist Alex Charner!
Enjoy his art and writing!

Exterior Planking - March 30th

Myself, Julia and 22 other artists are part of a wonderful show opening April, 28 at Mystic Seaport. We all have roles to play in the successful launch of this gallery show. My role on the video team has led to great opportunities and discoveries.

Friday, March 30th, having concluded our interviews, we went to the Mystic Preservation Shipyard to say goodbye to its Director, Quentin Snediker, on our way back to New York. Within 20 minutes we were donning hard hats and drawing as a long, flexible wooden plank was fastened to the exterior of the Charles W. Morgan.

Here's my take on the work we witnessed:

After the plank is hot boxed and suspended in by a tractor, It takes a big team to fasten it to the ship's exterior.

Workers use clamps to make sure the hot, flexible wood takes the ship's shape.

Wooden nails are also used to fasten external planking.
As a person who loves Julia's work and proudly displays one of her prints in my home, I'm honored to contribute as a guest blogger. Thank you Julia! I remember my smile when you pulled a Charner, there are so many things I learn from you and your work.

You can see more of my work at

-Alex Charner