Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Summer of travel: Alaska, Denmark and Taiwan!

I have enjoyed a very lively summer. I created a new piece for a show I curated with BSG colleague Donna Dodson, I organized a reading in my gallery in Anchorage by Alaska writer Laureate Ernestine Hayes, I went to Denmark for the Ringkobing International Wood Carving Symposium and I recently completed a month residency at the National Museum for Marine Science and Technology in Keelung, Taiwan, creating another Avian Avatar with Donna Dodson under our collaborative entity The Myth Makers.

Uncharted and other work at Art Complex Museum, Duxbury MA

So why co-curate a major exhibition, Wood as Muse at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury MA. with Donna Dodson?
Researching and selecting artists allowed me entry into the lives and studios of artists I admire. It made me think deeply about my affection for and lifelong connection to wood. It was an opportunity to create a community of twelve artists who mostly did not know each other. See Greater Boston Blurb about the show.  See my interview

How did an engagement with Alaska Writer Laureate Ernestine Hayes come about? 
I had never met her, but had been reading her books with enthusiasm. I knew she would be in Anchorage for a workshop the week I was visiting. My Alaska gallery, blue.hollomon gallery often hosts readings, and always an event when Donna Dodson and I are in town. Ernestine had a new book and was eager to read. It was a warm synergy of meeting and shared work – a perfect intersection of her fans and ours.
Alaska Writer Laureate Ernestine Hayes with Andy Moerlein

What is an international wood carving symposium and why Ringkobing, Denmark? 
A wood symposium brings together an elite selection of the world’s best wood sculptors to carve monumental logs in a brief period of time. This is performance sculpture in rare form. The art making process is laid bare to daily observation, bark-on log to finished surfaces.
Ringkobing invited twelve artists to this short week-long event. The skill level was uniformly evident. These artists knew shape and understood how to create it. We had great accommodations at a local hotel, an endless stream of meals featuring the many ways this harbor town prepares and serves fish: fried, baked, smoked, poached, spicy, salted, hot, cold etc, tours to nearby sights and places of community pride, and many fun evenings with local supporters and our fellow sculptors.
Ringkobing is an ideal symposium location. The city is celebrated internationally for it’s fjord harbor, fish restaurants and markets and tourism. The symposium is a summer highlight that is visited by hundreds of visitors daily. A grassy acre overlooking the harbor provided the perfect background for chainsaws, tourists, sunshine, sawdust and photos with sailboats in the background. The Director Otto Pilgaard is a superhuman organizer who has earned deep respect and affection from town leaders, businesses and the world sculpture community.
Why not Boston?! 
We have the arts focus, tourist volume and necessary business value. We have a dozen great possible sites I can think of.
By Andy Moerlein at the International Woodcarving Symposium, Ringkobing Denmark

By Donna Dodson at the International Woodcarving Symposium, Ringkobing Denmark

Next stop? Taiwan! A jungle coated mountainous country with a dynamic economy and vivid culture, Taiwan is diligently seeking to focus education and attention on their precious ocean environment. My invitation there was as team Myth Makers. Working with Donna Dodson we were invited to make another of our monumental “Avian Avatars”. The theme of the residency was Making Connections. We built one of a series of globe embracing sculptures addressing ocean health and the sustainability of this vital world resource. Connecting harbor cities our first Widow’s Walk debuted in New Bedford MA and was followed by the Intrepid Albatross in Keelung. 

The Widow's Walk, Seaport Art Walk 2017 New Bedford, Mass.
The concept for the Seaport Art Walk this year is Sustainable Oceans and it is curated by Jessica Bregoli. The Widow's Walk is a mythical cormorant figure of a widow contemplating the uncertain future of our oceans in much the same way as sailor's spouses used to anticipate their return. We used recycled plastic to draw attention to the gyre and the pollution of our oceans with plastic waste that threatens sea life. 
Widow's Walk, Detail

Keelung Taiwan Environmental Art Residency at the Museum of Marine Science and Technology

The Intrepid Albatross
The Myth Makers, Donna Dodson & Andy Moerlein
bamboo, wire ties, recycled rubber, mirrors

She stands facing the sea, like generations of sailor's wives. The Intrepid Albatross is optimistic for the ocean's future bounty, yet she feels uncertain about the sustainability of this massive rich resource. Like the Myth Makers, she believes in a world where all nations contract together to protect and celebrate the sea's vitality. This is one of a series of monumental temporary sculptures in a globe embracing project by The Myth Makers.

To follow daily please find me on FaceBook.
Please join us?
Sunday September 24th, 1-5p.m.
The Myth Makers Annual Open House/Studios
123 Summer Street, Maynard MA
Hear more stories, see images, enjoy what is NEW in the studios. 

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