18 10 2012

Friends! Are any of you in Oklahoma? Or do you have extended communities that reach into the Sooner State?

If so, please don’t miss the chance to check out FISH, a multimedia art exhibition presented by the University of Oklahoma School of Art & Art History and the Lightwell Gallery. The exhibition will be open from Tuesday, October 23 through Wednesday, November 7. (Visit UOSAA for more location/time details.)

What’s the connection between a landlocked university and an examination of global fisheries? With their rich farming history, Oklahomans know about the long, arduous road of getting food from its point of origin to people. So do fishermen. Curator Cedar Marie took a “stream to plate” approach with FISH, inviting viewers to “consider how we tend to our relationships with the food we grow, harvest, and consume,” while also shining a light on one of our planet’s most diminishing food sources.

Longtime readers may recall this summer’s call for submissions. Thanks to an enthusiastic response, FISH presents “a compelling range of perspectives on the culture of fishing. Interpreted broadly, the artworks in the exhibition include sculpture, painting, video, and good old-fashioned storytelling, among other media, from both U.S. and international artists.” That range of fish-related perspectives includes water management, environmental/habitat concerns, historical depictions, sustainability, gender, safety, community awareness, and education.

(You’ll see some of Hooked favorite people/groups exhibited in FISH: Fisher Poet/Xtra Tuf ‘zine author Moe Bowstern, the Sitka Conservation Society’s Fish to Schools program, Rebecca Poulson, and Cap’n J. View a complete list of artists.)

I have to tell you, I seriously considered hopping on a Greyhound to be able to stroll through this show. Studied the calendar and everything, but it wasn’t meant to be this time. So, sweeties, if any of you are in the Norman, Oklahoma, vicinity, I’d love to hear your report. And if you’re in the area AND you’re free at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 30, give yourself a treat and attend the legendary Ray Troll’s public lecture.

FISH’s curatorial statement says this: “Visiting Guggenheim Fellowship artist Ray Troll’s quirky images based on the latest scientific discoveries bring a street-smart sensibility to the worlds of ichthyology and paleontology. His drawings and paintings are also a delightful commentary on the fishy behavior of humans.” That’s all spot-on. Ray is an Alaskan icon, forever immortalized as the artist behind “Spawn Till You Die.”

(Ray’s also to be credited for keeping Joel and I clothed. We recently figured about 80% of our T-shirts and hoodies are Troll-isms. Case in point: writing this, I’m wearing his salmon yin-yang sweatshirt. The man’s cornered the market for the Southeast Alaskan uniform.)

As much as I’m a fan of FISH’s artists, it’s the story that really gets me. On the heels of World Food Day, FISH promotes a critical message of being connected to our food sources. As a fisherman, I’m grateful for all of the time, labor, and passion that Cedar Marie has devoted to our industry and our stories. Many thanks, Cedar, and big congratulations on seeing your vision to fruition. I’ll be cheering FISH from afar, hoping that some of Hooked’s friends will share their impressions with us.

FISH 2012: Call for Artists!

19 06 2012

Here’s an exciting opportunity, friends…

The University of Oklahoma School of Art and Art History wants your entries for their Fish 2012 International Art Competition. The theme is “art related to the culture of fishing,” and what that means is wide open to your interpretation. Possibilities include fishing as an economic lifestyle, the process of fishing, work and gender issues, conservation and politics, environmental habitats and sustainability, fishing for subsistence, fisheries collapse, fish quality and safety, and community education.

What artistic medium can you enter? Curator Cedar Marie explained, “Media can be anything; photos, collage, film, poetry/spoken word, sculpture, fiber arts, ceramics, video, mixed media (this can be a combination of materials, any materials that can make an interesting or compelling artwork, including boat parts, fishing gear debris used to make a sculpture, etc! No live or decomposing animals though), performance footage, screen prints or lithos, etc. I once saw a wood sculpture of a fish that had a motion sensor, so when anyone walked by it, it spoke!”

Here are the basics:

Fish 2012 is open to all US/International artists 18 years old and older.

All media is accepted, with a $30 entry fee. (This covers 3 images.)

The entry deadline is September 1, 2012.

The exhibit dates are October 23 – November 7, 2012.

Complete competition information and entry details are here.

There’s powerful talent among Hooked’s readers, and this is a wonderful opportunity to share your gifts and your perspective on this lifestyle. I so hope you consider entering. Thanks for helping to spread the word far and wide among your communities. Now get to creating, and good luck!

Ophelia the Octopus: created entirely of marine debris by Island Trails Network & Kodiak High School. (Photo by Merrill Burden)

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