Until now, the Sinking World exhibition has only been available to divers. That changes on Friday, October 4. That's when the deep water art show will finally be unveiled at the Alliance for the Arts.
Since June, twelve large surreal images encased in steel-framed Plexiglas have been attached by magnets to a 165-foot long WWII-era Coast Guard Cutter sunk off the coast of Sanibel. The Mohawk was scuttled there in 2012 to serve as an artificial reef, beneficial to sea life and attractive to divers. But Austrian photographer Andreas Franke has made The Mohawk his personal underwater art studio.
Franke took photographs of the sunken ship and superimposed over them images of actors dressed in 1940s costumes that he shot in his studio back in Vienna. The scenes depict the life which the Mohawk's sailors led while aboard the ship, as well as the ones they dreamed of back home.
The Mohawk launched 14 attacks against German U-boats, rescued 300 torpedoed ship survivors, and was the last ship to radio General Dwight D. Eisenhower that the weather was clearing for the D-Day invasion.
"It's like a stage, and I bring life back to the shipwreck," Franke told Chad Oliver of NBC2 News after putting the images in place on the scuttled ship.
"It's going to be like Christmas," said the Alliance's Pam Beckman, barely able to contain her excitement. "It will be like opening a present to see how [the marine life] has affected it."
This is Franke’s second such exhibition in the United States. He also created images for the 1950s-era USS Vandenberg about a mile offshore from Key West. Franke will be on hand at the 5:00-7:30 p.m. opening reception, and will host a Gallery Walk at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 5, during which he’ll answer questions about his process and inspiration.
The Sinking World exhibition will be on display in the Main Gallery from October 4 through October 28. But for now, the images remain submerged, to be enjoyed only by divers willing to venture 30 miles offshore and 90-feet down into the clear blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico for a glimpse of the artwork and abundant marine life that now calls the Mohawk home.
Artwork by Beverly Taht will be featured in the Member Gallery. Taht recently took Best of Show honors at Arts for ACT's Sixth Annual Open Theme Juried Group Show in July for her Impressionist cityscape Tuscany Shadows. Taht has been painting since she retired. She works primarily in oils, but intrigued by the millions of beading materials from which to choose, Taht also expresses her creative talents in the form of art jewelry. Although her 2D work tends to gravitate toward realism, Beverly aspires to a freer, more fluid impressionist style “especially when I am painting in France, like at Monet’s garden in Giverny.” Her motifs include portraits, florals, wildlife art and landscapes that are richly informed by her extensive travels.
Please visit ArtInLee.org or call 239-939-2787 for more information or to become an Alliance member today.
The Alliance for the Arts proudly supports artists and arts organizations in our area as the state designated Local Arts Agency for Lee County. The Alliance for the Arts galleries and gift shop are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 1:00 on Saturdays. The Alliance is located at 10091 McGregor Boulevard, just south of Colonial Boulevard.