Masters in maritime art unfurl in Fairfield
Don Demers, Schooner, Brooklyn Bridge
Water, water everywhere…the Ancient Mariner would surely feel at home in the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery. One of the nation’s foremost collections of marine art, it has over 1,000 works from leading marine artists around the world. Recently this venerable Fairfield gallery moved from its longtime Post Road quarters to a new location in Greenfield Hill, a former bank building at 1899 Bronson Road.
“We’re very excited about our new space—about 1,700 square feet,” says Jinishian. “It’s a terrific place to display art. With our twelve-foot ceilings, we can hang four rows of works from floor to ceiling, just like the Louvre!” The gallery displays 300 to 400 works, everything from an eight-foot ship model to a four-inch scrimshaw. The majority are paintings, complemented by drawings, etchings, sculpture and photography.
With thirty-five years in his field, Jinishian is recognized as a leading authority and lectures nationally. He is the author of Bound for Blue Water—considered the definitive guide to contemporary marine art, and publisher of Marine Art News magazine since 2001. He formerly served as director of the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport Museum and the Big Horn Gallery in Fairfield before opening his own gallery in 1997.
Some of the artists he represents are John Stobart, Donald Demers, Christopher Blossom, and New Zealand artist Anthony D. Blake, who hails from a family of world-class sailors. Jinishian says, “You can come here to see new works by these internationally recognized artists ‘hot off the easel,’ or you may discover a hidden treasure—a painting brought by a private collector, rarely or never seen by the public.” (See “Bon Voyage” below.)
Open House: Sept. 22, noon-5 p.m., J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, 1899 Bronson Rd., 203-259-8753.
A tale of 32,000 miles
Artist Brechin Morgan grew up in Waterford—an apt place, as he’s been enamored with boats and sailing all his life. At seventeen he was sailing charter boats in the Caribbean. Then, after studying at Silvermine College of Art, he worked on an oyster boat. Later he opened Morgan Sign Company in South Norwalk and painted many outdoor nautical murals in the area.
At age fifty-one, he retired and from 1998 to 2003 sailed single-handedly from Block Island around the world on his twenty-seven-foot cutter rigged sailboat, following the route of Columbus. He was then one of only 259 people to circumnavigate the globe alone.
Morgan’s watercolor sketches, journal, log and photos from the 32,000-mile, thirty-two-country voyage have been inspiring painters ever since. These works can be seen in the J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, along with Morgan’s most recent New England seascapes.
The universal quest of mankind is the theme of Westport artist Marlene Siff’s new exhibition, Elements of Peace (it runs September 20 through December 9). Included are paintings, works on paper, sculptures, mobiles and maquettes of large, three-dimensional constructions. The paintings range from vivid explosions of color to quiet, white, sculpturesque paintings, which Siff describes as metaphors for the range of “emotions that war evokes and the complex search for alternative solutions.”
Opening reception: Sept. 20, 6-8 p.m.,
Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery, Quick Center, Fairfield University, 203-254-4000.