Val’s Photography to be featured in Coos Art Museum – Coos Bay Oregon

Back story:

I love fishing, it’s in my blood; I taught my son at three with a small child’s pole of green and white, at McGovern Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin; at the lagoon where I fished as a child. It was Easter 1984 I gave it to him as his gift.

We packed up the car got our worms and sat on the dock for hours catching and releasing our fish, He loved it and slept all the way home. Later that week I noticed a smell in the car and could not for the life of me figure out what it was, you got it, the worms were decaying in the back in our tackle box. My son grew up to love fishing as well.

I come from a long line of fishermen, (although I did not know that when I was young) and fishing is in my blood; my Ancestors were all Fishermen in Porticello, Solanto, Santa Elia and Santa Flavia, and Baggheria, in the Palermo Province of  Sicily.

When I visited Sicily I meandered along the port in Porticello and fell in love with the boats, all sizes and shapes. Most were white and blue some with red or green added, many were rusted and loaded with fishing gear, nets boxes for their catch, wenches, pullies, it was a feast for one’s eyes. I snapped 2000 images during my stay in Italy and fell in love with two that I sent off to a museum for a show.

Low Res Images See Art Museum Show or contact val@vlsculptures .com

One I entitled “My Grandfather is a Fishermen” an image of an old man on a boat with a huge anchor hanging above, nets and gear all about, but if you look closely he is holding a small child whom I am calling his grandson, is he? Who know’s, it was what I felt when I saw it that made me see my picture, my past, my ancestors past, that is “My grandfathers were fishermen” and theirs before them and so on and so on. And once

upon a time they too sat in this port with their descendents on their laps.

Low Res Images See Art Museum Show or contact val@vlsculptures .com

The Second Image is entitled “The Fishermen are in Port” an image of a sea of fishing vessels so many you feel as if you could walk from boat to boat. The next thing that comes to mind is how in the world will they get them out of there? It was October, the Festa of the Madula Madonna in Porticello a centuries old festival of the fishermen. All the fishermen in the area come into port for 11 days to celebrate.

They carry the Madonna from the water to the top of the hill. They wear blue shirts and red scarfs and walk in bare feet. The story as I know it is that there was a fierce storm in the village of Porticello and most the boats were out to sea when it occurred. They upon their return found a Madonna that had emerged from the water standing straight up facing the mountain. The fishermen took it as an omen to build a church on the mountain which they did.

And every October they carry their Madonna from the water along the hilly road to the top of the mountain and place her for another year when they carry her back to the sea and do it all over again.

Flash Forward:

I submitted two of my favorite black and white images “My Grandfather is a Fishermen” and “The Fishmen are in Port” to the Coos Art Museum in Oregon for their Fish and Fishing Art – Juried Art Exhibit that they are exhibiting from December 10th 2010 Feb 19th, 2011 and I am happy to say they accepted both images I submitted for their Exhibit.

Their Acceptance letter to me says that 182 submissions were made by 97 Artists and their panel of jurors selected 70 works by 56 Artisans. I enlarged them to 12″x18″ framed out at 16″x20″.  I hope the audience enjoys them at The Coos Art Museum, in Coos Bay Oregon; as much as I enjoyed taking them.

If you’re in the neighborhood stop by December 11th 2010 – Feb  19th, 2011

Coos Art Museum

235 Anderson Ave

Coos Bay, Oregon, 97420

Phone 541-267-3901


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