And a couple glam gallery shots courtesy of BCA/Mills Gallery and photographer Melissa Blackall.
We’re excited to be included in the exhibition/project “About, With & For” curated by Juliana Driever at the Boston Center for the Arts / Mills Gallery this fall. As part of our project for the exhibition, we’ll be bringing the Massicot out of storage along with our two paper canoes and traveling the length of the Charles River, 80 miles from its headwaters in Echo Lake down to Boston Harbor.
The Mills is also hosting us for another paper boatbuilding workshop on November 16 – see their website for more info and to sign up.
From the press release:
The artists in this exhibition – many of whom work collaboratively – articulate various aspects of Folklife as a cultural precedent. Folklife encompasses all facets of self-organized creativity, including boatbuilding, collective mending, parading, storytelling, foodways and interactions with the built and natural environment. The millenium-old rituals of street spectacle are re-imagined, an abandoned library-turned-art incubator fosters a multi-part installation, historic watercraft built from salvaged materials are rendered seaworthy, and folks who fix things do just that in About, With & For. Exceeding the specific concepts of the art world discourse, this exhibition revels in the expanded possibilities of cultural influence in contemporary life.
Paper Canoes at Populatic Pond:
Paper Canoes Pausing Before the Rapids:
Get out your Tightbond 3, folks…
Mare Liberum is back at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, NY this summer, leading a couple of two-day workshops making paper canoes. Stephan will teach participants how to make the boats during a hands-on class where everyone will help out and get their hands dirty throughout the process.
In the spirit of all our boats, no prior boat-building experience is required, and the goal will be to get a boat on the water before it’s all over.
The first workshop is July 27th and 28th, and the second will be August 17th and 18th. If you are interested in signing up, please contact Julie Broadbent at the museum. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our sole extant semi-dory (a.k.a. “HMS Biggie Smalls”)
will be making made its penultimate performance/voyage this weekend as a player in Paul Benney and Robert Sullivan’s Retreat to Victory at Proteus Gowanus… before retiring to become a flower garden at Myrtle Village Green. We are happy to see the semi-dory having a dignified run at old age. We, of course, will always remember the semi for its less historic but no-less important voyages along the Gowanus Canal, which often looked more like this:
Retreat to Victory
A performance by Paul Benney and Robert Sullivan
Saturday, May 11th, 7:30 pm
In conjunction with [Proteus' exhibition] Battle Ground exhibit, performance artist Paul Benney and author Robert Sullivan (My American Revolution) will join forces in this interdisciplinary meditation on the Continental Army’s not-well-remembered retreat from Brooklyn to Manhattan, from loss to not-loss. In addition to Paul Benney’s ethereal choreography and Robert Sullivan’s words and song, the performance will include quilts by Suzanne Sullivan and music by Louise Sullivan. Time past and present will merge as guests are transported down our alleyway to the performance in a wooden boat. Join us!
Robert Sullivan is the author, most recently, of My American Revolution, a book about the American Revolution described by Sam Roberts of the NY Times as “a provocative Baedeker for a landscape of loss, Gen. George Washington’s route from Brooklyn to “the very first Middle America” and back…” Other books by Sullivan include Rats, The Meadowlands, A Whale Hunt, How Not To Get Rich Or Why Being Bad Off Isn’t So Bad, Cross Country, and The Thoreau You Don’t Know. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, New York, A Public Space, Runner’s World, Condé Nast Traveler, GQ, Rolling Stone, The Independent of London, The London Times and Vogue. He was born in Manhattan and lives in Brooklyn with his family.
Paul Benney lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied Theater Arts and Dance at U.C. Santa Cruz and co-directed OnSite Dance Company in San Francisco with Jessica Lutes for twelve years before moving to New York in 2002. He was a Movement Research Artist in Resident in 2003, and he continues his performance related work with the performance art group, TRYST. His varied performance experience includes stints with the underground Rock pioneers The Residents, Joe Goode Performance Group, Zaccho Dance Theatre, David Neumann’s Advanced Beginners Group, and The Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Paul has also performed on several magical occasions at Proteus Gowanus. He is a Gym Teacher and Coach at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn.
543 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Thurs & Fri: 3 – 6
Sat & Sun: 12 – 6
Study Hall Hours
Mon – Fri: 10 –
We were invited by our friend Adriane Colburn from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at UGA to come down as visiting artists in the Foundations program and do a project this spring with the students there. Our crew of one just returned from a lovely week in Athens, culminating with the launch of four little boats last Friday, April 12th.
The students of Jacob Brault’s 3-D Design Class did an amazing job building three of the boats on their own. There were two really cute Portuguese dinghies made after this design–and one of our own Liberum Dories. Having made a few of these before, I was impressed (and a little relieved) that it came together so nicely and proved its seaworthiness immediately.
The fourth boat was a collaboration between Mare Liberum and a number of the undergraduate students from Adriane’s Foundations drawing classes and several other students and classes in the art department. It was also the very first PapeREI Canoe to hit the water. (Needless to say, there are a handful of forthcoming corrections to the instructions we published for Conflux, but we will get to that soon, I promise.)
The students contributed scores of drawings of native plants they had collected. The drawings were made on 2’ long, 4” wide strips and glued in place on the first and last layers of the hull. The seats, the stems, and the floorboards were all cut on our new friend Michael Olivieri’s CNC router, and–once attached to the gunnels–made the boat plenty stiff. This makes it a lot easier to build, and the boat did great once on the water.
This project couldn’t have come together without everyone’s help. I’d especially like to thank Adriane Colburn, Jacob Brault, Michael Olivieri, Steve Arnold, Chris Hocking and his son Finn, as well as Iris, Loughton, Eric, the UGA grad students, and the very helpful UGA staff.
Thanks, everyone, for coming out to our talk on Sunday at Conflux in New York City. Had a great time sharing our project and really appreciated your questions, comments and support. We’ll be releasing a new insert with even simpler plans for finishing the paper boat without ribs later this month. Stay tuned and let us know what you build!
At long last we have completed work on our three year long investigation into the histories and techniques of paper boat building, originating with the Waters & Co. paper boat and dome factory in Troy New York (mid to late 19th century) to the more recent artistic excursions on the water in… things made of paper. The attached broadsheet details the first phase of our research. Click the image above to download the 3.9mb pdf and happy boating!
Post any comments or questions below, on our facebook page – http://fb.me/thefreeseas and thanks for reading.
Video from Stephan’s talk at NYC’s World Maker’s Faire 2012: