Carla Massoni Gallery
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MARC CASTELLI – Between the Moon Monster and the Wind
May 6 – June 25, 2011
Opening Reception: May 6 from 6-8 pm
Open House will be held on Saturday, May 7, from 11 am – 3pm

In addition to Mr. Castelli’s watercolors, a selection of art glass by Hegland Glass will be on display. An Artists Talk is scheduled at 12 Noon on Saturday when Marc Castelli and Patti and Dave Hegland will discuss their work and answer questions.

The title of this year’s show refers to the vagaries of the conditions watermen contend with in the struggle to keep their industry viable on the Chesapeake Bay. In this collection of new watercolors, Castelli reminds us of the hardships facing these men. Not only must they deal with environmental degradation and the onerous regulations that govern their trade - something as variable as the moon in the night sky – “ring around the moon, storm coming soon” - or the direction of the wind – “when the wind is in the East, the fish bite the least” – as passed down in the folklore of the region, may ultimately be the determining factor in their catch.

Please visit Marc Casetlli's website to view the entire collection.

Watch the Nautica ocean2ocean video featuring Marc Castelli by clicking here.

Castelli has been painting the watermen for over twenty years. He is known for his intimate perspective of their lives, a perspective gained by his active involvement on their workboats.

“No artist on the Chesapeake scene covers the waterfront better than Marc Castelli,” author Tom Horton wrote in recent article, Truth in Painting. ‘I want to paint the truth of their lives. I see them as the last of the free ranging cowboys. I don’t romanticize them or pretty them up,’ explains Castelli. Indeed, it’s the finely rendered detail that sets Castelli apart – from the rust and grime on the workboats, to the concentration on a deckhand’s face as he untangles a rockfish from a gill net. In those minutiae he captures the essence of being a waterman.”

Castelli works side by side with the men, in all seasons and in all weather endeavoring to capture the essence of their world. “Marc gets on the boats, so you don’t get a detached view,” said Pete Lesher, chief curator of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. “You get the view of an active participant.” In the last five years, Castelli has also become something of a political activist on behalf of the watermen’s cause, appearing before legislative committees and speaking out in venues all over the state. “There are many people who are not watermen who want to see the 400 year old heritage of the state’s seafood industry continue. It’s a tradition. It’s a culture here.” Castelli testified.

But it is ultimately through the language of painting that Castelli finds his power. “Painting is a language,” Castelli explained paraphrasing Andrew Wyeth. “The longer you spend at it, the more fluent you become.” Castelli has been practicing this “language” for over thirty-five years. “One of the wonderful by-products of this intimacy of language,” Castelli shared, “is that your skill level goes up and results in the ability to reach into the viewer’s experience and have them find like experiences with which to resonate and relate to your images.” The confidence he feels in using his paintings to reach others is attained by the daily pursuit of his skills as a painter and his personal growth as a human being. “It always surprises me when a viewer relates their experiences to me using my images as a starting point. In some small way, I was able to get them past the “clichés” and get closer to something they have never experienced or seen.”

In the last year, Castelli has been honored with two major exhibitions and several lectures at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum; the premier of the Simison Collection of his paintings at the Kohl Gallery at Washington College through the auspices of the Center for Environment and Society; the selection of his watercolors for the 2010 and 2011 Maryland Public Television’s Chesapeake Bay Week Poster; and with numerous articles in regional and national print media. He has also participated in exhibitions at the National Maritime Historical Society’s annual meetings in Washington, DC and at the Annapolis Maritime Museum’s fundraising event.

Between the Moon Monster and the Wind opens on Friday, May 6 and will remain on exhibit through June 25, 2011. The contemporary kiln-formed art glass of Patti and Dave Hegland will be available throughout the exhibition.

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