Filed under: Senior Project | Tags: marine, photography, Senior Project, watercolor
Christiaan van Heerden and Adam Kumm exhibit work
Local artist and owner of the former Moss Gallery, Christiaan van Heerden will be showing watercolors at College of the Atlantic’s Blum Gallery along with underwater photographer Adam Kumm.
The two are exhibiting their work as part of their final projects as graduating COA seniors.
The show features 14 images taken of fish swimming through deep coral reefs in the Caribbean by Kumm and six large watercolors by van Heerden.
Kumm of Baltimore, MD has been studying ecology and natural history at the college while also working in graphic design and photography. A master diver, he spent three months on islands off Belize and Honduras, diving up to 120 feet deep, sometimes working upside down in a cave, closely following the exceptional creatures that live underwater.
His exhibit features images that are not always obvious, provoking the viewer to look more intensely at the photographs. Kumm worked underwater day and night. He likens the ocean world to an urban environment. The showy creatures are around during the day, while the strange ones—such as octopus—come out at night. But though his images portray a healthy reef, he says, “there has been great loss of species abundance.”
Some of Kumm’s images will run 2 by 3 feet; others are 30 by 28 inches and smaller.
A longtime Northeast Harbor resident and yacht designer, van Heerden is finishing up his degree at COA this year, transferring credits from Colby College in 1980 and an associate degree in small craft marine architecture. He spent much of his two years at COA working on affordable housing and sustainable agricultural issues—while also taking many of the art classes offered by the college.
“Taking JoAnne Carpenter’s watercolor class was an eye-opening experience for me,” says van Heerden. He is displaying six watercolors, each 22 by 30 inches, though one image features a brilliant sunrise in Charleston, South Carolina. This work focuses on the beauty found in the details of nature—fungi growing on a log or lichen on a stone. By painting these large, using subdued earth tones, frequently illuminated by one or two spots of brilliant orange tones the natural images become abstracted.
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