Article By Kaitlin Schroeder of the Kennebec Journal
Some find the bones sad. Others are intrigued. Almost all are hesitant to pick up and handle the whale bones at BUMP, an exhibit of bones from three whale skeletons hanging suspended in the Emery Community Arts Center in Farmington. The art is intended to be educational, and visitors are encouraged to handle the displayed bones.
“The kids really go right in and pick up the bones. The seasoned art observer has been trained ‘Don’t touch the art,’” said project artist Dan DenDanto, a whale researcher who specializes in rearticulating skeletons. “There’s a bit of discovery that has to happen.”
DenDanto has been cleaning, articulating and restoring whale skeletons professionally since 1993, though BUMP is his first exhibit that was fine art and not a traditional assembly. The exhibit was first displayed at the Maine College of Art, and it opened Friday evening at the University of Maine at Farmington with a public reception. The gallery is open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the exhibit will be displayed until March.
The project was the result of a conversation DenDanto’s brother, Frank, had with a director at the Maine College of Art while Frank DenDanto was working as there a light designer.
After a conversation about Dan and whale skeletons and their potential for art, the brothers were asked to create the exhibit.
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The gallery’s regular hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Teachers who are interseted in bringing students to see the exhibit can contact Jayne Decker at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.