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Bill Grant   860.536.2126
oceanart.org
Mystic Marinelife Aquarium
Mystic, Connecticut
Outdoor sculptures - each 50 to 62 feet in length



Kovel stands above his sculptures outside the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium

Q: When is the exterior of a building not just a building?

A: When it becomes it's own art gallery.

Mystic Marinelife Aquarium became a venue for artist Kovel. Hanging on the west wall five huge sculptures adorned the building: fish swam across the 200 foot façade.

In July 1998 four additional gigantic fish head sculptures were hung along the roof line on the aquarium's south wall. The sculptures were meant "to provide a visual way of speaking about such ecological problems as ocean pollution, over fishing and the dynamiting of reefs. They give the fish a voice."

In October 1998 an additional 62 foot fish was mounted on the north wall facing Interstate Route 95 to swim with the other fish. While these huge colorful fish did attract attention to the aquarium, one must remember that the ocean really does contain creatures of this size. Man is still discovering life of the great ocean depths. Mysterious life forms range in the darkest deep and in the vents of underwater volcanoes. It's an intriguing world man knows relatively little about. "I hope my fish will do more than attract attention. I hope they will inspire an interest and an awareness for a reimaginative, reinventive, recreation of the world. I hope to engender a love and stewardship for the ocean that is so much at risk today. If just a few of the passengers in those cars are challenged by what they see, or begin to look at the ocean in a new way, I will have succeeded."

Kovel is one of the few artists who have had an opportunity to attract the attention of over fifty thousand passing motorists on a daily basis. "I want to bring the beauty of the ocean to those who cannot always experience it. Public art should be more than a decorative. Public art is vitally important because it can create an artistic presence in an unexpected place and time.

The viewer becomes a participant and the public space becomes the vehicle for imaginative and re-inventive re-creation of the world.

see a photo diary of the installation process

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