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SHARK: At the Museum of Art

Watson and the Shark, one of the works at SHARK.

Dive Into Man’s Never Ending Fascination with these Fabled Creatures of the Sea

 SHARK, an exhibition at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University takes visitors on a journey through over 70 artists’ perspectives on these fascinating creatures from predator to victim to pop culture icon. The exhibition has been organized by the Museum of Art and curated by acclaimed marine artist and author, Richard Ellis. It is being presented in association with Nova Southeastern University’s Oceanographic Center.

On view May 12, 2012 through Jan. 6, 2013, the multi-media exhibition features drawings, paintings, photography, sculptures and videos by artists from all over the world.

“Sharks have long fascinated man; some ancient societies even revered them as gods. In my art, I pay homage to their graceful beauty,” said Ellis. “This exhibition delves into a variety of issues in an examination of the human impact on sharks. It explores the shark as a predator and its portrayal in culture, the importance of shark conservation, the biology of the myriad of shark species, and the thrill of shark encounters.”

“SHARK is a stunning and timely exhibition about how the shark has entered the public imagination and how artists, over the decades, have portrayed one of the most fascinating, vulnerable, and misunderstood marine animals on the planet,” said Irvin Lippman, executive director of the Museum of Art.

About SHARK

The exhibition opens with John Singleton Copley’s painting, Watson and the Shark (ca. 1778) the first depiction of a shark in art that firmly established the shark as a man-eater. Copley’s fascination is shared by contemporary artists such as Robert Longo, Jose Bedia, Kcho and Damien Hirst, all of whom are featured in the exhibition. SHARK also includes well-known marine artists and conservationists Guy Harvey, Kent Ullberg and Richard Ellis, as well as noted photographers Chris Fallows, Ron and Valerie Taylor, Daniel Botelho, David Doubilet, and Rodney Fox. Among the most dramatic installations are the watercolors of 400 shark species by British wildlife illustrator Marc Dando.

A gallery is devoted to Jaws, the 1975 film by Steven Spielberg. Original storyboards, illustrations, posters and memorabilia are included to underscore the impact of this film on human consciousness. Ellis has carefully selected the 160 works in this exhibition to show the multiple portraits of the shark – from predator to prey – to help us better understand this magnificent fish, which is now listed among the most vulnerable of all marine creatures.

Visitors can engage with the exhibition before even stepping through the Museum doors by downloading the SHARK mobile integration onto smartphones and tablets. The family-friendly program offers gaming, shark facts, shark tracking and a family resource guide. It can be downloaded via a mobile bar code or a link on www.moafl.org. Furthering the guests’ interactive experience is the installation of several education stations which answer questions about the lives of sharks and the need for conservation.

Admission to SHARK includes general admission to the Museum. Adult admission is $10, seniors and military is $7, children ages 6-17 is  $5, children 5 and under and Museum members are admitted free. The SHARK exhibition audio guide is $4 per person. Schools and children’s group admission is $8 and adult group admission is $10. Group admission rates include audio guides.

About the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale

Founded in 1958, the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale is one of the area’s leading cultural attractions. The building was designed in 1986 by Edward Larrabee Barnes. The Museum also houses the AutoNation Academy of Art + Design which offers courses year-round to adults and students in grades 1-12. Courses are taught by nationally-known artists and include classes in painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, sculpture, printmaking, textiles and digital arts. The Museum is also home to Books & Books, with a full schedule of author events. For more information about the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, its café and exhibition and program calendar, visit www.moafl.org.

About Nova Southeastern University

The Museum is a division of Nova Southeastern University (NSU). Located in Davie, Florida, NSU is a dynamic fully accredited Florida University dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs of distinction from preschool through the professional and doctoral levels. NSU has more than 28,000 students and is the eighth largest not-for-profit independent institution nationally. Among its divisions is the Oceanographic Center, which is a world leader in marine biological research with focus on coral reef science and shark conservation. For more information about NSU, visit www.nova.edu.