Opening of Newest Exhibit – Rigs, Hulls, and Wheelhouses: The Art of Bob Lavoie

New Bedford, MA – The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is pleased to announce the opening their latest exhibit  Rigs, Hulls, and Wheelhouses: The Art of Bob Lavoie. An opening reception will take place on July 12, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. during AHA. The exhibit will run until September 30, 2018.

Bob Lavoie first became acquainted with New Bedford’s working fishing vessels when he began unloading vessels in high school. His time on the working docks continued while studying at SMU (now UMass Dartmouth) where he earned his BFA in Graphic Design and Illustration. He fell in love with the aesthetics of the vessels – the colors, the machinery, the lines.

After a career spent as a graphic designer, illustrator, and Art Director at Hasbro in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Bob felt the need to begin to paint again.  He began using the brilliant colors of gouache, a thick, opaque Italian watercolor. When deciding what his subject would be, he went back to something that meant a lot to him – the working fishing vessels of New Bedford and Galilee, Rhode Island.

Bob says of his subjects, “I’ve tried to paint them as they are – working boats with the rust, nets, blocks, and confusing jumbles of lines that make them beautiful.  These working vessels are disappearing in some ports, being displaced by pristine yachts in the slips and multi-million dollar condos on the docks where once these proud working vessels sailed out into the Atlantic to bring in cod, haddock, and scallops that made New England one of the primary fisheries in the world. These paintings are a small attempt to preserve a  part of our New England heritage that is fast disappearing.”

In addition to his painting, Bob also has his own graphic design and fine art studio – spot51design. He is a member of several art associations in Rhode Island.  His work has been shown in galleries across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.  In 2013, his work was  chosen to be on loan to Senator Whitehouse’s office in Washington DC. In 2014, the Rhode Island Council on The Arts and the RI Airport Authority chose his work for an exhibit at the Block Island Airport.

The Center is open Thursday – Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Located at 38 Bethel Street in the heart of the National Park, the Center is wheelchair accessible with free off-street parking.

The New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the commercial fishing industry past, present, and future through exhibits, programs, and archives. For more information, please email programs@fishingheritagecenter.org or call (508) 993-8894.