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about th i s p roj ect The S ea P roj e ct, by Sperry Top-Sider, is a contemporary, culture-forward project inspired by a “Passion for the Sea� and fuses leading and up-and-coming artists with fashion projects, street-level outreach, fine art exhibitions, Limited Edition collections or other ideas still being crafted. Each project, created and inspired by a Passion for the Sea, is aligned with a non-profit to benefit from this effort. The inaugural Sea Project Exhibit, October 25, 2012 at The Fourth Wall Project in Boston kicks off this exciting new project for Sperry Top-Sider and allows artists, appreciators, tastemakers, sneaker-heads, Editors, bloggers and cultural influencers to view and admire original works of art, produced by international artists.



about S P E R RY TO P-S I D E R

// s p e r ry top s i de r.c om

Sperry Top-Sider has been an American Original since 1935 when Paul Sperry invented the first boat shoe for sailors. Inspired by the innovation of our founder, we create for performance, build with quality and design for an enduring sense of style. Sperry Top-Sider is the leading global nautical lifestyle brand for men, women and kids that share our Passion for the Sea.



CHAR LES RIVER WATERSHED ASSOCIATION CRWA’s mission is to use science, advocacy and the law to protect, preserve and enhance the Charles River and its watershed. One of the country’s oldest watershed organizations, Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) was formed in 1965 in response to public concern about the declining condition of the Charles River. Since its earliest days of advocacy, CRWA has figured prominently in major clean-up and watershed protection efforts, working with government officials and citizen groups from 35 Massachusetts watershed towns from Hopkinton to Boston. Initiatives over the last four decades have dramatically improved the quality of water in the watershed and fundamentally changed approaches to water resource management. While CRWA’s mission focuses on the Charles River, the implications and applicability of our science-based work go far beyond the watershed’s boundaries. Much of CRWA’s work is cutting edge and therein lies our unique strength and effectiveness: we use our scientific knowledge of the Charles to develop innovative, workable solutions to watershed problems. This knowledge allows CRWA not only to advocate persuasively for outcomes, but also to partner with government agencies and other environmental groups to protect the natural environment and to promote sustainable ecosystem policies and practices.

5 0% of art sal es fro m this exhibit wi l l be donated to the C RWA whi l e the other 5 0% g oes to the artist.



let te r f rom the c u rator The sea inspires all of us. From the way it makes us feel as we watch the rhythm of its waves on a sunny summer day, to the shapes and colors it creates during its wild, angry storms. Each ripple leads us to something else. The sea inspires something deep inside our collective souls. Sperry Top-Sider’s The Sea Project embraces just this: what the sea does for us and to us ~ both individually and as a collection of people that share their love for it. As a curator, I am honored to work with Sperry Top-Sider to document how the sea inspires creativity. It is amazing to read the history of Sperry Top-Sider and the innovation of its Founder Paul Sperry. Whether in 1935 when first launched, or today still, Sperry Top-Sider is in constant pursuit of creating a brand that helps further one’s relationship with the sea ~ whether for work, fun or fashion. Sperry Top-Sider was born on the sea in 1935, when founder and avid sailor Paul Sperry created the world’s first boat shoe. Sperry Top-Sider has had a Passion For The Sea for over seventy-five years and will always pursue strengthening our relationship with the water. Each artist featured in this inaugural exhibit tells a story through their work of what the sea truly means to them. Each was posed a simple question to ponder; “What is your passion for the sea?” The work you see is their answer. It is our hope that these artists’ passion inspires your own, and allows you to connect with the sea in whatever form, color or shape. Tyler Lauren McGinley, Curator



To me, the sea is a vessel of endless mystery, a source of inspiration and power as well as fear. -B eth hoecke l




Aaron M oraN

Composed principally of reclaimed materials washed ashore, Breakwater presents an image of dynamism and energy linked directly to the source materials and their aquatic history. The water and surrounding shore imparts a unique fingerprint on the work that reflects the powerful and occasionally harsh nature of the marine environment. A variety of aquatic personalities ranging from the bellowing crest of a wave, to a rolling tide take shape in the completed pieces.


Aaron Moran is based in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley where his attention to the inherent aftermath of growth in urban and sub-urban environments was first drawn. He received his BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2007 as well as studied film & video at Simon Fraser University. Through assemblage and painting, he explores themes of development, antiquity, and the myth of progress. His work attempts to excavate the history of location through the use of found materials with an emphasis on the context in which work is both made and presented.

Jagged and hectic construction is countered with the utilization a calming palette associated with oceans and lakes. The resulting works portray water as both provider and consumer, a wild, untamed force, and a calming vista. The contrast between these roles is encompassed within the work as tangible visual placeholders for the dichotomy that water represents.

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BETH H oeckel

// Balti mor e, Marylan d

Beth Hoeckel was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland until the ripe young (naïve) age of 17, when she earned a merit scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and headed to the mid-west. At SAIC she studied Painting, Photography, and Printmaking and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. A whirlwind decade was subsequently spent abroad in which many international travels and various adventures in spontaneity ensued. This included two years living in romantic yet pointless squalor in New York City, followed by four years of vapid jobs and time-wasting traffic in Los Angeles. Finally realizing she’s a true East Coast girl at heart, Beth has now settled in her home town of Baltimore where she lives her lifelong dream of working 24/7/365 on collages, mixed media paintings, and whatever else she can get her hands on. This includes, but is not limited to drawing portraits of imaginary friends, replacing peoples eyes with animals’ eyes, treasure hunting at thrift stores, devouring classic literature, thinking about and cutting out pictures of food and gemstones, collecting babysitters club books for no reason, and anything/everything else that sparks her wildly ridiculous imagination.






Creating these unique scenes is like putting together a puzzle. I layer separate images into one until they make visual and emotional sense, relying largely on intuition and mood to guide me through the assembly process. It is interesting to me that a story or image that may seem light and comical to some could be viewed as deep and somber to another. This notion has intrigued me and inspired my work. Most of the pieces are figurative and incorporate landscapes and bodies of water. To me, the sea is a vessel of endless mystery, a source of inspiration and power as well as fear. The work in this series alludes to the dual nature of the sea- the feeling of floating, as well as the polar opposite feeling of sinking. The ultimate goal of my collage and mixed media work is to cast a spell that mesmerizes those who view it. By combining vintage found imagery, surreal scenery, and elements of nostalgia, I am able to produce evocative narratives that lure the viewer in. I prefer to allow each individual to have a unique interpretation of what is happening in the scene and to what consequence. This entices them to imagine what secrets are concealed within, thus creating a personal connection, which everyone can relate to in their own way. I believe this gives my work its appeal and charm.










// BOSTON, mas sach us et ts

Julia has been making art since she can remember. Her first silkscreen print with a leaf in fifth grade art class with Mrs. Growbleski was a magical event. Growing up in New England Julia has developed a passion for the mountains and the sea and all things natural. Her education culminated in a Masters of Fine Arts in printmaking from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. After trying teaching, construction, graphic design among many other possible directions, Julia finally settled on an illustration career, which she pursued for 20 years, illustrating for corporate and editorial clients nationally. In 1996 she was asked to create the Christmas stamp for the US Postal Service ~ a print run of 2.6 billion stamps. While the beginning of her illustration career required manual dexterity, the final years required an infinitely expanding ability to learn computer software programs. Frustration set in. Finally, in 2006 Julia was able to relinquish her computer for a printing press with which she could use real paper and real ink and get her hands dirty once again. Happily involved in her new low tech profession, Julia is currently creating art for private and corporate clients and teaching printmaking in the Boston area.






My work reflects my interest in the natural world and its intersection with the man-made world. I like to observe natural and man-made patterns, pull them apart, and then re-imagine them as printed pieces. Creating them as linoleum and woodblock prints– I produce a vocabulary of images and then work intuitively to collage them back together into new forms. I alternate between abstraction and representational images, with color and black and white pallets to weave images together that strive to express the vitality of growth and decay in a physical and spiritual world. The sea stays on my mind. I ponder its limitlessness, the play of light on its surface, the feeling of calm that pervades me when viewing the sea from above. I consider its depths and the unknowable things that happen below, the things that grow and live where no one can see them. I want to express the sea’s power and mystery, its undulations and shimmering expanses, its salty depths from which life was created in order to fashion a symbolic dialog between the sea and man’s effort to interact with it.












Brandon McLean is an Orlando-based mixed media artist who creates multi-layered paintings and installation works rooted heavily in the realms of nostalgia. Much of the work uses appropriated imagery, text, logos and stories from both pop culture as well as more personal, auto-biographical sources. An emphasis on history and storytelling is an important aspect in McLean’s work. The nostalgic or retro feel to the work is not by accident. McLean has regularly stated he tends to gravitate towards images, people, and stories with a weathered, worked aesthetic. Elements that are a little wounded, damaged, or have been beaten up somewhere along the way. The new, sometimes awkward, juxtapositions of the appropriated images found and placed together provides for continuation ~ giving new life to dated cast offs. Maybe the works say something intimately personal, or maybe they’re mute.


When given the opportunity to be one of the artists among The Sea Project, I knew that I wanted to include some family fishing memories in a few of my pieces. Having grown up in South Florida, the ocean has always been a part of my life. My Grandparents have owned a small house in Big Pine Key since the early eighties. I spent a good portion of my life down there fishing, diving for lobster, and working stone crab traps with my Grandfather on his boat, ‘The Just One More.’ I miss him.

McLean’s overall work gives those that come across them a lot of personal discretion in deciphering the content. He often intentionally composes works that allow for the viewers to fabricate interpretations that outweigh his own intentions. m6.

Spending hours and hours out on the boat, looking for lobster, or for a better fishing spot on the reef, then coming back into the dock, where so many pictures were taken of the day’s ‘trophy catches.’ I still am very much in love with spending my days sun tanned, skin coated in a thin layer of salt, and even a little bit of that foul bait smell on my fingertips.

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( continued )

The larger sewn collage pieces I completed for this project are a homage of sorts to my childlike recollections of the way I remember ocean exploration being shown. Reminiscing on the old days of heavy rubber fins, round masks, & submarines. Reading the stories of Captain Nemo, Jacques Cousteau, and the mysteries of the sea. I always loved the idea that you could become a naturalist, a diver by trade, somebody paid to watch the fish.








John Fellows is a graphic designer, illustrator and artist living in Denver, Colorado. Originally from the East Coast, he spent time growing up in towns from Massachusetts down to Virginia (with a little time in Germany thrown in there too), but has called Colorado home since early 2003. After graduating Drexel University in Philadelphia, John spent the next 6 years working as a freelance designer in the city and his summers living and traveling in Western Europe. After 12 years of living in Philadelphia, John packed up his things and moved to Summit County, Colorado to start a new life as a ski bum (which he was rather good at). After four years working for Keystone Resort in a variety of positions, John realized he missed the design and art worlds and moved down to Denver. He travels constantly and spends a lot of time in the outdoors whether it be hiking, skiing, enjoying a bike ride or barbecuing with friends. Recent travels include a 2 weeks ski trip to the Swiss and French Alps, time spent on the beach of Sayulita, Mexico and a 16 day raft trip down the Grand Canyon. All of these activities impact his work and a lot of the time, his bank account. Recurring themes such as travel and nature make constant appearances in his work. Because of the materials used and overall look of his work, it has been called “Contemporary Folk�.







My work normally consists of linoleum carvings and drawings on old found paper. I think of it not as a fully formed narrative, but more like a brief glimpse into someone else’s story. This way I hope that a variety of people from different backgrounds can still identify with the piece but in their own way. The j5. color palette is normally very minimal to keep with the graphic quality of the medium used. I call my recent way of building my work “linoleum cut collage”. I’ll take a carved block and print it anywhere from 8-20+ times on different found paper, ranging in date from 1880s to today. I then cut each piece out and take a black ink marker to every edge of the cut piece. After this, I start “building” the image by glueing each piece back together so by the time the piece is finished, all of the “color” you see is actually the tone of the paper the block was printed on to. This can be a rather laborious process, but I feel the end results are worth it. I’ve been around the sea off and on my whole life. I grew up sailing little lakes in Massachusetts, the Hudson River off of West Point, NY and the Chesapeake Bay. Of course as a teenager I wanted to rebel against whatever it was my dad tried to get me to do, so it took a while for me to rediscover my love of water and the joy of sailing. It was a sad day when my dad had to sell his sail boat when my parents moved to Colorado in 1994. The piece “The Last Goodbye” is dedicated to him and all captains that have had to give up their love for the sea for whatever reason ~ be it fear, old age or even the false notion that they conquered it. This new body of work represents the love and fascination we have with the sea. Whether it be an adventure sailing around the coasts of New England or Baja ~ to sitting and peacefully watching the waves from the shore. The majority of the nautical charts used in these pieces belonged to both my dad and new father-in-law. They were both raised sailing and these charts were actually used on many of their adventures through the years. 30




// scar boroug h, MAI N E

Nate Deyesso is an artist, designer, and builder living and surfing along Maine’s southern coast. He graduated from the University of Vermont with a Studio Art degree and quickly migrated back to the coast in 2001. Once situated comfortably in Portland, Maine, he furthered his artistic endeavors; picking up commissioned work painting portraits and apprenticing for local artisans and craftsmen. Although painting had been his main focus, three dimensional art began to take hold during this time. Artist such as Patrick Plourde and John Bisbee inspired Nate with large metal works with organic shapes using reclaimed steel parts, salvaged wood and embracing the natural aesthetic of weathered materials, rust, and natural patinas.


Tumble Weed incorporates flashes of shiny scales, wave like patterns, and decay which can all be found in and around the ocean and have been conceptually gathered by this mass as it rolled itself across the ocean floor. Emerging from the sea, it’s a fish out of water ~ waiting to return and fill its remaining voids.

Originally from the south shore of Massachusetts, his upbringing near the coast has allowed him to forge a strong connection between the ocean and his perspective on life. Encounters above and below the sea are his muse for creating furniture, fixtures and art. Along with Nate’s fine art work, he runs a small custom metal and wood shop at his home studio / barn in Scarborough, Maine called DSO Creative Fabrication, that occupies his time when not fending off his three young children or chasing waves.

5’ in diameter Steel, stainless steel, copper, rope.

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to p u r c hase art wor k p l ease g o to:

the-sea-proj e ct.c o m /shop




julia talcott


john fellows

A1.) B reakwate r V / 20” x 15” x 14” / $900

H1.) Hig h Seas / 16” x 20” / $250

T1.) Hop p e r / 12” x 12” / $650

M1.) In the Defense of Sharks / 16” x 20” / $395

J1.) Setti ng Sai l / 8.5” x14” / $250

A2.) B reakwate r I V / 19” x 15” x 7” / $1000

H2.) Last Su m m e r / 16” x 20” / $250

T2.) Transfe r / 16” x 12” / $800

M2.) My Deep Sea Workbook (Gold) / 24” x 30” / $895

J2.) B lack Su n Risi ng / 8” x 20” / $200

A3.) B reakwate r I / 16” x 10” x 14” / $1000

H3.) Float / 16” x 20” / $250

T3.) U p / 11” x 14” / $700

M3.) My Deep Sea Workbook (Red) / 24” x 30” / $895

J3.) Th e Last Goodbye / 11” x 14” / $400

A4.) B reakwate r I I I / 16” x 9” x 16” / $1000

H4.) Horizon / 16” x 20” / $250

T4.) Orang e Trap / 12” x 12” / $850

M4.) My Deep Sea Workbook (Blue) / 24” x 30” / $895

J4.) Th i n ki ng of Hom e / 8.5” x 14” / $400

A5.) B reakwate r I I / 14” x 11” x 19” / $1000

H5.) Bath e / 16” x 20” / $250

T5.) H eart / 18” x 12” / $800

M5.) Just One More / 16” x 20” / $395

J5.) Adri ft at Sea / 11” x 17” / $500

H6.) Daydream / 16” x 20” / $250

T6.) G re e n Trap / 12” x 12” / $850

M6.) Captain Ed (Collection) / 8” x 8” / $395

H7.) Islan d / 16” x 20” / $250

T7.) P e riscop e / 25” x 36” / $950

H8.) G et Out / 16” x 20” / $250

T8.) Smoke Sig nals / 36” x 24” / $1250

nathan deyesso N1.) Tumble Weed // 60” Diameter // $7,500


THE SEA PROJECT Inaugural Art Exhibition // Boston // Oct 25, 2012 A Sperry Top-Sider Initiative ARTISTS AARON MORAN BETH HOECKEL JULIA TALCOTT BRANDON MCLEAN JOHN FELLOWS NATHAN DEYESSO Produced & Curated by The Fin Studio Tyler Lauren McGinley, Curator Danny Louten, Design Andrew Rice, Design Jim McGinley, Creative Director / Producer Exhibition Venue // The Fourth Wall Project, Boston Catalog Printing // Penmor Lithographers, Maine Printed on post-consumer waste paper using vegetable-based inks. All artwork remains property of the artists and is licensed by Sperry Top-Sider for the purposes of this exhibit. No reproduction for commercial purposes. For editorial inquiries or use ~ please contact 2012 all rights reserved.

The Sea Project 2012  

THE SEA PROJECT, by Sperry Top-Sider, is a contemporary, culture-forward project inspired by a “Passion for the Sea” and fuses leading and u...