Photo Courtesy Dan DenDanto

Whales seen from inside out

Photo Courtesy Dan DenDanto
Dan DenDanto with his installation at the Maine College of Art

TREMONT — Dan DenDanto has made a career of rebuilding whale skeletons to museum-perfect condition. His articulated displays, many assembled at his Tremont-based Whales and Nails shop, grace the halls of museums and schools around the country.

For his latest project, DenDanto has done something a little different. Along with his brother Frank, DenDanto has mounted “Bump,” an abstract, interactive, multi-media whale installation at Maine College of Art’s Institute for Contemporary Art in Portland.

Within the installation, which is up through April 7, whale bones float around the room, filling the normally empty space, almost as if a whale skeleton has exploded. A soundtrack of ocean mammals and boat traffic plays on a loop.

Bones from three specimens of whales were used for the project. Each came through College of the Atlantic and Allied Whale, whom are authorized to collect specimens. DenDanto is director of the Fin Whale Catalog and a senior scientist at Allied Whale, a research associate and a 1991 graduate.

The skeletons of Fin, Minke and Pilot whales that were either incomplete or damaged became “Bump.” A half-dozen COA students helped work on the piece. All contributed greatly to the outcome, he said.

COA’s multi-disciplinary approach to education allows a “comfortable intersection of art and science” that informs the piece, the artist said.

“I’m comfortable crossing these fields and I think it should be done more.”

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Robert Levin

Robert Levin

Former reporter Robert Levin covered the people, businesses, governmental and nonprofit agencies of Bar Harbor. [email protected]