May News From the Channel Islands Maritime Museum


Channel Islands Maritime Museum


Channel Islands Maritime Museum
News & Updates
Coming back…
CIMM’s reopening day of April 9 was such a happy one! Our neighbors and friends walked back in through the doors and it made the last pandemic year fade away a bit. The voices of CIMM docents, volunteers, and visitors once again filled the Museum and it was the best sound we have heard in such a very long time.

We are pleased to share the winners of the Oxnard Union High School District Art Show in this newsletter. This year’s art was incredible and in so many ways reflected the feelings, thoughts, and emotions that the pandemic year brought to young people. We are very proud of all of the students who participated in the show. The fact that they are still creating art at a time like this is truly a testament to their strength and resilience. We hope that art continues to be a fulfilling practice for them because their art is important, their voices are important, and they are important. We are proud to have had the opportunity again this year to exhibit their show and to enable our community to see the incredible work that they have done.

We hope you will make plans to visit the upcoming exhibition “Art of the Sailor” which opens May 13th. This exhibition will feature a unique collection of scrimshaw pieces (many of which have never been shown before at the Museum), decorative and working marine knots, unique embroidered items, and other sailor-made artifacts. Several of the items to be featured in the exhibition have never been seen outside of their privately-owned collections.

In another sign of how things are slowly changing back: our CIMM Speaker Series returns to in-person event status starting on May 19th with our special guest speaker Lindsey Philpott (see details below). Museum doors will open at 5:30 pm so attendees may also have time to view the accompanying “Art of the Sailor” exhibition.
Oxnard Union High School District Art Show
Best in Photography – “Hindsight is 2020” by Irissa C.
Best in Digital Art – “Twinsanity” by Marvin F.
Best in Sculpture – “TP Cuisine” by Maria Z.
Best in Mixed Media 2D – “No Title” by Jorjia G.

Congratulations to all of the Oxnard high school students who shared their amazing artwork with us during the annual show here at CIMM in April. What a challenge our judges faced as they had to select from so many heartfelt and creative entries! CIMM is so proud to have had the opportunity again this year to exhibit this show and to enable the community to see the incredible work that the students have done. Thank you to our Exhibitions Manager, Olivia Morris, the show judges, and the students for making this annual show such a success in 2021.

Coming to the CIMM Speaker Series in May

The CIMM Speaker Series is once again LIVE at the Museum starting in May!
Come early (doors open at 5:30 pm) to view the Art of the Sailor exhibition before the speaker’s program begins at 7 pm.
(This event will be held at 50% audience capacity)

Upcoming Exhibition at CIMM: Art of the Sailor

When sailors left their homes to voyage across the sea, oftentimes they faced dangerous and extreme working conditions, horribly cramped quarters, and a journey that could stretch months to years. When stuck in these difficult and wearisome circumstances, some sailors used art to express themselves. 

The designs they engraved onto bone or embroidered with wool, the types of useful and decorative items they made, and the various ways they used these objects all tell us something about the sailors themselves, their experiences, and the extraordinary world they lived in.

“The Art of the Sailor” runs from 13 May 2021 through 23 August 2021.

CIMM Backstories

We find that great art and great history make for great backstories.
Here is our first installment from the galleries of the Channel Islands Maritime Museum.
Many people have marveled at the technical virtuosity in the paintings of British artist Louis Dodd. Because his oil techniques were similar to those employed by the old masters, his paintings have the feel of 18th-century masterpieces. In fact, he’s been compared to the great Italian painter of Venice Antonio Canal (1679-1768), better known as Canaletto, whose visits to London beginning in 1746 actually influenced the English marine painters of that time.

This remarkable panel shown above reveals the many layers of his paintings. Like artists from the past, he chose to paint on wood panel, which is finished with several coats of a pure white chalk-based substance called gesso and then sanded perfectly smooth before painting even begins. To ensure stability, Dodd selected either used panels that were over 100 years old (which are getting more and more difficult to find), or special plywood which is engineered to be stable. The gessoed panel was then sealed with shellac. Dodd then started by priming the surface and laying down a base tonal color before he began the primary painting and drawing in of the composition. He followed this up by building up thin layers of paint, underpainting them using transparent glazes over each other to get just the right tone and color. He finally would overpaint the detail, and then a final varnish. His paint layers are so thin and dry so quickly that the often-quoted rule about waiting at least a year before varnishing the painting does not apply. That really refers to a modern technique of painting that often involves very thick layers of paint which take a long time to dry.

The final painting has almost a luminescent quality as a result of this thin painting technique which allows light to pass through it and onto the pure white gesso background where it bounces back out to our eyes making the painting virtually glow from within, a phenomenon we associate with Renaissance paintings.
Comet, the American Clipper Ship by Louis Dodd
On display in the galleries of CIMM
Happy Mother’s Day from the Channel Islands Maritime Museum!
Temporary Museum and Gift Shop hours are Friday- Sunday, 12 pm to 4 pm.
To see how CIMM is working to keep its visitors safe and healthy, please click here.
CHANNEL ISLANDS MARITIME MUSEUM INC | 3900 Bluefin CircleOxnard, CA 93035


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