The Shoaling 2022

The Shoaling by William Durkin

Exhibiting at Reeves-Reed Arboretum through October 30, 2022

SUMMIT, NJ  The Shoaling is the culmination of artist William Durkin’s lifelong love of the water and its inhabitants. The assembly of these large, dynamic, glimmering sculptures compels us to take a closer look at the beauty of our oceans, rivers, and lakes—and the great perils they are facing. 

Durkin began working on this collection of artworks more than 15 years ago. Overtime he has honed the process of collaging found items including chopsticks, silverware, and vintage buttons, with intricate detail, into exquisitely bejeweled sculptures. In the words of the artist, “People get intimately involved with my pieces because the visual requires investigation, a full investigation. At the right distance, a fish might appear to be a painting, but up close they are three-dimensional sculptures and people want to figure out how they were made. It is very rewarding watching the work sublimely taking hold with onlookers, especially to observe their empathetic consideration and insight gained of the beauty and bounty of our endangered seas, oceans, and rivers.” 

The artist has had a lifelong connection to the subject-matter. Born and raised in San Francisco, Durkin later moved to New York to begin a career in the restaurant industry. He saw first-hand the effects of climate change and over-fishing on our oceans, stating, “I witnessed the decline of one species after another in the Fulton Street Fish Market and in my travels. I’ll never forget what I’ve seen and studied. It filters through me and fuels my artwork with the ever-hopeful emotion of engaging all people in the saving of our oceans, our life source.” 

The public is invited to join artist William Durkin in the Wisner House Gallery at Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit for an artist’s reception on Sunday, August 21, 2022, from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm. This event is free for both Arboretum members and non-members. Registration is requested but not required at reeves-reedarboretum.org.

The Shoaling is on view at Reeves-Reed Arboretum through Sunday, October 30, 2022. Gallery Hours are Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm except when the gallery is closed for private events. Please visit reeves-reedarboretum.org/visit/ to confirm gallery hours before visiting.

Questions about this exhibition or the artist’s reception? Call 908-272-8787 ext. 1010 or email m.foehrenbach@reeves-reedarboretum.org. 

Reeves-Reed Arboretum is located at 165 Hobart Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901.

Celebrating over 40 years as a historic public garden and education resource, Reeves-Reed Arboretum engages, educates, and enriches the public through horticulture and environmental education, and the care and utilization of the gardens and estate. Open 7 days a week, the Arboretum is listed on both the National and New Jersey State Historic Registers. Funding for RRA has been made possible in part by the NJ Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Dept. of Parks & Community Renewal.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum....a place to grow, for everyone!