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NEWS:
Reeves-Reed Arboretum exhibit to open Saturday, June 4

After two long years of pandemic postponements, The Shoaling will be displayed in its entirety at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, New Jersey. The exhibit opens on Saturday, June 4 with RRA’s ART in the Garden gala. Please visit the RRA website for tickets and more information.



The Shoaling
is the culmination of William Durkin’s lifelong love of the water and its inhabitants. An assembly of nearly 40 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.

The artist writes:

My vision comes from the visual language of fish and their beautiful spectrum of colors that is rarely seen by us in their habitats due to attenuation. When light enters water, its intensity quickly decreases and its color changes. So unless you’re in very clear waters light scatters and in the oceans particles diffuse light colors fading to grays.

My art brings together viewers seeing fish as they never have before and inhabitants now facing extinction – species that seek to evoke engagement through their beautiful spectacle. To stir our consciousness to be mindful of them before they’re gone.

I’m a long time into this journey of creating fish art, but no longer into the doom and gloom threats that surround our planet from every imaginable land, sea, and air climate change. Why so? During the lockdown and the two pandemic years, we’ve all experienced losses of every type. Yet, as COVID has raged and ravaged our world, those of us who have survived have witnessed what science and men can do. Jane Goodall’s new book, Hope, and David Attenborough’s A Life on Our Planet are two reads that very well provide insights and solutions for coping with our current environmental situation. Both authors are lifelong naturalists who have great faith in the resilience of mankind and Mother Nature. And lastly, a mention to Elizabeth Kolbert’s Under a White Sky, a book about scientists, engineers, biologist, and atmospheric entrepreneurs trying to solve our problems!

As an artist who owned restaurants through the early eighties and up to a few years ago 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 art work with the ever hopeful emotion of engaging all people in the saving of our oceans, our life source. In my heart and soul I know the power of the written word and that art and music are the most compelling uplifting forces that can be used to effect change so clearly it’s now the time for all artists to illuminate, educate and show us individually and collectively how to contribute to saving our oceans, our blue.

signature - fish

William J. Durkin


News Archives

Spring 2019
The Emperor and The Empress appeared in the FOCUS: Gaia exhibit at the Woodstock Artists Association Museum (WAAM) from March 9th through March 31st as part of its centennial celebration. Click here to learn more about the exhibit.

Summer 2017
Selections from The Shoaling were featured in the 2017 Undercurrents exhibit at the Samuel Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz.  For more information, visit the museum’s website or read a word from the artist