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Prosek show to open in New Britain


Artist and Nutmeg TU member and supporter James Prosek will be part of a number of major shows in coming months.

“Teaming with Nature: James Prosek” is open in The Forrest E. Mars, Sr. Exhibit Hall at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg, Va., through Jan. 30.

“Wondrous Strange,” featuring much of Prosek’s recently closed exhibit at the Addison Gallery of American Art, opens at the New Britain Museum of American Art Feb. 22 and is on exhibit through June 8. The opening reception will be held Feb. 22.

“The Peacock and the Cobra: James Prosek” continues among the “Arts of South Asia” in Wood Gallery 227 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until April.

Works by Prosek are also on display at the Trafo Contemporary Art Museum in Budapest through Jan. 26.

Information can be found at troutsite.com.

PBS to air Prosek on eels

James Prosek signs copies of his book "Ocean Fishes" at Nutmeg TU's holiday party last December. A documentary on eels by the local resident will premiere on the PBS series "Nature" Wednesday, April 17.

James Prosek signs copies of his book “Ocean Fishes” at Nutmeg TU’s holiday party last December. A documentary on eels by the local resident will premiere on the PBS series “Nature” Wednesday, April 17.

“The Mystery of Eels,” a documentary about freshwater eels by James Prosek of Easton, premieres on the PBS series “Nature” Wednesday, April 17, at 8 p.m.

According to Prosek, who wrote and narrates the program, his introduction to the slimy, muscular fish occurred when fishing as a boy in the ponds and rivers of Connecticut. He would catch the beady-eyed eels by accident when fishing for something else. But when an old game warden explained that they were born thousands of miles away in the Sargasso Sea, somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, Prosek became hooked and determined to learn as much he could about the mysterious creatures.

Prosek’s quest, documented in his book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Mysterious Fish.

Information about the show can be found here.

The show will also be available for viewing online at pbs.org.

Click here to view video of Prosek making prints of eels in the studio.

James Prosek to speak at holiday party Dec. 18

James Prosek will discuss his newest work, Ocean Fishes, at Nutmeg TU's annual Holiday Party Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course. (Photo from troutsite.com)

James Prosek will discuss his latest book, “Ocean Fishes” when Nutmeg TU Chapter 217 holds it annual holiday party Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m.

The party will be held at a new location, Vazzy’s 19th Hole at the Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course, 2390 Easton Tpke., Fairfield. Directions can be found at nutmegtu.org. Pizza and sandwich-type fare will be served. There will be a cash bar.

Prosek’s appearance with his local TU chapter comes on the heels of his speaking at the Explorers Club in New York City Nov. 19. On Dec. 5, James Prosek was awarded the Gold Medal for Distinction in Natural History Art from the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Among previous recipients are Roger Tory Peterson, Ansel Adams, Peter Matthiessen and John McPhee.

The exhibit Ocean Fishes is on display at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia through Jan. 21.

Ocean Fishes is James Prosek’s personal tribute to marine beauty unlike any published before, based on travel, intense observation, work with scientists, and stories of those who know the fish most intimately: fishermen (both recreational and commercial).

It is also the author’s quiet conservation statement, according to his website, troutsite.com. In showing the beauty and monumentality of these fish, Prosek is urging us to preserve what we have before it is lost.

“These paintings give the reader a privileged view of a fish fresh from the ocean when its changing colors first glint in the sun — a view ordinarily glimpsed only by the fishermen on the boat,” according to the website.

This book is not intended as a scientific catalogue of ocean fishes. each painting reflects Prosek’s individual experience with a single fish. The artist traveled the Atlantic from Nova Scotia to the Cape Verde Islands to see each species firsthand as it came out of the water before it lost its living colors. The original paintings are all life-size portraits (from a 14-inch porgy to a 12-foot, 8-inch blue marlin) and will be exhibited at several venues from Monaco to Philadelphia. Details from these original works are reproduced at full-size in the book to give a sense of scale.

Artist, writer, activist, and Yale graduate James Prosek made his authorial debut at 19 years of age with Trout: an Illustrated History (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), which featured 70 of his watercolor paintings of the trout of North America. Prosek has shown his paintings with the Gerald Peters Gallery, New York and Santa Fe; Meredith Long Gallery, Houston; as well as with Wajahat/Ingrao, New York, the d.u.m.b.o. arts center, Brooklyn, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA and the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield.

Prosek has written for The New York Times and National Geographic Magazine and won a Peabody Award in 2003 for his documentary about traveling through England in the footsteps of Izaak Walton, the 17th-century author of The Compleat Angler. He co-founded a conservation initiative called World Trout in 2004 with Yvon Chouinard, the owner of Patagonia clothing company, which raises money for coldwater habitat conservation through the sale of T-shirts featuring trout paintings. His book Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Amazing and Mysterious Fish, will be published by HarperCollins in September 2010. He is working on a book of paintings of Atlantic fishes for Rizzoli and a project about naming nature.

Prosek is a curatorial affiliate of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale, and a member of the board of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

James Prosek to speak at Explorers Club

James Prosek will speak at the Explorers Club in New York City Monday night, Nov. 19.

If anyone is interested in attending, click here for a link to more info and reservations.

Closer to home, James is speaking at the Dec. 18 TU meeting, which will be held at Vazzy’s 19th Hole at the Fairchild Wheeler Golf Club.