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The Lyman Allyn Art Museum presents The Coral Reef Project
Tekla Zweir, Coral #24, 2017. Glazed terracotta, sculptural installation.

NEW LONDON, CONN.- The Lyman Allyn Art Museum announced the opening of The Coral Reef Project, on view from February 10 through April 15, 2018.

The Coral Reef Project, the latest exhibition in Lyman Allyn’s Near :: New contemporary series, is a mixed media exhibit with a unique sculptural installation that demonstrates the fragility of coral and its ecosystem. This exhibition, created by local artist Tekla Zweir, Chair of the Art Department at The Williams School in New London, CT, includes years of research into various species of coral.

Featured in Glassenberg Gallery are studies of coral in oil on canvas, 50 individual coral sculptures arranged to demonstrate a living coral reef, and plaster relief sculptures to represent bleached coral. The juxtaposition of the different sculptures show the delicateness and fragility of the reef. In addition, experimental encaustic paintings that utilize Tekla’s underwater photographs to capture aerial views of coral reefs have been included. To add to the educational component of the exhibition, didactic material with coral facts, video of coral by the Ocean Exploration Trust, coloring book pages created by Tekla’s students for visitors to color and display, and an aquarium with living coral from the Credabel Coral Lab are being showcased in the gallery.

“While most of our exhibitions are focused on aesthetics it is particularly satisfying when the Lyman Allyn can host an exhibition that combines both artistic and scientific modes of inquiry operating in parallel to a mutually beneficial degree,” said Sam Quigley, Director of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. Through Tekla’s dedicated research, The Coral Reef Project hopes to illustrate the diversity of coral species, and promote environmental stewardship. The exhibition also aims to educate the public about coral and its habitat, show the connection of science to art, explain the importance of research in the artistic process, utilize art for environmental awareness and inspire students to create art that fosters critical thinking.

Tekla Zweir has studied coral at the Mystic Aquarium, the Boston Museum of Science, and the Key West Aquarium, and has also visited three coral reefs at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, Florida. Her research there included taking photographs, making notes, sketching and learning about different coral species.

Tekla Zweir earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture in 1999 from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in Art Education in 2013 from Boston University. She is an artist and an educator who has taught studio art at The Williams School for sixteen years. She lives in Quaker Hill with her musician husband, Ben Kane, their children Cassius and Scarlet, and their two cats and a dog.

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