Step inside the story of ‘Moby Dick’ with ‘The Cure for Anything’

If you find yourself passing the Walsh Gallery this week, a few things may catch your eye: an inverted shark, a wooden wave and a hand-painted seascape scroll. These are just a few of the works that are included in the gallery’s spring 2016 exhibition, “A Cure for Anything,” a tribute to the 165th anniversary of the publication of Herman Melville’s epic oceanic novel “Moby Dick.”

Walking into the gallery feels like you are actually inside Melville’s classic work, as if you are Ishmael, climbing aboard with Captain Ahab and his trusty crew to inflict revenge on the wildly enormous white whale, Moby Dick.

“The story of the adventure is amazing, but I was also captivated by [Melville’s] different styles of writing and the different chapters…like there were many different voices as you’re reading through the book,” Jeanne Brasile, director of the Walsh Gallery, said.

Brasile, along with co-curators and museum studies graduate students, Chelsea Levine and Katherine Tedesco, also described the four themes of the exhibition highlights which are reminiscent of Moby.

“Spirituality, or having a spiritual connection with the ocean, ego…or doing things just show others, discovery, and necessity…the idea that we take to the ocean because we want to and others do it because they need to survive,” Levine said.

“We really want people to see these four themes, but also draw their own connections between these pieces,” Tedesco said.

The gallery, itself, is adorned with pacific blues, heather grays, historical equipment, stunning photography, and nautical-inspired pieces.

Levine and Tedesco said that every work in the gallery encompasses one or more of the themes of Moby, they cite Amanda Thackray‘s “The Line” as the piece that began their thought process for the others in their show.

“Amanda’s piece framed our thinking while we were working,” Tedesco said.

Above all, “A Cure for Anything” is a show that reads between the lines of Melville’s literary monster Moby Dick.

The historical context and perspective on the classic novel can spark interest in viewers both familiar and unfamiliar with the text.

Works from artists such as Dahlia Elsayed, Eileen Ferara, Sunil Garg, and Matthew Nicolosi are currently being displayed in the gallery, leaving a diverse array of pieces that together form this cohesive, thought-provoking show.

“A Cure for Anything” is showing at the Walsh Gallery until March 11. The gallery is open for viewing from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on  weekdays.

Gianna Barone can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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