Professor works with students and physics department to begin painted sails project

Published by adviser, Author: Daniel DiFabio - Rocket Contributor, Date: December 3, 2015
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An art professor at Slippery Rock University is in the process of receiving funding for a project that would showcase painted sails.

Heather Hertel, art professor, is the leader of the project. The idea to paint and make artwork on sails came to her while sailing during the summer.

“I went back to competitive sail racing this summer and I was on the water a lot and I kept looking up at the sails and it just clicked,” Hertel said.

Hertel applied for two grants, one through the Baytime Maritime Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, which would supply materials and art supplies for the project as well as helping the center to run the exhibit. The second grant is a student faculty research grant through Slippery Rock University which would allow for students to work with faculty professionally. If the grants are awarded Hertel will work from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, 2016 on the project.

Hertel has been accepted to do a solo exhibition in the center’s venue.

Hertel’s project would be shown in the Tall Ships Festival in Erie which is coming back to Erie after five years in September and brings 57,000 people to Erie. Hertel hopes that her project will be able to attract people from the Niagara, Erie’s tall ship, to the Baytime Maritime Center next door.

Hertel has had about seven sails donated to her and they’re all about 40 feet high and are all contemporary racing sails that are clear.

“The size of the sails in of itself almost beckons for a collaborative project,” Hertel said.

Hertel asked students to work on the project with her and experiment with how to paint the sails and what kind of paint will stick.

Jared Robison, one of the students collaborating with Hertel, said the project is great for professional development and also getting to work with other students and faculty and explore new opportunities for art.

Bernard Stote, another student working on the project with Hertel, has had grants for his own projects in the past, but thought that helping Hertel to realize her vision was interesting.

Hertel’s project also involves collaboration with the physics department in making structures that can display the sails. Physics professor Ben Shaevitz is helping with the project, with Hertel and Shaevitz having worked on a project before when Shaevitz came into one of her classes and gave students some knowledge on creating realistic shadows on paintings. Shaevitz also donated five sails to the project and will be selecting the physics students that help with the project.

The physics students will use the machine shop to make structures to help display the sails.

“I think it’s good for them to be involved with the project because it gives them some skills too,” Shaevitz said.

Hertel hopes that the art exhibition will travel to different ports around the country, with a five-year goal of displaying the sail project at international ports in Aorta, Mexico and Mallorca, Spain.

“We’re bringing cultures together, we’re bringing the art community, the science community and the sailing community together,” Hertel said. “It’s another way to bring art into the public venue.”

An art professor at Slippery Rock University is in the process of receiving funding for a project that would showcase painted sails.

Heather Hertel, art professor, is the leader of the project, which is her scholarship. The idea to paint and make artwork on sails came to her while sailing during the summer.

“I went back to competitive sail racing this summer and I was on the water a lot and I kept looking up at the sails and it just clicked,” Hertel said.

Hertel applied for two grants, one through the Baytime Maritime Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, which would supply materials and art supplies for the project as well as helping the center to run the exhibit. The second grant is a student faculty research grant through Slippery Rock University which would allow for students to work with faculty professionally. If the grants are awarded Hertel will work from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, 2016 on the project.

Hertel has been accepted to do a solo exhibition in the center’s venue. Hertel’s project would be shown in the Tall Ships Festival in Erie which is coming back to Erie after five years in September and brings 57,000 people to Erie. Hertel hopes that her project will be able to attract people from the Niagara, Erie’s tall ship, to the Baytime Maritime Center next door.

Hertel has had about seven sails donated to her and they’re all about 40 feet high and are all contemporary racing sails that are clear.

“The size of the sails in of itself almost beckons for a collaborative project,” Hertel said.

Hertel asked students to work on the project with her and experiment with how to paint the sails and what kind of paint will stick.

Jared Robison, one of the students collaborating with Hertel, said the project is great for professional development and also getting to work with other students and faculty and explore new opportunities for art.

Bernard Stote, another student working on the project with Hertel, has had grants for his own projects in the past, but thought that helping Hertel to realize her vision was interesting.

Hertel’s project also involves collaboration with the physics department in making structures that can display the sails. Physics professor Ben Shaevitz is helping with the project, with Hertel and Shaevitz having worked on a project before when Shaevitz came into one of her classes and gave students some knowledge on creating realistic shadows on paintings. Shaevitz also donated five sails to the project and will be selecting the physics students that help with the project.

The physics students will use the machine shop to help make the structures to help display the sails.

“I think it’s good for them to be involved with the project because it gives them some skills too,” Shaevitz said.

Hertel hopes that the art exhibition will travel to different ports around the country, with a five-year goal of displaying the sail project at international ports in Aorta, Mexico and Mallorca, Spain.

“We’re bringing cultures together, we’re bringing the art community, the science community and the sailing community together,” Hertel said. “It’s another way to bring art into the public venue.”

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