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Project FishTales Takes A Village To Complete Using Dibond

FishTales, Artist, Danielle, Mailer, Torrington, Connecticut, Dibond, Aluminum, Composite, Material, Photography, The, New, York, TimesBright neon colored fish made from Dibond aluminum composite material makes up a 22 by 186 foot art installation in Torrington, Connecticut. The artist responsible for the colorful exhibit, Danielle Mailer, conceptualized the vision when it was determined that the wall at the town’s Staples center was an eyesore. A major part of the vision included inviting members of the nearby communities to participate in the project. The giant mural was created by aspiring artists as young as nine years old.

Mailer is the second oldest of nine siblings with a tragic background. In 1960, her father violently stabbed her mother, Adele Mailer, an artist as well. Despite the high-profile case, Danielle Mailer lived a quiet life with her husband, the jazz trombonist Peter McEachern, in Western Connecticut as a visual artist and private school art teacher.

FishTales, Artist, Danielle, Mailer, Torrington, Connecticut, Dibond, Aluminum, Composite, Material, Photography, The, New, York, TimesMailer, now 59, is working over several months to create a major installation titled “Project: FishTales,” made from 175 metal Dibond cutouts. It is only recently that Mailer has started focusing on large public art installations depicting a longstanding style from her earlier work. She attributes her dense patterns and vivid colors to direct influences from favorite artists: Frido Kahlo and Matisse. With participation from the surrounding neighborhoods, the project serves the Western Connecticut community twofold as a public art installation.

Fellow art teachers and friends of Mailer, and several volunteers, came forward to participate. Volunteers on weekends were supervised and directed by Mailer to paint details, fill in dots, and patterns. Other volunteers were instructed to sand the Dibond aluminum composite sheets to prepare the panels for paint. To begin the process, the Dibond cutouts are painted cobalt blue and then coated with a clear protective layer. Dibond is an incredibly durable material that artists often choose for its rigidity when applying acrylics.

FishTales, Artist, Danielle, Mailer, Torrington, Connecticut, Dibond, Aluminum, Composite, Material, Photography, The, New, York, TimesGiordano Signs, a sign shop out of Torrington, aided in using a CNC machine to create geometric puzzle-style pieces out of the Dibond. It took months to assemble the dozens of cutouts – each numbered, so Mailer and her crew could match the pieces to the master plan that features huge fish painted with colorful patterns.

Mailer credits “Project: FishTales” with her personal growth as an artist and a result of going outside of her comfort zone. The project is community collaboration, but the bigger creative direction and conceptual plan originated from Mailer.

information and photography courtesy of The New York Times

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