Like the migratory creature it represents, Whale of an Education, the University’s artistic contribution to Whale Trail 2005, will be traveling between Avery Point and Storrs twice in the next several weeks. It’s part of an effort to help raise funds to support scholarships for students enrolled in the marine sciences programs at Avery Point.
The whale’s first appearance in Storrs will take place during Family Weekend from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2. The second will occur during Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 16.
One of 50 whales that dot shoreline landscapes in Connecticut and beyond, the 7 foot, 2 inch model of a sperm whale was painted by Julia Pavone, curator of the Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art on the Avery Point Campus. The blue and white whale, representing the sky and the sea, with several sea creatures gracing its tail section, is shown breaching from a copy of Moby Dick. Two Avery Point lighthouses, including Ledge Light at the mouth of the Thames River, are reflected in the whale’s eyes.
Designed to promote the region, Whale Trail 2005 is a public art exhibit from Boston to New York, similar to the cow parades that have taken place in recent years in New York City, West Hartford, and Chicago. Each whale is sponsored by an area business or organization. The Whale Trail also boosts the local arts community and ultimately benefits non-profit organizations.
The whales will be displayed throughout the region during October, after which they will be auctioned off, with all the money raised going to support various charities.
Whale of an Education will be sold at a live auction on Nov. 18 at the Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa, with proceeds going to benefit the UConn-Avery Point Scholarship Fund. This fund provides support to outstanding students pursuing programs in maritime and marine sciences with a view to pursuing a career in a coastal or oceanographic field.