By Suzette Cook
Newport — Mike Yorston thinks artwork on yachts shouldn’t just be displayed on the inside.
The director of sales at Aere’ Marine Group based in Coral Springs, Florida is working with artists to showcase their work on inflatable fenders.
Yorston hopes the idea will catch on and that fenders will dress up yachts while giving artists exposure and leads for more commissioned work for yacht interiors.
“The idea is to try to give artists exposure and create art on the vessel,” he said.
“Instead of hanging paintings or art on the inside of the boat, why can’t we hang it on the outside of the boat? So we could use the whole side of the hull as a gallery.”
Yorston plans to schedule events at an upcoming art shows in Palm Beach and Miami and at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show in November.
“I’m working with a group in Palm Beach that works with canvas,” Yorston said.
“We’re thinking about doing a challenge for the crew,” he said.
“Maybe get some of the crew involved and see what they come up with and raffle the art off for a charity.”
“Caribbean Reef Sharks”, a painting by Diver and Artist Alan Feldmesser is featured on one of the fenders that Yorston has on display at the Newport Charter Yacht Show.
The image features two reef sharks veering in opposite directions with colorful coral and fish in the background.
“Alan was just chosen artist of the year for the St. Thomas Billfish Tournament,” Yorston said.
Feldmesser is a diver and underwater photographer who uses his photographs as inspiration for his canvas oil paintings. His studio is in Coconut Creek, Florida.
“I create realism oil paintings on canvas based on my diving experience,” Feldmesser said.
He refers to his photographs and combines elements to create his paintings.
“I paint from a scuba diver’s perspective,” he said. “I go through my catalog and use pieces and come up with completely new compositions.”
Feldmesser said he thinks Yorston’s concept is a great opportunity for artists.
“I think it s a great idea,” he said. “It’s another product to put my art on, which is all about diving and boats. It transfers to that medium very well.”
Yorston is also displaying the work of Vermont-based Ray Sousa who specializes in roosters.
I had that in Miami,” Yorston said about a fender that features a rooster.
“We might have a yacht owner who wants roosters running around their boat,” he said.
Yorston’s goal is to create a designer line of fender covers.
“You have your everyday fender covers when you’re on the dock,” he said.
“If you’re going to the yacht club, we want to create a Louis Vuitton or Gucci fender covers.
Suzette Cook is editor at The Triton. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org