In September, MOCA will present MONITORIUM, an exhibition by Wayne White exploring unique historical events in Hampton Roads. In 1862, the Battle of Hampton Roads took place and the first ironclad ships met in combat on the James River. One of those ships, the Union Navy's USS Monitor sets the stage for White's dynamic exhibition. Here, the focus is on the intimate, human side of this story. White will create a multi-media installation including monumental-sized puppets. It will feature the special individuals who helped to shape the Monitor's history. Props and puppets will carve out White's unique perspective on this game-changing moment of US naval and Hampton Road's history. Wayne's kind, humanistic yet quirky vision will shape your own view of the history of the "cheese box on a raft."
Wayne White is multi-faceted phenomenon in the art world. He is an artist, art director, illustrator, puppeteer, and more. Born and raised in Chattanooga, White's career has had a meandering path. Starting in the 1980's, he worked for the East Village Eye, New York Times, Raw Magazine, and the Village Voice. White designed sets and characters for the hit television show Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Shining Time Station, Beakman’s World, Riders in the Sky, and Bill & Willis. As a fine artist, White's most successful works have been the word paintings. They feature oversized, three-dimensional text painted on top of vintage landscape reproductions. The paintings are thought-provoking and witty, with a pointed finger at vanity and ego.
MOCA would like to thank The Mariners’ Museum and Park and NOAA, who have been instrumental partners in facilitating the veracity of White’s vision, providing enormous resources, including: maritime history, facts, and data (and in one case – sound) about the USS Monitor. Learn more about a special reciprocal program for members of MOCA and The Mariner’s Museum and Park, available throughout the duration of this exhibition.