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Anchors Away Art Installation at Husson University Honors the Sailor Jerry Tattoo Style

Published on: November 10, 2021

Art gallery informational poster

BANGOR, MAINE – Husson University students enrolled in the “FA230 - Mixed Media Explorations” class have created an art installation called “Anchors Away” that honors the artistic design of “Sailor Jerry” tattoos. The installation consists of large wheat paste tattoo designs affixed to the walls of the gallery.

“‘Sailor Jerry’ tattoos have a distinct style.” said Kathi J. Smith, MFA, an associate professor in the College of Science and Humanities. “These works are characterized by bold, crisp lines with pops of color that create emphasis within the image. These tattoos are primarily nautical in theme.”

An artist reception where the public could meet the student artists and enjoy this exhibition took place on November 9, 2021 in the Robert E. White Gallery, adjacent to the campus center in Peabody Hall. The exhibition runs from November 9 - December 7, 2021. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for viewing and reflection.

Paintings on a wayThe show is student designed and curated. “FA230 - Mixed Media Explorations” is a fine arts elective that is open to all Husson University students. In this particular course, students work with a variety of different materials including: drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and design. Through their sketchbook and course work, students develop creative thinking and problem solving skills.

“I am very proud of these students. They worked so hard to create this installation,” said Kat Johnson, MFA, an adjunct faculty member who shared her insights with Husson students in the mixed media class. “The entire class worked together on what became a true collaboration. It’s our hope that anyone who visits the gallery enjoys this installation.”

More about the Exhibition:

One of the several different types of media introduced in the mixed media class was wheat paste. The history of wheat paste can be traced back to the 1890s and has often been used to post political or revolutionary messages.

Artistic expressions using this medium require students to create an adhesive composed of water and flour. This glue is then applied to a wall with a paint brush. A printed paper image is then placed atop the glue. Air bubbles are pressed out as the paper is affixed to the wall. Student artists then apply an additional layer of wheat paste over the image to complete the process.

Each student was required to come up with multiple nautical inspired designs. After they each developed multiplePaintings on a wall options, the students narrowed their selections down to the one image they would include in the show. This image became their very own wall-sized “tattoo.”

This was achieved by creating a thumbnail of their image and then tracing it to paper using an overhead projector to scale the image to full size. The silhouette had to be thickly outlined in black paint before filling it in with brilliant color, mirroring the “Sailor Jerry” tattoo style. The entire process, from start to finish, was a class collaboration.

More about the Robert E. White Gallery at Husson University 

Artists with connections to Maine who work in every possible medium including watercolors, oil paintings, pastels, sculptures, acrylics, photographs and etchings, are featured at the Robert E. White Gallery.

With a new show approximately every eight weeks, the gallery provides students with a glimpse into how New England artists express themselves, giving them added insight into the place where they've chosen to go to school. The gallery was established in 1992 and named for, and endowed by, Husson alumni and former Board of Trustees Chair Robert E. White '65.

For additional information, contact Kathi Smith by phone 207-941-7004 or by email at

Paintings on a wallMore about Husson University

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to an analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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