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Artist’s Water and Wood Creations at Aquarium

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s newest installation in the Spadefish Gallery combines elements of fire and water in “Ocean Pyrography: The Art of Mary Jane Mumpower.” The new exhibit, which opened July 1 and runs through the end of September, features images of aquatic animals and marine environments fluidly seared into wood. Through pyrography, or wood burning techniques, artist Mary Jane Mumpower creates detailed scenes with varied textures and patterns making her art visual and tactile. “It is my hope that the pieces I have on exhibit here will convey the diversity of techniques I taught myself while exploring this wonderful art form,” says Mumpower, a Jacksonville native. Mumpower began her artistic journey at a young age and received formal training in drawing, painting and sculpture at Coastal Carolina Community College. Unafraid to try her hand at new ways to express herself, she also made jewelry, sculpted and took commissions for mural work. Yet, pyrography truly ignited Mumpower’s artistic passion and captured her focus for the past several years.
The Spadefish Gallery at the Aquarium showcases local artists throughout the year. Artwork that coincides with the Aquarium’s mission of “inspiring appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environment” is located on the 2nd floor of the Marine Building.   
NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, 15 miles from Wilmington, on US 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). Admission: $8 adults ages 13-61; $7 seniors ages 62+; $6 ages 3-12. Free admission for: children ages 2 and younger; registered groups of N.C. school children, and NC Aquarium Society members. General information: