Proceeds from artwork sales to benefit the TopSail Youth Program

LOS ANGELES, CA – August 5th, 2014 – Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI), home to LA’s Official Tall Ships, the Exy Johnson and Irving Johnson, is curating an educational art exhibit in celebration of Tall Ships Festival LA 2014. Featuring “art inspired by Sailors, Shipwrights and Riggers,” the exhibit will tell the story of the building of the Twin Brigantines as witnessed by Scott Kennedy during the three-year process. The exhibit will also include photography, knotwork, rigging tools and woodturnings created from the wood cut offs of the brigantines.

A portion of proceeds from artwork sales will benefit the TopSail Youth Program, a hands-on learning program at sea offered free of charge to Title I middle schools and high schools, and youth groups located in low-income communities throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area.

“Sailing is an art form that most of the kids who participate in our program get to experience for the first time in their lives,” remarked Bruce Heyman, LAMI’s Executive Director. “This exhibit is an example of how our program brings learning to life and offers youth a unique cultural experience that can only be found on a tall ship at sea.”

Construction of the Twin Brigantines began in December 2000 at the Brigantine Boatworks, a temporary boat yard set up adjacent to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro, California. They were built by hand using a combination of traditional and modern wooden ship building methods. Master Ship Builder Alan Rawl was in charge of construction, directing the efforts of hundreds of people, many of them volunteers, during the three year long project. Kennedy’s drawings were completed between the years 2000 and 2002.

Scott Kennedy has built up his reputation as a maritime artist for the last fifty years. His love of ships and the sea, his attention to detail, makes him one of the most accomplished artists known today.  The legendary J. Russel Jinishian, long recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on contemporary marine art, once expressed the opinion, “Nobody can sit down quite the way Scott Kennedy does, with a simple pen and piece of paper, and make sense out of all that they are looking at in such a beautiful and elegant way.”

“My works in ink are made with my passion for learning of the legendary seafaring skills and the building of wooden vessels from our historical times,” said Kennedy. “Seeing and drawing the men and women who share learned knowledge and ageless craftsmanship create an atmosphere I attempt to portray in my drawings.”Tall Ships Discovery opens on Thursday, August 7th at 6:00pm at fINdings Art Center as part of downtown San Pedro’s First Thursday Artwalk. The exhibit will also be open on August 21st (6:00pm – 9:00pm) and August 23rd (11:00am – 8:00pm). Schools and youth groups can schedule a weekday tour of the exhibit, based on availability. Admission is free for all visitors.

The educational art exhibit will also feature the work of Stan Hicks and other local artists and photographers. For more information, visit or call 310-422-4146.

High res images available upon request.


About Scott Kennedy

Scott began selling his distinctive drawings and oil impressions that focus on the marine environment in which he was raised at the tender age of thirteen. By the time he was barely sixteen, he had been selected by California Governor and future president Ronald Reagan to create a pen and ink rendition of the Sacramento Governor’s mansion for Reagan and his wife Nancy. At the age of 21, Scott flew to Denmark with the intention of finding a classic wooden sailing vessel that he could bring back to the west coast of North America and eventually take up residence in Mexico. But as it turned out, he ended up spending the next decade sailing the waterways of Denmark, Germany and Holland while capturing the boats and architecture of the regional waterfronts. Many of those works still remain on display in prominent maritime museums throughout northern Europe, including the private art collection of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.


About Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI)

Founded in 1992, Los Angeles Maritime Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing character-building, educational, sail training adventures for youth. Located on the Los Angeles Waterfront in San Pedro, CA, the TopSail Youth Program takes place aboard the twin brigantines, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson.Designated the “Official Tall Ships and Maritime Ambassadors of the City of Los Angeles” at their launch in 2002, these 110-foot wooden vessels are charged with giving tens of thousands of young people the opportunity to experience self-discovery, life-changing adventure and hands-on education found only on a tall ship at sea.Built to last 100 years, the state-of-the-art brigantine design is based on TopSail founder Jim Gladson’s decades of experience with adolescent education and youth sail training programs, years of valuable experience gained from the Institute’s first vessel,Swift of Ipswich, and discussions with sail training experts throughout the world. Purpose-built by the Institute to meet or exceed all U.S. Coast Guard requirements, the brigantines are named in honor of the late Captain Irving and Electa “Exy” Johnson, character-building sail training pioneers and seven-time circumnavigators with youth crew aboard their sailing vessel YANKEE.