B y Jaime Thomas
Complementing historical information about the region’s strong ties to the Slate industry will be a national art exhibition opening this June.
Slate as Muse will feature 19 artists and 27 works of art in a variety of mediums, including sculpture, paintings, photography and mixed media art, and museum officials are very excited.
Curator Serena Kovalosky said slate is not necessarily a regular medium for most artists; integrating it into a piece of artwork was the challenge put out to artists across the country.
“This is actually a really vibrant topic, and we can inspire artists to use it today,” she said. Both she and Interim Director Sarah Kijowski discussed the significance of the slate industry to the area in the past and present.
“We want to make that relevant and take it into the future,” Kijowski said. “We want people to look at slate differently, how slate has inspired people,” she said, explaining Kovalosky’s lineup choices.
She said many people who visit the museum don’t realize the industry is still alive today.
“Serena’s work is reviving that passion about the material by highlighting it artistically,” she said. “We’re using it to explain the history.”
The two discussed how there are still many slate workers and descendents of slate workers in the area who have strong ties to the traditions. They want to share that culture and expand outreach through using art, rather than just history to teach.
Kovalosky said she wasn’t sure what sort of response she would get after she put out a call to artists, but there was a strong response from artists both nearby and far away. A jury, including Kovalosky, Former Director Kate Weller and Matt Hicks, a trustee, selected the pieces.
Prizes will be awarded to the artists, including the jury’s first prize, a second prize from members of the quarrying community and a people’s choice for the third prize.
Artists from areas ranging from Castleton to Brooklyn to Portland, Ore., will offer everything from paintings to bas-relief pieces to photography.
“We want to appeal to a variety of people,” Kovalosky said.
The show will be open from the reception on June 6 through Nov. 7. For more information email [email protected]