Give an artist a challenge and they will always deliver innovation.
As the curator for Slate as Muse, I’m excited to announce the nineteen artists who will be exhibiting their artwork for this first-ever National Art Exhibition which will open on June 6, 2014 at the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, NY.
At the beginning of the year, a nationwide challenge was sent out to the art community: Using slate as their creative muse, artists would paint, sculpt, photograph, and/or somehow incorporate slate into their work, with slate as the subject and/or medium.
I knew I was taking a chance with this show. Slate has been quarried in small, isolated pockets of the U.S. and it is a rarely-used medium. It doesn’t have the “caché” of marble or soapstone. For sculptors, it chips and cleaves easily, adding an additional challenge to the creative process. For painters and other 2-D artists, using slate as a subject is a particular challenge and although it could be used as a canvas, we were looking for work that pushed the boundaries of merely “painting on slate.”
It’s not easy to turn slate into a work of art.
I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous. But I should’ve know better. If you need to have something created that no one has ever seen or even thought of before, ask an artist. As submissions started pouring in, I was not only relieved but inspired and awed by the talent and sheer creativity.
Twenty-seven works of art have been selected for the show ranging from painting, encaustic, photography and mosaic to mixed media and sculpture. I have not yet seen any of the work in person but I can tell you I’m looking forward to seeing how they will complement and contrast and interact with each other in the museum’s gallery.
Here are the artists who took up the challenge and delivered innovative reflections slate as art. Bravo to each of you!
James C. Bassett, Portland, OR
Wall sculptures: Slate, alabaster, ebony, mahogany, hawthorn twigs
Kathleen Bennett Bastis, New York, NY
Wall sculpture: Reclaimed slate and metal
Nicholas Benson, Newport, RI
Slate carving/hand lettering
Linda Biggers, Broadalbin, NY
Slate mosaic with stained glass on mirror
Susan Breen, Bridgeport, CT
Tony Conner, Bennington, VT
Alyssha Eve Csuk, Bethlehem, PA
Chrissey Dittus, Queensbury, NY
Acrylic on canvas
Carol Driscoll, West Rutland, VT
Red slate sculpture
Kerry O. Furlani, Poultney, VT
Bas-relief slate carvin
Jeanne Heifetz, Brooklyn, NY
Wall sculpture: Slate, graphite, zinc, nickel, bronze, iron
Michael Kukla, New York, NY
Black slate sculpture
Adriano Manocchia, Cambridge, NY
Oil on panel
Thomas Merwin, Castleton, VT
Oil on canvas
Michael Updike, Newbury, MA
Carving on slate shingles
Gyula Varosy, Greenwich, NY
Slate and wood sculpture
Herb Weigand, Stroudsburg, PA
Acrylic and oil on slate
Nancy P. Weis, Castleton, VT
Encaustic with slate and mixed media
Richard Weis, Castleton, VT
Acrylic and oil on canvas
For updates on the exhibition, visit: http://www.artfulvagabond.com/projects/slate-valley-museum
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