2009-01-01 / Correspondents' Notes

Collaborative Gallery Show At Berkeley Springs Ice House

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W. Va. - - Celebrating collaboration between artists, the gallery exhibit "Duets" opens at the Ice House on Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. The gala opening is preceded by an Artwalk with a reception at Mountain Laurel Gallery beginning at 5 p.m. Curated by metalsmith Anne Larsen and produced by the Morgan Arts Council (MAC), the show is displayed through March 1.

For "Duets," Larsen sought out work created by more than one artist. "Working alone limits an artist to the skills they possess themselves," she says. "This show celebrates how artists with complementary skills can overcome this limitation."

More than two dozen artists are involved in the show, including several from the area. The collaborators range from sisters, spouses and a mother and son to business partners and independent professional colleagues. In some cases, two people produce all the output of their studio together; in other cases, the collaborations produce a single piece of work. Sometimes the skills are interchangeable; other times the skills combined are dramatically different.

The end product of Ileana- Olympia Andruchovici and her son, Alex Stanciu,, is wearable art. Illeana-Olympia designs and makes elegant garments and accessories from fabrics ornamented by her son, who digitally manipulates images and then transfers them full scale onto lengths of fabric so the entire garment is covered in a seamless, full-color image. Michael Banner is famous for his tea services, and his wife, Maureen, is renown for her jewelry and enameling. The pair of silversmiths contribute their respective skills to shared work while also creating their individual pieces.

The show exhibits work in a wide range of media, including the first exhibition of calligraphy on stone to be displayed at the Ice House. The elegant work is created by Tracy Mahaffey and Adam Heller, business partners who own Samaritan Carvers Inc. in Foster, R.I. Other media range from exquisite wooden boxes and rugs to jewelry, enamels and knives. A trio of artists collaborated on a door commissioned for a home in Middleburg, Va. Chris Mann did the woodwork, Beverly Kipphan, the stained glass and Glen Horr, the hardware. Larsenís work in the show combines her silversmithing and enameling techniques with the die-making expertise of Taos, N.M., master goldsmith G. Phil Poirier. She also created a jeweled closure for a silk scarf woven by Kim Potter.

Funding for special exhibit gallery shows at the Ice House is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, West Virginia Commission on the Arts and hotel/motel tax revenues from Morgan County and Bath.

The Ice House is located on Independence and Mercer in downtown Berkeley Springs. Gallery hours for seeing the show are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the Morgan Arts Council, call 304-258-2300 or check online at www.berkeleysprings.com

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