FALLS VILLAGE — In March, the David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village was excited to be opening the group exhibition, Slate of the Art 2020. Over 100 artworks, all using original roof slates from the Library’s 1891 construction, were painstakingly installed on the library’s ArtWall. Enthusiastic attendance for the March 14 reception was expected, but then the world changed with the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. The reception was canceled, and the library was closed.

Now, three months later, the Hunt Library has reopened, and the public can finally get a chance to see the exhibition. Library Board member Garth Kobal said the library will not hold art receptions or other public events until further notice, so visitors are encouraged to view the art during library operating hours. It will be on display through Saturday, August 29.

Kobal noted, “For those who prefer to see the art in the comfort of their homes, the library has launched the ArtWall to Go! web page featuring all the works on exhibit with the ability to reserve works for purchase. You can check it out at www.huntlibrary.org/art-wall.”

Kobal explained that the concept for Slate of the Art I was inspired by the fact that people today learn primarily through the technology of phones, tablets, and computers, but when the Hunt Library opened in the late 19th century, it included a school and its students used slates for their studies. The proposition to the artists in Slate of the Art was to convey a message in pictures, words, or emoji, but the slate replaces the phone.

Participants include art instructor Chris Hanley’s 5th to 8th grade art students from the Lee H. Kellogg School in Falls Village. Luckily, those students had a private reception the day before the library closed and saw their works installed alongside those by dozens of the most prominent local artists including Danielle Mailer, Ken Musselman, Lori Barker, Robert Cronin, Serena Weld Granbery, Sarah Martinez, Robert Andrew Parker, and the late Lillian Lovitt.

A Kellogg School student identified only as Josh explained his artwork titled “Sea Silhouette”: “I made this piece to show a seal on a cliff side as a silhouette. I made this by using clay on the cliff for extra texture and then applying layers of paint. I chose a seal because, as a child, they were my favorite animal. I tried to make the seal look majestic along a cliff side, looking like he owns the world.”

Well-known Goshen artist Lori Barker said the unusual sheen on her piece titled Up on the Roof was achieved by taking photos of the library roof, then printing the photo on aluminum. “I took apart an accordion ruler for the “ladders” and found the tiny people in one of my art supplies drawers and painted them,” she said.

A portion of each sale benefits the Library; student work is not for sale. Those visiting the library in person can contact staff members to purchase artwork, which will be removed upon purchase.

For more information, call the Library at 860-824-7424 or visit www.huntlibrary.org. Library hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 3 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Slate of the Art 2020 exhibition will be open to the public through August 29. David M. Hunt Library is located at 63 Main Street, Falls Village.

Connecticut Media Group