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Buickster Hall grand opening a success

Danielle Ryan

(5/30) Taneytown’s Buickster Hall held its grand opening on April 20 with a "meet the artist" night showcasing the very first artists to show their work in the newly renovated multi-arts events space. The opening event was a success; there was a large crowd waiting outside the doors prior to opening, and everyone who attended was incredibly excited. The team that has been so monumental in making this project happen was overwhelmed with the response they received during the opening event.

Since the grand opening, Buickster Hall has received nothing but positive comments from visitors. Taneytown itself has been incredibly responsive to the new venture, said Gondor. So far, people have come from Frederick, Baltimore, Washington, and Central Pennsylvania. Buickster Hall seems to be drawing quite the crowd! "We appreciate the accolades! We'd like to thank the community for their support of Buickster Hall. There was a tremendous partnership with many businesses in the Central Maryland community to assist us in making all this happen. We say thank you!"

For the grand opening, Buickster Hall welcomed artists Virginia Sperry and Alyssha Csuk, the first artists to showcase their rust inspired work at the new multi-arts events space.

Alyssha Csuk is a fine art photographer who runs her own photography business while also teaching photography. She has worked for several years creating a body of abstract imagery through her photographs. These abstracts were initially inspired by her exploration of the defunct Bethlehem Steel site, but evolved to other facets of industry, including slate quarries and scrap yards.

From the day she first stepped foot on the Bethlehem Steel site, Csuk "felt a sort of magic" and immediately felt inspired by the hidden beauty that she found in the industrial ruins. Csuk hopes to elicit this same feeling of magic in every photograph she takes, opening the eyes of those who view her photography to the often overlooked beauty around them. While exploring this and many other industrial sites, Csuk has found that the effects of the elements have a transformative effect on the facades of the mill, slate and scrap and turn them into textural canvases.

In fact, when viewing Csuk’s photography, one may believe that the photographs taken are manipulated after the fact. However, the images Csuk captures are all straight photography, meaning there is no image manipulation. The way she is able to capture something so mundane and seemingly ordinary as rusted metal and turn it into something beautiful is truly amazing. "I took that to heart while exploring the industrial ruins with my camera… it was with patience, careful study and observation that I was able to capture painterly abstract photographs that lay bare unlikely beauty in unexpected places."

When asked why she is drawn to these "rusty" images, and industrial sites, Csuk replied by saying, "I feel that I am drawn to subjects that embody bygone industry on many levels. First, physically from a photographic perspective bygone industry provides a rich textured environment, environments that are unknown to many, which satisfies my adventurous spirit. Secondly, entering a bygone site often feels analogous to what it might be like to enter a time capsule. Time often feels like something you can’t quite put your hands on (or ever have enough of), we have these moments in our lives where we feel time (the passage of time) more intensely and then we go about our lives and don’t think much about it on a day to day basis, except for maybe when time is constraining us. Being in these environments, I feel, affords the opportunity to get closer to time, at least the ravages of time. Lastly, another reason I am drawn to bygone industry, is that I am charmed by the industrial era, the design and form components along with the history and overall the more simplistic way of life."

The second artist showcasing her rust-inspired work, Virginia Sperry, works with metal in a variety of different forms. She has created a vast body of work ranging from paintings, to sculptures; both abstract and life sized realistic pieces. Sperry reacts and responds to her surroundings, both attracted and repelled by the natural process of disintegration seen in nature. Her own personal experiences with loss have influenced her work, and she has created invoking pieces utilizing a wide variety of techniques and mediums to create thought-invoking works of art.

Sperry’s paintings are the product of an experiment playing with rust as a medium to create. Her paintings are made with steel dust, vinegar and Japanese paper, and are truly something to behold. As a metal artist, Sperry has an on again/off again relationship with rust, but this experiment, painting with rust, has been one of success and is rather unique.

Movement plays a large role in Sperry’s sculptures, noting a fascination with movement even in its most minute and simple forms. Using a variety of materials, including steel, fibers, handmade paper and polymer clay, she has been able to invoke movement in an array of different ways. She creates abstract steel and fiber sculptures, some larger than life, and others small, but most sculptures have a story attached to them. Sperry always invites the viewer to take over and interpret the pieces in their own way.

"Often my sculptures are informed by the materials that I use. Through my exploration of various materials, I record single brief moments within the ever-changing scenery of life. I am not tied down to one medium, I prefer to use whatever is in front of me to capture my views of the world. Found objects inspire a story, woven vessels hold a feeling and rusted steel leads to a series of paintings. Each technique, whether it be welding or weaving, lends itself to its own way of expression. I find this exploration endlessly fascinating," states Sperry.

The work of both artists is truly beautiful and transformative. Looking at the way they perceive something as simple as rust and ruin, turning it into something beautiful. So If you haven’t already, please take some time and stop by to visit Sperry and Csuk’s work. Their art will be on display until June 11th!

Also, don’t forget to keep in mind that the next artist to exhibit his work will be Marty Mummert, known for his original hand sketched and hand painted custom design signs from June 25th through July 9th. On June 24, form 6 to 8 p.m., you can meet Marty at another VIP event – this time, and in fitting with the season, it will have a beach themed! Marty's works have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, Cottage Living, and Country Living. His television exposure includes Friends, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Yes Dear, and The Food Network's Wrappped."

The Buickster Hall team is working on filling in the calendar with some more exciting events, so stay tuned for more!

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