CHRISTIANSBURG – Since their inception in the 1980s, the Mountain Lake Workshops have put out dozens of works by various regional artists and community members.
The works are on display for their first-ever organized exhibition at the Montgomery Museum through the end of October.
“The Mountain Lake Workshops and Symposium of the 1980s and 1990s helped define the influences and experiences of art and artists in southwest Virginia,” said Rhonda Hale, artist services and art education director for the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, which helped bring the exhibition to Montgomery County.
The interdisciplinary workshops focused on projects that engaged aspects of contemporary art, regional social and technological research communities and traditional Appalachian culture. The process began with planning sessions with guest artists who generated discipline-centered activities that became the strategic bases of individual and group participation in new create experiments, according to a statement from Hale.
The exhibition, called “The Mountain Lake Workshop 1983-2009: A Phenomenon of Collaborative Artmaking”, opened Sept. 17, and features select works produced by regional artists and workshop participants from across the years since the program. Some famous collaborators in the Mountain Lake workshops include composer John Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham.
There are several completed works on display, but visitors will also have the chance to make their own contribution to the exhibit through participation in a Mountain Lake Workshop to be held at the Museum on Oct. 24. The workshops will be held three times throughout the day from 9 a.m. to noon, 11a.m. to 2 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. “Pathways”, presented by Joe Kelley with Dr. Simone Paterson is based on the original Appalachian Trial Frieze workshop. Based on a workshop Kelley initially developed in 1992 that engaged participants in drawing and digital image capture, the workshop will result in a running digital collage that will be composed, printed and immediately installed in the exhibition, according to Hale. Registration for the workshop is ongoing as space is available. Workshop fee is $20.