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Lewiston-Porter student Ryleigh Pedley (Photo by Heather Gring // provided by Artpark & Company)
Lewiston-Porter student Ryleigh Pedley (Photo by Heather Gring // provided by Artpark & Company)

Artpark announces opening of Lew-Port student exhibition, 'With Love, Artpark Archives of 1976'


Thu, Jan 4th 2024 10:40 am

Submitted by Artpark & Company

Join us from 6-8pm Thursday, Jan. 4, at the Lewiston-Porter LEVEL Art Gallery for our opening reception of the exhibition “With Love, Artpark Archives of 1976.” This exhibition will display copies of original archival Artpark photographs and is completely student curated.

Artpark in Lewiston has been a groundbreaking artistic institution and site, defining the area’s culture for generations.

Lewiston-Porter gallery project students accessed original Artpark archives donated by Artpark & Company to the Burchfield Penney Art Center to curate an exhibition at the Lew-Port LEVEL Art Gallery.

Student curators embodied the role of researcher as they went through several stages of idea generation and development. Their journey back through time began with learning about “The Artpark Idea,” from the time of its inception in 1974, and the ethos of the artists working there from Artpark’s current Director of Education and Interpretation Tanis Winslow. Students then stepped into the year 1976 as they watched the documentary “Artpark People” directed by Michael Blackwood, and then chose a specific artist from the film to research.

From left: Ryleigh Pedley, Isabella Carr, Kayleigh DeLuca, Heather Gring, Alyssa Crewe and Elijah Veltri. (Photo by Teri Fallesen // provided by Artpark & Company)


Once they each developed their own exhibition thesis, student curators were tasked with using a 400-page-plus finding aid, created by a team of processing staff and interns, led by archivist Heather Gring at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, to initiate their Artpark research. These high schoolers were provided with the exclusive experience of stepping into the BPAC’s archives to discover images of their artist of choice within the 220-box Artpark collection of approximately 70,000 images, over 180 boxes of textual records, and hundreds of legacy AV objects and oversized materials of which took eight years to prepare.

When reflecting on the act of conducting research with archival materials, student Alyssa Crewe said, “It was very different; it felt that you were looking back in the past and could feel what it was like in the 1970's.”

Classmate Kasey Ringvelski said, “It was really crowded in the room with all of us. However, I found it very interesting to look through our pasts and, personally, I've never seen slides before, so it was very intriguing to see what photos used to be like.”

Elijah Veltri shared “I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it was really cool to go through slides, negatives and see how it is really old but still in good condition. I didn’t know archival work was a thing; it was cool to see the actual work of an art related field.”

Lew-Port students hard at work. (Photo by Heather Gring // provided by Artpark & Company)

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