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Ely Nevada's Geraghty Art Institute


Those who attended Ely's outstanding Global Conference in August 2004 know it is a town whose Renaissance Society is always coming up with surprises. But their most recent scheme almost beggars belief! Perhaps it was that Labyrinth that did it ... its now open and aiding contemplation even in freezing snow, illuminated by candlelight on a recent occasion when Margaret Bath and Jack Smith 'walked their thoughts' and others gladly if madly followed them. That labyrinth by the way is clearly destined to become a tourist must, since the Minutes show that Nevada Commission on Tourism has now accorded $18,600 towards its cost reflecting the belief that critical mass in public art readily leads to economic development.

Late last year, nine houses owned by the Geraghty Family for 90 years came on the market and, although the Renaissance Society did not submit the highest tender, the family was pleased to sell to them anyway as home for the Geraghty Art Institute - reports Lorraine Clark from a well attended meeting on February 11th at the Twisted Pine Pub [sounds enticing but not sure the Congress participants were allowed inside]. This adventure into real estate comes hot on the tail of the donation of the 93' long Romano house + garage with just one little condition - it has to be relocated so that its owners can rebuild on the plot. The new location is half a mile away.

The emergent Geraghty plan is naturally ambitious with Artists' Retreats and a Sale of Collectable Antiques. There is also an embyonic strategy to present themes from the countries whose migrants helped build the railroad. Already a Casa de Espanol that recognises that many of the Spanish speaking immigrants arrived via Mexico, and an English Cottage, are contemplated. A great deal of fund raising will be required to get all nine houses functioning well, but where there's Ely Renaissance its just a matter of time.

Neither are the Greeks Keeping Quiet

No doubt further Geraghty Art Institute thoughts will be refined at the Wine Tasting and Art Show this coming weekend, February 19th, although its purpose is as a fund raiser for Ely's upcoming Greek Mural. [Greek wines are indeed always worth tasting but normally taste best chilled in a very hot climate.] There's also to be a Greek Party with similar fund raising goals - here's hoping there will a net result after all the broken plates have been paid for. In fact, the focus of the Greek Mural is already emerging. It will be executed in stained glass window formatting to tell of the classical Greeks who we readily know invented the Olympics and democracy as well as creating some fine literature and architecture we still copy around the world; but leading on from there to their arrival at Ely and their specific contribution. They always were great travellers!

Other very exciting developments include a 'Will Rogers Speaker' for the 2005 Lincoln Highway Convention, recalling Will Rogers own participation in Ely in 1930 at that Conference; Scripts are being developed for the 2005 Living Mural Presentation; and an Opera by Betty Orr and Mary Jane Lampton is being scheduled.

Keeping this lot on track will surely call for more than the occasional rendezvous at Bob Hume's historic Twisted Pine Pub. We all wish Ely Renaissance Society the very best for 2005 and look forward to seeing some of them and learning more later this year at the Regional Seminars in Bowen Australia in September and Bishop California in October ... and then of course in Scotland in August 2006 for the next Global Conference!

Published Date: February 11th 2005

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