Story and photographs by Susan Brink
The late afternoon sun, combined with foliage at its peak, made the drive to Maple Ridge Farm in Coila a perfect amuse bouche for Friday’s Preview Party of the 11th annual Landscapes for Landsake art exhibition and sale.
Curator Serena Kovalosky cohesively celebrates the rich diversity of styles and media of the 35 regional artists showcased in the multi-level barn-turned-gallery. She explained, “As I was talking with the artists about their work, I’d ask about a particular barn in their painting or photograph, and they’d reply, ‘Oh, that barn doesn’t exist anymore.'”
That sparked the idea to create the beautiful and poignant “Tribute to Barns” in the small gallery below the main exhibition area. Rummaging deep into each artists’ collection in search of barns and silos from the past and present, Kovalosky began to appreciate the profound symbolism that each disappearing barn represents – the end of yet another small farm, a way of life that the Agricultural Stewardship Association is striving to protect.
Landscapes for Landsake is a much-loved fundraiser for the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA), and as executive director Teri Ptacek stated, “For the past 11 years, the Landscapes show has been a wonderful way to bring people together, share our appreciation of our community’s working landscapes and talk about the need to protect them. As our largest fundraiser of the year, the show has really helped our farmland conservation efforts.”