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BNL Art and Crafts Show, 2012

It’s amazing what artistic talent is seething among BNLers and some of their family members. Much of their beautiful and creative work was displayed at the annual BNL Art and Crafts Show in Rooms B and C of Berkner Hall from November 19 to 21.

Visitors to the show admired the wild and delicate paintings and drawings, an unbelievable range of inspiring photography, expressive and emotional sculpture, skilled woodwork from carved walking sticks to an exquisite musical-box grand piano, needlework so fine it seemed to be painted, stunning stained glass, prize-winning basketry, intriguing kitchen items (check out that banana holder!), a how-to art book (on starting to paint oils by a self-taught successful artist) — and more. Also on display were the two pictures by high school seniors Kaylyn Gardner and Victoria Lucchese, who won the BNL “Discovery” Art Prizes of 2012.

Once visitors arrived, the artists and organizers reveled in compliments. Who would have thought that on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 16, this admired exhibition was a conglomeration of ingredients in Room C? The dedicated show-hangers who arrived at Berkner at 9 a.m. were faced with a daunting task — taming an alarming number of easels and boards (courtesy of the National Synchrotron Light Source and the BNL movers); other easels, tables, and tablecloths (courtesy of Staff Services); cardboard boxes of fragile crafts (“whatever you do, don’t drop that!”); innumerable pictures and photos propped against the walls (“better hang those together, they make a statement,” “those can be divided up, they’ll add contrast with those other ones”); the essential pre-program lists of who did what (which have a capacity for disappearing second to none); dozens of little numbered labels that fall off everything they are meant to stick to; hammers, nails, thumbtacks (how on earth can this hang with no frame or wire? Well, balance it on the thumbtacks...no, the glass ones will look better than the green…”) — and more.

After about five hours of extraordinary effort, the exhausted exhibit-builders limped to their cars, happy to know that another great show was ready to be seen at the opening on Monday.

Thanks so much to everyone, exhibitors and organizers, who worked so hard on the whole show. Here’s to next year!

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