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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely comes to life in glass

Grant funds allowing local artists to create new windows for Ely Library

Keith Vandervort
Posted 4/23/21

ELY – Area artists are working at Miner’s Dry this spring to complete an extensive stained glass art project for the Public Library here.As much as $12,000 in funding for the project …

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Ely comes to life in glass

Grant funds allowing local artists to create new windows for Ely Library

Posted

ELY – Area artists are working at Miner’s Dry this spring to complete an extensive stained glass art project for the Public Library here.
As much as $12,000 in funding for the project comes in part from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund in conjunction with the Arrowhead Library System, according to Library Director Rachel Heinrich.
“And through a Community Giving Grant from the Donald G. Gardner Humanities Trust, a specialized ring saw tool was purchased for the project,” she said.
A dozen stained glass panels depicting various scenes from Ely’s past and present will be installed, said artist Claire Taylor. The scenes showcase mining and logging industries, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, area resorts and tourism, dog sledding, and Native American heritage. A U.S. Forest Service float plane, the Ely water tower, a steam train, and other cultural and historical scenes will be included.
The 12 panels will eventually be hung in the top windows of the Chapman Street side of the library.
“Each of the panels measures 28 by 33 inches and is made of at least 200 pieces of cut stained glass,” Taylor said. “We are looking to style the new pieces to resemble the existing six stained glass art pieces already on display in the library windows by the children’s area.”
The local artists involved in the project include Sandy Bradley, Claire Taylor, Scott King, Mary Ann Pinckney, Jaymie Stocks and John Weidemann. The group gathers several days a week at the Miner’s Dry building. Jim Brandley is making the wood frames for the art pieces. Other local artists, including Shaun Chosa and Cecilia Rolando have been asked to submit patterns for project.
“We’re trying to incorporate the creativity of as many local artists as possible, because we want this to be a truly community effort,” Taylor added.
The artists have given themselves the goal of getting six of the 12 art pieces installed this spring, and the other six will be started and completed in the fall. The Ely Public Library is making plans to reopen to the public by this summer after closing in March 2020 due to public health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

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