If you were married before 1970 and have a connection to Ouray County, or know someone who fits this description, the Ouray County Historical Museum would like to borrow your bridal photos. The museum is seeking the photos for an exhibit on vintage bridal fashions that begins April 19, the day the museum returns from winter break and reopens for the season.
Sue Hillhouse, director of the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild and a voracious history buff, is the brains behind the exhibit. On Monday, she offered a tour and her thoughts on its genesis. The idea came to her, Hillhouse explained, as she happened upon a trove of old dresses. The museum “is bursting at the seams,” she said. Then she demonstrated, leading the way through dozens of collections of everything from evil-looking surgical instruments (the museum occupies the former Miner’s Hospital, and seems to specialize in these) to gleaming minerals, rusty miners’ tools and hobnail boots, and more. We paused at a room on the second floor, which is to be “the boudoir” part of the exhibit, complete with mannequin wearing a vintage honeymoon outfit of flowing black silk taffeta. Hillhouse has uncovered numerous bridal gowns, all “gorgeous, indicative of the styles of the time,” and carefully wrapped in acid-free paper to preserve them. “It’s a crime to keep them out of view, but on the other hand, we can’t keep fragile fabric on display for too long either,” Hillhouse said. Thus, the exhibit will run through June at the latest – at which point the fragile fabrics will return to their paper nests, possibly for decades. Ten gowns will be on display, dating from 1885 to 1966. The oldest wedding gown was Lilly Marlow’s. She was the wife of George Marlow, one of five brothers unjustly framed for stealing horses in Texas in the late 1800s. Three brothers were murdered; the other two, including Lilly’s husband-to-be, relocated to Ridgway from Texas after being proven innocent, and rebuilt their lives (their descendants still live in this area). The museum seeks photos 8” x 10” or larger that clearly show local brides’ wedding gowns, to supplement the stories the other gowns in this exhibit are sure to tell. “We’ll see what we get,” Hillhouse said. If you would like to lend a photo to the exhibit, call the museum at 970/325-4576. Poet Ellen Metrick in Telluride On Friday, Mar. 23, the poet Ellen Metrick will read from her new work, Teasing Out the Divine, at Between the Covers. It’s Metrick’s first book of poetry in five years. “You’d think this would be a lot of stuff I’d written and saved up” between books over the past half-decade, Metrick said. “In fact, it’s not that way at all. Most things are new, from the last two years or so.” Metrick had taken a break from writing poetry to raise her child. When she tried to write again, the poems became “stuck.” What helped her break through was “archetypal dream work,” a type of dream analysis, which, she says, was key to letting loose the creative flood gates. “There was a time in the last year when I felt like I was back on familiar ground [creatively]. I’ve moved beyond that now,” she says. Metrick’s poems are closely observed, often eerily sensitive snapshots of a scary drive in the dark; an elusive rock-climbing line, become suddenly visible; an animal’s anxiety; children’s camaraderie. “For me, poetry is the practice of paying attention,” she says. This is from “Home.” It’s a day at summer camp, told from an adult’s, and then a child’s, perspective:
As Lone Cone Peak rolled toward the sun
And shadows spread across the meadow,
They sat in the shade and drew pictures,
Wrote stories, stared at the water
With liquid eyes. They smacked mosquitoes
And watched a couple of red-shafted flickers
Flit in and out of their nesting hole
High in a standing dead aspen.
When it was time to leave, and the key
Broke off in the van door lock, they just kept saying,
I hope no one comes, not ever! We’ll sleep
Just fine here. We’ll stay close together.
Kids must love her.
Metrick will be at Between the Covers from 6:30-8 p.m.
Corinne Scheman Paints Stonehenge
Earlier this month, the Ah Haa School premiered the work of three locals. Corinne Scheman, whose luminous paintings of Stonehenge hang in Ah Haa’s Daniel Tucker Gallery, is one of them. Scheman’s portraits, which she calls “images and abstractions,” look at the monoliths from nearly every conceivable distance, angle and color. “I’ve been fascinated with Stonehenge ever since high school,” she says. When the chance to exhibit at Ah Haa rose, “I had a big wall space, so I wanted a big thought to carry it.”
Though Scheman has never been to Stonehenge, the idea of it was enough to carry her through. “‘What is its purpose, and how was it made?’ These questions were central to me,” she says. Just two of the works in the exhibit were produced directly from photographs; the rest are from Scheman’s imagination. The hues she used were “an unconscious choice,” she says. The landscapes hum and vibrate, and it’s mostly the medium of acrylics that conveys these hues – not Scheman’s first choice. She’s looking forward to returning to oils. “Oil can be messy, and it dries slowly. I took a break from painting with it because I had kids and pets,” she says. Acrylics are “Russell Stover, and oils are fine Swiss chocolate.” She likes the good stuff. Scheman’s paintings are up at Ah Haa through April 15. A few Stonehenge paintings will move to the Base Club at Mountain Village in early April.
Last Feast of Spring at the Wilkinson
Today, Mar. 22, is the last day for Feasts of Spring, the biweekly cooking-meets-history event at the Wilkinson Library. Host Susanna Hoffman, a cookbook author and anthropologist, wraps her series tonight with an Orthodox Easter Feast. “We’ve moved through ancient times, through Roman times, and we’re now in the late Roman Empire – the Byzantine era,” she says of the series. By the Byzantine era, mills had been developed, and flour was fine enough that filo dough could be made. Accordingly, Hoffman will serve filo-wrapped cheese pie to accompany spring lamb stew with artichokes and dill (lambs were traditionally slaughtered in the spring); barley rusks soaked in olive oil and lemon on a bed of frisee, dandelion and fennel (the Greeks picked their own wild greens, and this is a sampling); semolina cake soaked in orange syrup and topped with slivered almonds; and Agiorgitiko, a rich red Greek wine (“more like a Burgundy than a Bordeaux”). It’s been a very successful run, and Hoffman has fed up to 65 at once. “I’ve had to stand by the table and yell, ‘It’s a sample! Not a dinner!’ a few times,” she said. Remember your manners, and arrive early. Hoffman’s Greek Easter Feast is at 6 p.m. at the Wilkinson.