The Ely Art Bank features work from several artists with local ties and will play host to traveling exhibitions in the future. (Lukas Eggen photo)

The Ely Art Bank features work from several artists with local ties and will play host to traveling exhibitions in the future. (Lukas Eggen photo)

By Lukas Eggen
Ely Times Staff Writer

The Ely Renaissance Society is celebrating the grand opening of the Art Bank on Nov. 29 after the Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. The Art Bank, located in the old Bank of America building in downtown Ely, features work from local artists and will play host to exhibits in the future.

“It’s been a long process over many months to get to this point, but everyone has worked hard and are really excited about the opening,” Clark said.  “The most difficult part was the time delay. Just when we thought we had it all together, something else would come up.”

The Art Bank will feature a permanent display, local artwork for sale and traveling exhibits. From pottery to blister copper products to paintings, there will be a variety of artwork on display for people to see.

“The Art Bank is a cultural center featuring local artwork,” Clark said. “We have been given or loaned many beautiful pieces that depict the Great Basin area over nearly 70 years. These will be the permanent display. We also will have local artwork that will be for sale. Events and exhibits will be available as the Art Bank becomes the latest attraction in downtown Ely.”

For local artists, the Art Bank presents a new venue for them to show and sell their work year round to the public. And the response from artists has been strong, Clark said.

“The artists are very excited about having a venue in which to display and sell their work,” Clark said. “They plan to volunteer hours to help staff the center.”

During the Art Bank’s grand opening, Clark said people will have the chance to not only see the building and artwork, but learn more about the opportunities the Art Bank will host in the future.

“Local artists will be on hand to show their work,” Clark said. “Refreshments will be served and people can talk to members of the ERS about our plans for the Art Bank.”

As the Art Bank gets ready to open, Clark said the community needed an Art Bank for a variety of reasons and that she believes it will develop into a downtown Ely staple that will attract locals and tourists alike.

“Ely needed an art/cultural center where people could gather to enjoy the variety of work that is showcased in the Art Bank,” Clark said. “Just as Renaissance Village has been a unique attraction where people bring family and friends, the Art Bank will become an attraction that everyone will enjoy.”

The road to opening the Art Bank may have taken years, but Clark said everyone is excited to arrive at its grand opening. And from volunteers to local government, Clark said the Art Bank received a large amount of support from the community.

“The ERS would like to thank the Ely City Council, Mayor Jon Hickman and so many others for their support in creating this beautiful facility,” Clark said. “People are pleased with the accomplishments the Renaissance Society has made the murals, sculpture parks and Village. The Art Bank is the next major accomplishment for all of us to enjoy.”

It may have been years in the making, but with the Ely Renaissance Society ready to celebrate the grand opening of the Art Bank, the ERS hopes that it will be one of Ely’s newest and most popular destinations for people to come and enjoy a variety of artwork.
“The Art Bank will become the major attraction of downtown Ely with a variety of events and exhibits being offered,” Clark said.

“The artwork, jewelry, pottery and other fine items will be a wonderful addition to local shopping.”