Art BankBy Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer

The “Hay and Hay Burners” photography exhibit at the Art Bank on Friday marked the first of a variety of different type of exhibits coming to the gallery according to Loraine Clark.

“This was our first art exhibit with the artists present to talk about the work,” Clark said. “This was a great experience for both the artist and the people who came to see the work. We plan many more exhibits and now have an idea of what to expect.”

Jennifer Messina, the photographer responsible for the photos that made up the exhibit, said the rural scenery she would pass by often on trips from her house in Ely to her teaching job in Las Vegas inspired her.
“I used to drive back and forth once a month until I retired seven years later,” Messina said. “I took a photograph once in Hiko where the sun was shining on this big haystack and I ended up really liking that picture.”

That picture became the start of a series that eventually led to the exhibit that about 30 people attended during its Friday and Saturday viewings. Lined up in a row, the photos show abandoned looking farms and equipment bathing in sunlight and shadow.

As a lover of gallery exhibits, Messina said she hopes to see the Art Bank grow and expose more work from talented locals.

“Anyone who wants to put up a show, you know, something that is good and quality work, we can do that,” Messina said. “That is what [the Art Bank] is for. I’m proud that I got to do the first one but I hope it is the first of many more.”
Several things are currently in the works. Clark said the month of May is looking busy for the gallery. The Ely Renaissance Society is “already planning First Friday which will begin in May and run through August.” She mentioned the Society’s First Friday last summer and said they were pleased with the results they had.
In addition to First Friday, Clark is also looking to get the local schools involved to display young artistic talent in the community.

“In May we will have an exhibit of student artwork from all the school in the area. We are in the process of getting that together now and encourage students and instructors to contact us.”