Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Awesome Venue for an Art Show
Growing up here, almost everyone had ties to 'The Steel' - Bethlehem Steel, that is. Fathers, brothers, uncles, neighbors... someone you knew worked there. You couldn't help but be aware physically as well. Driving through many parts of the town offered impressive views of large office buildings, rail lines, and most spectacularly - the blast furnaces and stacks. I remember many childhood drives past the plant, being awed by the massive size and gritty, raw industrial power. Night drives were always a time to be on the lookout for 'the fire on the stacks'. Tall towering burn-off stacks with leaping, glowing flames at the top were mysterious and dangerously exciting to my young eyes.
But Bethlehem Steel's steel making days have ended and for many years the structures and buildings have sat empty and decaying. Still industrially beautiful, but in the way of age and rust.
I had heard a little about new developments underway at the plant. A new casino went in and I heard talk of an arts venue, as well as a skate/bike park. Other distractions kept me busy and I was unaware of the spectacular changes taking place - revitalization and new life taking root in an exciting new venture/venue called ArtsQuest™ Center at SteelStacks™.
I was approached by a staff member at ArtsQuest™ about applying for their new SteelStacks™ Arts and Antiques Market . The market runs all summer long, May 14th - Aug 28th. I applied and was accepted for four weekends - May 14th-15th, 21st-22nd and June 4th-5th, 11th-12th. When I arrived to set up I was immediately impressed by the power of the venue. My tent has the orange tablecloth.
While the first weekend was rainy and sales were slow, the enthusiasm of almost everyone involved was so infectious. There is a definite feeling that this event is just going to continue to grow! The ArtsQuest™ Center at SteelStacks™ venue is open and has events ongoing 365 days of the year. The view of ArtsQuest™ Center from my tent.
As I was leaving after the first day, my tent closed up tight for the night, the colorfully lit stacks as a backdrop brought back an oddly familiar sense of mystery and wonder.