Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

October 4, 2013

Steampunk: Exhibit opens tonight

ASHLAND — An exhibit celebrating steampunk will open at 5 p.m. today at The Thoroughbred Gallery in Ashland.

Steampunk is an art style that blends  the past and the future; using a setting of Victorian 1900s, the artists represented in the show combine technology as it would have been envisioned by people of that period. Author H.G. Wells and the 1960s television show “Wild Wild West” are examples of steampunk.

The artists who contributed pieces to the steampunk exhibit will be at tonight’s opening in period costumes that were used in the photo shoots.

Brooks said she learned about steampunk when seamstress Renee Sowards told her about going to a costume party with her husband and dressing in steampunk style. Brooks was interested, did some research and wanted to develop the exhibit.

Sowards created elaborate costumes in the Victorian style, complete with various layers of petticoats and corsets. Artists Jessica Brooks and her sister-in-law, artist Stacy Dillon, as well as Sowards, posed wearing those costumes in settings that are throwbacks to the 1900s, including  The Ridges, a lunatic asylum in Athens; the old train station in Nelsonville; and King’s Tunnel in Mineral, Ohio.

Brooks’ mother, Anette Sotelo, took the photos and photographer Chris Hayes edited the photos.

“It was interesting to be in old, vintage locations and know we were wearing what would have been worn there in that time,” Brooks said.

Dillion, who grew up in Athens, said the property on which the tunnel is located is property that has been in the family for years.

The exhibit will contain about 30 pieces of collage or mixed media works and 24 photos. Artists Todd Frazier and Lisa Smith will each contribute a pen and ink drawing. Pam DeCamp will contribute one photographic piece.

Brooks said she hopes a large crowd will be interested in seeing the show.

“There are so many people just waiting for something different to come along,” she said.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com.

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