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Cultural Center art installation memorializes miners and honors survivor

4/26/2006

A special art installation to memorialize the 18 men who have lost their lives this year in West Virginia coal mines is on display at the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex through May 21.

The art installation was conceived by David Jeffrey of Lynco. An internationally recognized contemporary artist, Jeffrey is from a coal mining family and has worked in the mines himself.

The focal points of Jeffrey’s “Coal Curtain,” a large mixed media sculpture, are 18 blocks of coal, each sandblasted with the initials of one of the miners. The blocks of coal sit in front of a curtain of coal chips. The simple, stark sculpture suggests the underground environment of a coal mine.

Jeffrey did an accompanying piece of art entitled “Darkness to Light” in honor of Randall McCloy Jr., the lone survivor of the Sago mine disaster in January. “Darkness to Light” is made of beeswax and coal on a masonite panel, and symbolizes McCloy’s rescue and ongoing recovery.

The installation can be seen during regular Cultural Center hours, which are Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. A similar installation, also by Jeffrey, will be on display at the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s Museum in the Park at Chief Logan State Park in Logan from May 28 to Sept. 5.

For more information about the installation, call Richard Ressmeyer, director of arts, at (304) 558-0240, ext. 721.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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Ginny Painter
Deputy Commissioner/Communications Manager
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV  25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779
Email ginny.painter@wvculture.org