Vance Gellert recounts Iron Country as the Story of a Unique Landscape and a Proud, Resilient People
WHO: Vance Gellert, Photographer
WHAT: “The Stories Behind the Story”
WHEN: Thursday, August 11, 2016 – 6 – 7:30 pm
WHERE: Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth
COST: Free and open to the public
Duluth, MN – On August 11, 2016, Vance Gellert, photographer for the exhibition Iron Country, photographic essay about the diverse people and landscapes of mining communities from the Iron Range, will present “The Stories Behind the Story.” Mr. Gellert will tell us how Iron County is “a grand, sprawling story that tells of a uniquely beautiful landscape and a proud, resilient people.”
Mr. Gellert will share historic facts about the making of the Iron Range to include the Laurentian Divide, also known as the Mesabi Range. He will recount how the town of Hibbing was moved and rebuilt in the 1920s to accommodate the ever-expanding mines, as the process continues with Mountain Iron. He will include stories about how mining support services are a large part of the range mining communities. In addition, the photographer will discuss the importance of education and the arts for the mining companies and immigrant workers. The latter brought with them their culture, faith, and culinary delicacies, such as the ubiquitous poticas, porkettas, and pasties, which reflect the diverse ethnic make-up of the Range communities. According to Mr. Gellert, “people from 43 nations came seeking a better life where the streets were paved with gold. It was only the red dust of hematite.”
The booming era of a rich Iron Range is long gone, but the mining industry is evolving, and it is still the backbone of the economy on the Range. As Gellert writes, “There’s the contentitious proposed copper nickel mining with its potential for both jobs and pollution.” The Iron Range keeps changing as new development opportunities emerge, and there will be more stories to tell about its evolution.
After the talk, there will be time for questions and answers, as well as group discussion if it arises.
Vance Gellert’s book Sleeping Giant, which includes photographs from the exhibition, along with stories about the Iron Range, is on sale at the Tweed Museum Store for $36.95 + tax. Mr. Gellert will be available for a book signing session at the end of the talk.
For details about the exhibition and the artist’s biography, click Iron Country and read Vance Gellert’s essay. The exhibition is on view at Tweed Museum of Art through September 4, 2016. The Tweed Museum of Art is closed on Mondays. It is open on Tuesday from 9 am to 8 pm; Wednesday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm and weekends from 1 to 5 pm.
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