The Mountain Times

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Quarries as art

Middlebury Art Museum is showing photographs of quarries taken in Vermont by Canadian Edward Burtynsky on six different trips to the state. The exhibit and catalogue are entitled, "Nature Transformed - Edward Burtynsky's Vermont Quarry Photos in Context."

Both require serious study to appreciate the work the artist has done in documenting a number of quarries. The workmen pictured are from Rutland and Barre, bringing the study closer to the marble mining in our own backyard. I spent three days studying the exhibit and many more reading the catalogue.

Art Historian, George Kubler, in his book, Shape of Time, says that everything manmade might be considered art. Quarries are manmade and might qualify as architecture. Burtynsky says in his, "artist statement" the rock face is imprinted with order, methodologies, desires and our needs. The exhibit raises many questions but the quarries themselves seem remote. If you are around this summer visit the museum.

KAG--green _marble -2551a

Eleven years ago, Ann Wallen reported to the members of the Killington Arts Guild that there was a green marble quarry north of Randolph which was visible from the road and I went with photographer Patsy Zedar to take pictures. Green Marble, Vermont Verde antique dark green serpentine stone has been quarried in the Green Mountains of Vermont since 1900. Green marble has the warmth and look of marble, but is harder and less porous than many types of granite and it is excellent for counter topping, a favorite of architects, designers and fabricators, especially for domestic and international projects.

There was a fence around the quarry then but green marble was still being extracted and the process does not seem to have changed much. The rock surface seems flatter than those of the quarries in Burtnsky's new exhibit but the use of the stone many have been different. I see no record of this quarry in current literature. We are much more familiar with green marble because it a part of homes and lives.

Hopefully, the Marble Museum in Proctor will be opening again soon so that we have a chances to see and touch the stones and to learn about their processing. The Burtynsky exhibit only renews my interest in seeing quarries in Barre, Danbury and at Omni.

Photos by Patsy Zedar

Tagged: Killington Art's Guild