Deadline nears for ‘artful artifacts’ entries

April 13, 2011

The History Museum of Hood River County reminds local artists that the deadline for entries in its "Artful Artifacts" exhibit is April 21. Artists have been invited to create an original piece of contemporary art inspired by the featured artifact, a Victorian hair tress wreath.

"This beautiful wreath is created from hair collected over years and then artfully woven into a beautiful piece of art in memory of a loved one," said Museum Coordinator Connie Nice. "The hair wreath is part of the museum's Pioneer Collection and was from the Marlor/Blythe family."

The Artful Artifacts exhibit is a new museum program that takes a "memory" artifact and uses it as an inspiration for contemporary art.

A "memory" artifact is an item that was created or made in honor or memory of a loved one.

To be considered for the contemporary art show, entries must:

Be no larger than 20x20 inches;

Include an artist statement explaining the work and its connection to the inspiration piece (under 400 words); and

Be submitted to the museum by April 21.

The exhibit opens to the public with a special reception from 4-6 p.m. Friday, May 6, and ends July 5.

Artists can request a photograph of the museum artifact or they can call and make an appointment to view the artifact in person in order to see details of construction and form.

Any type of art medium is acceptable providing it is inspired by the museum artifact.

Artist will have four choices of what to do with the art piece after the exhibit ends:

Donate the item to the museum collection;

Donate the item to the museum to be auctioned off; proceeds to benefit the museum education and collection programs

Keep the item themselves after the exhibit ends;

Offer the item for consignment sale during the exhibit; picked up by purchaser after the exhibit ends.

There will be a "People's Choice" award given at the end of the exhibit to the art piece voted as favorite by museum visitors.

"The concept of taking a beautiful and unique museum artifact and using it to inspire contemporary art is a very intriguing notion," said Nice. "We have such a rich and varied art community in Hood River County and the Mid-Columbia Gorge region, that it will be very exciting to see how artists will reinterpret this 100-year artifact."

To download the artist guidelines for the special exhibit, visit To make arrangements for a closer look at the inspiration artifact, contact Nice at the museum office; 541-386-6772 or

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