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Hyde Collection Displays Ice Sculptures Honoring Frontline Workers

The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls has paused public visits inside its buildings until May. But the museum has found an alternative way to display one type of art and honor frontline workers.

For the past two weeks the front lawn of the Hyde Collection has featured ice sculptures inspired by the pandemic, collectively called A Winter of Hope. Curator Jonathan Canning says they are using the carved ice forms to show their appreciation for frontline workers.  

“We’ve installed six sculptures on the lawn of the Hyde Collection really in honor of our front line and first responders whose care and compassion at seeing us through this terrible pandemic and the themes of love, care, compassion, professionalism are all part of the six sculptures that we see," Canning said. "I’m standing next to one that is a fun joyous snowflake. But we have two that are figures dancing with hearts inspired by the artist Keith Herring. And we have three works inspired by the artist Robert Indiana and they are the words love, hope and healing.”

Ice Man Lead Ice Sculptor Matt Young says each piece offers a different inspirational message.  

“We kind of followed the design from Robert Indiana with the love symbol and then we kind of added the hope and heal as well especially during these trying times that we’ve been in," Young said. "We actually want to kind of send that message. So Charlie Jones is the master sculptor and the owner. Him and his wife Amy design most of the sculptures, give us the blueprint the idea, and then we take it from their design and make into a 3-D image. Our community’s always been small and we really hope this’d help bring everyone together. Especially with all the nursing homes and hospitals that we do have in the area. These people have been working their hearts out all throughout, almost over a year now. We really wanted to give back and show them how much we care for them.”

Canning says the exhibition is a way to bring art to people even though the building is closed.  

“I think this is the first time as a curator that I’ve actually emptied the galleries and put the art outside!" Canning said. "But it’s part of the pivoting the changes the creativity we all have to have in response to the pandemic to keep enjoying art, to keep being active, celebrating our community but safe at the same time.”

The Hyde interior collections are currently virtual.  Canning says galleries will reopen May 1 with a number of new exhibitions. 

“We’ll be bringing out some of our treasures," Canning added. "We have watercolors by Winslow Homer. We have pastels by Edgar Degas, a drawing by Vincent Van Gogh. All of those will come out this summer. We will have a project, a collaboration, with Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore exploring themes in modern and contemporary art. And then historic Hyde House and our wonderful permanent collection that includes Rembrandt, Rubens, Picasso, that will open too.”

The ice sculptures will be displayed on the museum’s front lawn through Friday.

Audio is courtesy of Mountain Lake PBS.