‘A Fresh Cut’ in Kramer Gallery

Mar 02, 2014
“A Solid Team” is among the papercut silhouettes by Bennett Konesni on view in March at Belfast Free Library.

Belfast — “A Fresh Cut: New Papercut Silhouettes by Bennett Konesni” will be on display in the Kramer Gallery of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St., for the month of March. There will be an opening reception for the show Friday, March 7, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Using an X-ACTO knife, Bennett Konesni cuts scenes of his life as a farmer and musician from a single sheet of black paper. It is an old technique that people have employed for centuries to make family silhouettes for hanging over the mantle, but Konesni takes it a step further to create intricate visions in black and white.

Konesni grew up in Appleton and on Islesboro and was naturally drawn into the strong communities of old-time music and farming in Midcoast Maine. At Middlebury College, he co-founded the student farm and was awarded a Thomas J Watson fellowship to spend a postgraduate year in Africa, Asia and Europe studying worksongs, music that transforms labor into something between work and play. On Tuesday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to hear Konesni give a talk at the library titled Worksongs: The Art of Playful Labor.

Konesni is co-founder of Sylvester Manor, a 243-acre educational farm on Shelter Island, N.Y., that preserves a piece of land that has been in his family since 1652. In addition to long-range strategic planning and outreach for the organization, his roles include teaching worksongs to the farm crew and directing the annual fall festival Plant & Sing, which brings the community to the farm to complete two weeks’ worth of garlic shucking and planting in a single morning, all while singing worksongs.

Konesni envisions a world in which farmers, cooks and eaters once again make art in fields, barns, kitchens and at the table; and is starting a homestead and farm of his own in Belfast with his wife Edith Gawler. Together, they have an old-time band called Edith and Bennett and they are regulars in the Gawler Sisters and Gawler Family bands. For more information, visit bennettkonesni.com and edithandbennett.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.


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