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Exhibit documents the life and demise of a landmark

November 11, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

The smokestack, with its uniquely patterned band of brickwork, defined Willimantic’s international and local identity until September 2011, when irreparable storm damage and years of neglect caused it to be dismantled. Judd’s portraits commemorate the smokestack’s monumental beauty, utility and finally, the one-year anniversary of its demolition from the first hit of the wrecking ball to the last pile of bricks. Courtesy photo.

You’re invited to enjoy an exhibit focused on a smoke stack at Windham Mills – a local landmark that towered over Willimantic that was recently demolished – now open at ArtSpace, the renovated mill building/apartments at 480 Main St.

Called “End of an Era, Past Identity/Future Vision,” these photos by Harrison Judd and other documents can be viewed Nov. 9 through Dec. 2 during gallery hours, which are 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The smokestack, with its uniquely patterned band of brickwork, defined Willimantic’s international and local identity until September 2011, when irreparable storm damage and years of neglect caused it to be dismantled.

Judd’s portraits commemorate the smokestack’s monumental beauty, utility and finally, the one-year anniversary of its demolition from the first hit of the wrecking ball to the last pile of bricks.

Supporting historical information along with additional photographs offering a vision for Willimantic’s future complete this community-centered exhibit.

“When the last great smokestack was slated to be demolished last year, I only half noticed at first. Then I heard several people I admire were struggling to save it and took a deeper look. What was it that fascinated them, and now me? How could a smokestack, idle for many decades, be of any importance? Partly it was because it was unexpectedly beautiful, constantly changing with the light and the weather, and partly it was because it was one of the last icons left from a past in which Willimantic was significantly and proudly on the world stage. Its demolition was truly the end of an era.”—Harrison Judd

“End of an Era” has generated many supportive partnerships within the Willimantic and Eastern Connecticut State University communities including the Windham Textile & History Museum, the Connecticut State University System, Thread City Development Inc. and Artspace Windham. Publicity materials for this exhibit were designed by Eastern Connecticut State University Digital Art & Design students.

“End of an Era” will also be on view during Artists Open Studios 2012, which is on the weekends of Nov. 24 – 25 and Dec. 1 – 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the gallery, call 860-465-6761. Harrison Judd can be contacted at 860-465-6761 or harrison@futurehistory.com

Posted November 11, 2012

Related link:

Harrison Judd’s web site http://harrisonjudd.com/Site/Main.html

“Windham Mills smokestack came tumbling down,” http://windham.htnp.com/2011/09/01/and-windham-mills-smokestack-came-tumbling-down/

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