Slate as Muse National Exhibition

SlateasMuse-LOGO-with-Background-300pxSlate as Muse National Art Exhibition

Serena Kovalosky created, curated, produced and marketed the five-month Slate as Muse National Art Exhibition at the Slate Valley Museum.

A juried selection of the nation’s finest sculptors and painters were invited to use slate as their creative muse for an exhibition in America’s “colored slate capital.”

Famed stonecarver Nicholas Benson, who carved the memorial inscriptions for the Martin Luther King Monument and Maya Lin’s “The Meeting Room,” created a large wall sculpture especially for the Slate as Muse exhibition and personally installed the piece.


Nineteen artists and twenty-seven works of art celebrated the material while pushing the boundaries of how slate is perceived.



Visitors to the Slate Valley Museum often assume that the slate industry no longer exists. In our modern era of man-made, mass-produced material, the slate industry has suffered some of the same issues exhibited throughout the country – that of a local product’s inability to compete in a global economy. Facilitated by the artistic use of slate, visitors to the Slate as Muse exhibition had the opportunity to see how a locally produced, natural product can maintain a place and contribute to the regional identity that is being lost in many places.

The exhibition generated substantial press which sparked awareness and brought tourism to this rural quarry town in the Slate Valley region of upstate New York.

Kovalosky was later invited to speak at the Museum Association of New York’s annual conference on increasing rural tourism to an “off the beaten path” destination by developing a local and regional “sense of place,” using the success of the exhibition as a case study.

[Many of the works] bring about a visual aspect of the material that is rarely seen or even thought about.

…a truly unique exhibition experience – one that will be talked about for years to come.
Sarah Kijowski
Slate Valley Museum Interim Director

Master stonecarver Nicholas Benson with curator Serena Kovalosky



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