Homestake Opera House Hires Artist-in-Residence with Funding from the CARES Act | Local News
LEAD – Bringing artists together with the public to share COVID-19 recovery stories and tell the story of the region is the goal of the Residencies for Recovery program, and artist Dorothy Snowden looks forward to doing just that in Lead .
Snowden, who became famous for her oil and acrylic painting, is originally from Newell where she raises horses and cattle. But this summer, she will research Lead’s story, walk the trails, and talk with residents about their experiences, to create an original art series called “Lead Me There.”
âIt will be a combination of what’s out there today with a bit of a historical component, using my artistic license to merge the two,â Snowden said. âThe scenes may not necessarily be what you see today. People working in the mine in the 1970s might recognize some of the characteristics. “
The Residencies for Recovery program is funded by the SD Arts Council through CARES Act funding, and Historic Homestake Opera House Thomas Golden said the idea is to bring people together to share experiences through the arts.
âThe inclination is to say that this artist will do public works, engage with the public, and the art produced will be relayed to hear the experience of people coming back from the pandemic and isolation,â said Golden. âWe really saw this as an opportunity to create a kind of catharsis for the people in the community. “
Throughout the summer, Snowden will be painting at various locations around town and she will be primarily based at the Homestake Opera House and the Lead-Deadwood Arts Center. As she works, the public is invited and encouraged to come visit her and share her experiences of the pandemic, which could then be incorporated into the artwork. A specific schedule for Snowden’s appearances has yet to be announced, but she already has a regular presence working in Lead, and she can’t wait to get to know people. Snowden said her first experience with Lead was when she did a geology project for Homestake 40 years ago. This has sparked long-standing interest in the Homestake mine, and now in ongoing science at the Sanford Lab.
âI wanted to come here,â Snowden said of his younger aspirations to work more in the mine. âThen the forecast for mine longevity went down and I got feedback from industry and instructors that maybe I should consider different career paths. Art and horses were the safeguard plan. But the interest in the area that attracted me started with what was going on in the mine.
Golden said the Residencies for Recovery grant is intended to help artists like Snowden and will not directly benefit opera. But he hopes it will help bring community residents and visitors together through the arts and the sharing of experiences.
“This grant does nothing to financially support the opera,” he said. âHe invests in artists. We are just given the opportunity to help an artist through COVID because we know the arts have taken a big hit in funding. For us as a community organization, opera is there for the community. We have this great partnership with the arts center, and we partnered with the Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center and the towns of Lead and Deadwood to choose this artist. So it’s really a community project and it’s meant to give a voice to the community, just dealing with everything we’ve been through over the past year.
Snowden, who has worked in the past as an Artist in Residence at the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park, is experienced and qualified to serve as an ambassador for the art and its surrounding community.
âWhat’s really great about the way Dorothy works is that she can get people involved while she paints,â Golden said. âIt’s something that people can walk in and see what’s going on right now. We appreciate the work she does and she really achieves what we hope to do.
Golden encouraged the public to check out the Homestake Opera House Facebook page and website at www.historichomestakeoperahouse.com for the opportunity to meet Snowden during his appearances all over town.
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