'BLUE MARSH: Landscape Lost' show extended due to community response

Due to overwhelming community response, the Penn State Berks Freyberger Gallery exhibition "BLUE MARSH: Landscape Lost," which explores the story of the Blue Marsh Dam project and the subsequent changes for the families who lived and worked in the area, will be extended through Nov. 21. The exhibition will than be moved to a temporary home at the Berks County Agricultural Center in Leesport, Pa., until its permanent home at Old Dry Road Farm is prepared. This event is free and open to the public.

The most widely attended exhibition since the Freyberger Gallery opened in the mid 1970s, more than 1,000 people have visited the exhibition since the opening reception on Sept. 12.

During the building of the Blue Marsh Dam, more than 50 historic sites were in the area to be flooded; a few were moved, the rest were destroyed. A total of 64 farm families were displaced. Included in this exhibit are more than 200 contemporary and historic photographs, paintings, artifacts and documents that explore the memory of the unconstrained beauty of the landscape lost during the construction of the Blue Marsh Dam and Recreational Area. These historic and family photos, paintings, artifacts and documents have never been gathered for one exhibit that focuses on the Blue Marsh Dam project and the use of eminent domain in Berks County.

When asked what makes this exhibition so popular with the local community, Marilyn Fox, Freyberger Gallery director, explained that it touches on a very personal experience for many Berks Countians. In addition, many different perspectives are showcased in the photography.

“Three photographers who documented the construction presented more than 50 original photographs with three distinct motivations: one was from the Army Corps headquarters; another had lived in the area as a child and presents photographs of friend's farms and homes; and yet another was honing his skills as professional photographer and found the area ripe with interest for his explorations,” explained Fox.

Co-curators Fox and Steven Potteiger, along with exhibition contributor Joseph Swope, will discuss the exhibition on BCTVat 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The Freyberger Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, contact Marilyn Fox, gallery director, at 610-396-6140 or via email at MJF14@psu.edu.

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Last Updated October 04, 2013