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Clay on Main presents Bob Hakun and Stefan Benovsky: Strange and Wondrous Things

Clay on Main presents Bob Hakun and Stefan Benovsky: Strange and Wondrous Things

Bob Hakun’s found-object industrial assemblages will be exhibited in dialogue with the wearable fabric collages of Stefan Benovsky in the exhibit opening on Sunday, February 18 from 4-6pm.  Hakun describes his work as “Industrial Primitive,” and explains, “I collect old, discarded items: some natural like bones or wood; some man made, like wheels or gears. I look for old things that show the graphic effects of aging: the beauty and harshness of the breaking down over time of all things. I like things that are burned, broken, rusty, crushed, bent, and have acquired a warm patina.”  Benovsky aquires his materials in a similarly omnivorous way, bringing home anything from farm equipment to clothing and beads, then transforming them into one of a kind pieces of wearable art and iron garden ornaments that evoke strange insect and vegetative forms.

For this show, the artists worked with different types of materials, but they have even more in common than their commitment to re-use; both have professional experience in design. Hakun worked in the toy industry, designing Halloween costumes and masks, and designing graphics for silk-screen printing, and has also worked as a computer prepress specialist and a digital graphic designer.  Benovsky is semi retired from a long career as a pattern maker and technical designer in the garment industry. 

Hakun hails from Montgomery County, and graduated from Kutztown University with a BFA in painting.  Benovsky, who has lived in the area since 1970, draws inspiration from his childhood in Slovakia.  He repurposes parts of farm equipment, old bolts, and scraps from the junk yard to create iron sculptures in his old fashioned blacksmith shop set up much like the shop his grandfather worked at in Slovakia.  His wife, Amanda Condict, explains:  “I often joke with visitors that they should not park their car too close to his forge or they might find they are missing a bumper when they leave.”  This cultural heritage provides yet another common ground, as Hakun’s grandparents were also Slovakian.

The public is invited to the opening on Sunday February 18 from 4-6pm, and the show will be up until March 18. 

Clay on Main is a non-profit artists’ cooperative, located at 313 Main St in the historic village of Oley. The studio offers art instruction and gallery space for local artists, as well as live music and more.  Clay on Main houses a complete clay studio, a slumped and fused glass studio, a live performance venue, and a yoga room, in addition to the co-op and gallery.  Clay on Main is open to the public on Tuesdays from 10-2, Wednesdays from 12-9, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10-2.  Gallery exhibits are also open on Sundays from 1-4, and additional viewing of the gallery can be arranged by appointment.