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Museum displays chess sets by young Northwest artists

Opening reception to be held on March 20

From March 15 through July 4, Maryhill Museum is exhibiting chess sets created by school children from throughout Oregon and Washington.

The sets were created by all grade levels from kindergarten through high school seniors.

A special opening reception will be held for the young artists on Saturday, March 20, from 1 to 5 p.m. The day will include opportunities to learn how to play chess and master strategies, fun art making projects, live performances by the Goldendale High School Jazz Band, and Julie Young, director of Chess for Success, discussing the excitement chess brings to school children.

The title of the exhibit, Candy, Clay and Crayons, refers to the playfulness of the designs as well as to the unusual materials used. This uninhibited approach can be seen in sets made of nuts and bolts, miniature straw hats, and bottle tops. The themes chosen for each set are equally adventurous.

Teams of students joined forces to create some sets while other show the unmistakable hand of an individual.

"World cultures and individuals from such diverse art movements as Dada, Surrealism, and Bauhaus Internationalism have interpreted chess pieces according to their own aesthetic concepts," said Courtney Spousta, curator of education. "These students are helping to keep the tradition going."

These unique and fanciful sets complement the museum's renowned and extensive permanent international chess set collection and its current exhibit It's More Than A Game: The Art of Chess Today.


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