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Gleason Library exhibit puts eggs to decorative use

by Anne Marie Brako

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Decorated eggs by artist Dan Kostyshyn. (Photo courtesy of Laura Scarbro)

If you are accustomed to eating all the local eggs you purchase at the Farmer’s Market or harvest from a flock at home, you might have second thoughts after visiting the exhibits by Laura Scarbro of Ledgeways on the second floor of the Gleason Library. Scarbro has put together two exhibits with very creative uses of the egg: one an artistic display of Pysanky (decorated Ukrainian Easter Eggs) and the other a naturalistic display of eggs.

The artist Dan Kostyshyn, Scarbro’s father, created the Pyansky in the first exhibit. Born in New York City to Ukraine immigrants, he employs traditional and modern techniques to decorate the eggs. The artist uses a pencil to create an initial design on a clean white egg. Then an application of melted beeswax “writes” over the design. The artist then dips the egg into a dye. The wax shields certain spots from the dye, and the artist lets the colored area set. The process repeats until the last and darkest dye application occurs and dries. After wax removal, the egg’s design appears. The display shows the tools employed, the basic steps and 17 decorated eggs. Kostyshyn has given these eggs to family and friends over the years.

The second exhibit consists of a display that rivals those in a natural history museum. Scarbro has taken eggs from a variety of birds and arranged them by size. She has documented the arrangement as well as provided additional cultural displays from the Ukraine. You can view the egg exhibits on the second floor of the library until September 29.  ∆