Olio curtain sees ‘rebirth’ with restoration


Corey Winchel, IV Leader Arts and Entertainment Editor

A piece of local history has found a home in the Cultural Centre of IVCC.
The curtain was donated by the Ladd Library in the spring of 2014 to serve as a cultural and educational tool at the college. It was originally located in the Ladd Opera House and then donated to the library. Due to the size and needed restoration, the library contacted IVCC. Student fund raisers, proceeds from theatre productions, and personal donations were all responsible to cover the costs of the curtains restoration.
Brian Holloway, dean of the Humanities, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences division helped spearhead the effort to have the Olio restored.
“My desire is to have it intact for another hundred years or more,” Holloway said.
The restoration project was completed by Curtains Without Borders, an authority on Olio restorations. Curtains Without Borders is a conservation project dedicated to documenting and preserving historic painted scenery. They have found and restored over 465 curtains in Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire.
Project director Christine Hadsel along with paper conservator Mary Jo Davis flew in from Vermont to the college this month to complete the restoration. This marked the first time the conservators had traveled outside the New England area to restore a curtain. The conservators are now embarking on a nationwide search for Olio’s and, since news of IVCC’s Olio reached the public, another curtain has been brought to light by a Sublette community historian.
The restoration process lasted approximately three days and also included a presentation by Hadsel where she spoke about the rich history of Olio’s in America and also highlighted the restorations that the company had done on the east coast. Volunteers and interested community members were able to get hands on with the restoration and contribute their time in whatever way the professionals needed.
The Olio will be the highlight of IVCC’s Day of the Arts which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 17 beginning at 1 p.m. Community members and their children are invited to sample the arts at IVCC with art on display, workshops, creative writing presentations and Playing the Palace, a vaudeville show.
The curtain will be prominently displayed and attendees will be able to take pictures with it. The Dave Hoffman trio will also perform. This event is free and open to the public.
After the Day of the Arts celebration, the Olio will be available for display on the Cultural Centre stage through a pulley system that is being built by IVCC employees.
The curtain can be utilized as both an educational tool and also bring pride and enjoyment to those who passionately fought, as Holloway said, “…to give it a rebirth and have people see it as much as possible.”