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Stone masons chip away at Orava workshop

THE 5TH YEAR of a stone masons' open-air workshop, called Návrat k Belopotockému kameňu (Back to the Biely Potok Stone), took place in Oravský Biely Potok in late September. It was organised by the Orava Cultural Centre in Dolný Kubín and the municipality of Oravský Biely Potok. Stone masons who have been attending the event for several years contributed their artworks. One of them, Juraj Šinal, an Orava woodcutter and stone mason, has attended every single event.

A stone mason needs skill and patience.A stone mason needs skill and patience. (Source: Courtesy of OKS)

THE 5TH YEAR of a stone masons' open-air workshop, called Návrat k Belopotockému kameňu (Back to the Biely Potok Stone), took place in Oravský Biely Potok in late September. It was organised by the Orava Cultural Centre in Dolný Kubín and the municipality of Oravský Biely Potok. Stone masons who have been attending the event for several years contributed their artworks. One of them, Juraj Šinal, an Orava woodcutter and stone mason, has attended every single event.

This year Šinal chose as his leitmotif the Way of the Cross, specifically the third stop at which Jesus falls for the first time under the weight of the cross. Šinal told the organisers that this symbol bears the strongest message to him. Other long-time participants include František Hrebenár, who continued his work of the torso of Jesus on the cross and Miroslav Hurťák from Oravský Biely Potok. Young artists were represented by Norbert Neuschl, Martin Gregor and Jozef Dubravský who balanced classical sacral motifs with their humorous stone scenes characterising modern times.

A curiosity of the workshop and symposium was the participation of three Orava naive artists who focus in their works mainly on woodcutting and woodcarving. Stanislav Ondrík from Krásna Hôrka, Ján Špuler from Bobrov and Ján Šeliga from Hruštín have mastered a material new for them – stone – in a brave way. They proved that talent knows no limits and, when combined with skilful hands, it can surprise others as well as the artists themselves.


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