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Stories welcome: Shuttered Staunton Mall ‘wake’ to be held at SolArt Center

Area residents are invited to bring their memories of Staunton Mall to SolArt Center the evening of Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. for a “wake.”

Six local artists who live in Staunton, Harrisonburg, Stuarts Draft and Nelson County have been doing performance work and improvisation work they call “Liminal Lot,” a collaborative experimental movement in sound collective.

For a year, they have created artistic work “about lingering in places of transition as a way to connect,” and one of the places they have lingered is at the site of the former Staunton Mall.

“We meet in a really specific place that calls out to us,” said Taylor Hanigosky. The artists use their bodies as the tools to sense the energy of a place. Sometimes the artists video or audio record their performances.

According to Jordan Fust, Saturday’s art show and “wake” grew from “a moment to build community around community self-actualization.”

The artists, who also include Shoz, Jenna, Victoria Maria Moyer and Anne Hopestill-Paulus, want more input on ideas to guide development in the area instead of outside investors, as in the case with Staunton Mall, “botching redevelopment of the mall.”

“It’s sad, because as artists we’re constantly in need of space for art making,” Fust said.

If the mall had not been demolished, the indoor space could have been used to make art.

“It is something dreamy to think about,” Hanigosky said of the possibilities.

Saturday evening’s event is meant to confront the area’s development frenzy.

Stories are welcomed to be shared at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. tomorrow at SolArt Center about Staunton Mall during open mic periods. Dance and sound performances will be at 6 and 8 p.m. With permission, memories shared by open mic speakers will be recorded.

Art on display is works from artists around the state in a variety of mediums. Tusk said the local artists shared with them about their project “and it resonated with them.”

Up next for the six artists is finding sites in Waynesboro.

Anyone interested in the project, can follow it online.

SolArt Center is at 6 Byers Street in downtown Staunton.

Staunton Mall tenants receive unexpected early Christmas surprise – Augusta Free Press

Malls and memories: Farewell, Staunton Mall – Augusta Free Press

Back to the past: Readers share memories of Staunton Mall – Augusta Free Press

 

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.