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It’s A Small World
The Gmeiner Art & Cultural Center is pleased to announce an Atrium Gallery exhibit of Model Horses by Michelle Sepiol of Wellsboro. This exhibit, titled “It’s a Small World: Creations in Miniature for Equine and Man” will be on display from June 3rd – June 25th. This exhibit will showcase the incredibly detailed model horse tack and riders that Michelle crafts in her home studio and competes with in Model Horse shows all over the USA. The exhibit will open with a reception on Saturday, June 3rd from 2-4PM along with the Grand Canyon Photography Club’s Main Gallery exhibit opening. Light refreshments will be provided, and Michelle will give an artist’s talk at 3PM.
Michelle (Grand) Sepiol and her husband Mark Sepiol live in Wellsboro, PA where they raised their family. Having been raised on a local farm in Tioga County, PA, she has always been involved with agriculture, and especially horses. Michelle was active in 4-H as a youth and later in life as a 4-H leader. One of the projects that she was passionately involved in was the Model Horse Project. The Model Horse Project was developed in the 1960s to provide a resource for youth that did not have the opportunity to have real horses as well as an outlet for individuals to enjoy model horse collecting and showing. As a 4-H Project it was utilized as a ‘teaching tool’ for the equine sciences. Michelle brought the Model Horse 4-H project to life here in Tioga County in 1999 when her two daughters were interested in the project. Then the girls grew up and the horses were put into storage. In 2018 the horses were brought out of storage and the collection revamped and added to.
Since Michelle has retired, she now creates pieces for herself and occasionally to sell. She can no longer physically have real horses, so her art allows her to fill her “real horse” need with models. Michelle competes nationally in Live (physical) Model Horse shows. Michelle shows in a division called OF (Original Finish) Performance. The horses and set ups must represent as realistically as possible a snap shot of a real horse event. A brief documentation of the event, often accompanied with a photo, is presented with the set up. The set up is judged on realism, detail, and condition of the model and components. Most of the models that Michelle shows are “vintage” horses, the oldest being some of the toys she received as a child. Michelle has incorporated various other skills and hobbies into creating miniatures, from tanning hides, sewing, wood working and most recently 3D printing. For many of the items she creates there are no patterns, just a photo of a real ‘thing’: I have to figure out the challenge of “how can I make this in miniature?”
None of the items in this exhibit will be for sale, as they are the artist’s personal collection. This display is appropriate for all ages, and there will be a scavenger hunt activity for children. The Gmeiner is located at 134 Main Street, Wellsboro, behind the Green Free Library. We are open from 12-6PM Tuesday through Sunday and admission to the gallery is always free.
Writing: Michelle Sepiol, Carrie Heath