SCRANTON – For some people, a belief in vampires – from Nosferatu, the classic image of the vampire character, to Edward Cullen, teen heartthrob and blood-sucking immortal – persists, stirring the imagination or perhaps instilling fear.
A new art exhibit in the region provides more fodder for discussions about vampire folklore and, for fans, something to sink their teeth into.
The Blood is the Life: Vampires in Art and Nature opened this weekend in the Maslow Galleries of the Everhart Museum, Scranton. The temporary exhibit – which includes movie memorabilia, a taxidermied bat and artwork in various mediums – highlights aspects of vampirism and mythical creatures in society and nature.
There are so many different pieces of art, there is something for everyone, said Mike Gavin, an Everhart Museum staff member.
The Blood is the Life, which continues through early July, explores vampirism in literature, films and contemporary arts. It includes 19th-century vampire assassination kits, supposedly used to prevent vampires from terrorizing the living. Among its components: hammers, stakes and crucifixes.
Visitors also will encounter paintings, sculptures, encapsulated blood artwork and various devices – such as a hemocytometer, which was designed for counting blood cells.
The exhibit took over a year to plan, said Cara Sutherland, the museum's executive director. There are … cultural artifacts taken from the museum's current collections.
Shyanne Mostkiewicz, a school-aged student from Effort, chose to visit The Blood is the Life over various other options on her day off from school.
I was just talking to my mom about vampires and we decided to visit, Mostkiewicz said. I love history and vampires, and it made for a good (day out).
Shyanne and her mother, Melanie, said it was an interesting and fun exhibit. It's an hour ride from home; however, it is definitely something worth coming back to, said Melanie Mostkiewicz.
Some people might wonder why the exhibit's organizers chose to display this unique collection in mid-winter rather than, say, the spooky days of late October. Sutherland said: Halloween would be clich√©. The whole concept of vampirism is older and more in-depth than just Halloween.
Exhibit: The Blood is the Life: Vampires in Art and Nature
Showing: Through July 2.
Where: The Everhart Museum, Scranton
Hours: Noon to 4 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Admission: $7 adults; $5 seniors and students; $3 children ages 6 to 12; free for children under 5 and museum members.
Info: 346-7186 or everhart-museum.org