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Bottle museum dedicates space to one of its own

The Artists' Space in the National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa will be dedicated to Jan Rutland, the museum's long-time executive director who died suddenly last October.

The Artists' Space in the National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa will be dedicated to Jan Rutland, the museum's long-time executive director who died suddenly last October. Submitted Photo

— Jan Rutland made the National Bottle Museum in Ballston Spa tick, so it’s only fitting that the museum’s second floor Artists’ Space would be dedicated in her honor one year after her sudden death.

“This is going to be a very special and emotional evening for me. The Artists’ Space held a very special place in Jan’s heart,” said Larry Rutland, her husband.

The museum on Milton Avenue, in the heart of the village, will hold a special dedication ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. to rename the space after the museum’s executive director for 20 years.

“Jan was always an appreciator of art. She was a collector of art. In fact, all the pieces now hanging on the second floor that will be part of the show that officially opens on that day are pieces from her collection,” said Gary Moeller, who worked with Jan for 15 years. “She always thought that we had that space and it would be a good way to put it to use to display art up there.”

Sharon Blakemore Kingsbury is a long-time museum volunteer and a local artist who was the first to display pieces in the upstairs gallery.

“Jan loved the visual arts. Hence her collecting was very eclectic. The exhibit … will allow visitors to enjoy the many facets of Jan,” said Kingsbury.

In true “Jan fashion,” she made sure the space was everything it could be. That meant constructing a staircase to make it more widely accessible and nearly doubling the exhibit space.

“She was always interested in the arts, be it painting, sculpture or theater, especially ballet,” said Rutland. “Anything that entailed the creation of things of beauty or stimulated the emotions of the beholder was held in high esteem by Jan.”

His wife’s affinity for all things art is why Rutland, acting executive director, decided on the dedication.

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