Statement for “Absence” Many of the pieces in this show come from a series called “Mass Produced Pigeons” that looks at how things cut from the same pattern develop a stubborn individuality. Several of the framed works use and reuse the images of a handful of pigeons— often as a silhouette, or absence.
Julie Maynard -
My work is a form of painting with paper on two- or three-dimensional surfaces, often incorporating found objects and words.
Artist, Liz Goins from Charles Town, WV joins us in September with Paper Cuts and Book Arts.
First Friday Opening Reception is September 1st • 6:30-8:30
Meet the artist • Light Refreshments Served
Elizabeth’s body of work demonstrates her own unique style of papercutting by replacing the traditional use of scissors for an x-acto knife and mixing up the conventional form of papercutting with her own experiments. For example, “I incorporate papercuttings in my altered books as well as making books by hand using papercutting techniques for the book pages. Each papercutting is one of kind. “Even if I recreate a design I can’t help but change a component to create a one of a kind papercutting”.
Images for Elizabeth’s papercuttings are inspired by her everyday experiences.
Elizabeth resides in Charles Town, West Virginia where she offers workshops in her studio, teaching Book Arts, Papermaking, and Papercutting. Elizabeth teaches art through The Council for the Arts, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and the Art Center, Sarasota Florida. Elizabeth has been a resident artist in the Jefferson County West Virginia school system and serves on the board for the Jefferson Arts Council, Teaching Arts Creatively (TAC). She is a participating juried member of the Over the Mountain Studio Tour, Jefferson County, West Virginia.
Elizabeth’s work has been shown at the Franklin County Arts Alliance, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Council for the Arts, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Artomatic Jefferson, West Virginia, Art Center, Sarasota, Florida, Gifts Inn Boonsboro (featured Artist), Boonsboro, Maryland, Delaplane Visual Arts Center, Frederick Maryland, Hood College, Frederick, Maryland, Montgomery College, Takoma Park, Maryland, Charles Town Library, Charles Town, West Virginia, South Jefferson Library, Summit Point, West Virginia, and the Grove Family Library, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Goins has a master’s degree in art education K-12.
Val Lucas, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, runs Bowerbox Press, a letterpress and woodcut printing studio in rural Monkton, Maryland. She is inspired by the natural world and landscapes, wildlife and farm animals, and the history of letterpress printing. By combining the age-old traditions of hand-set metal and wood type with woodcut images, she creates prints, posters and cards that reflect her diverse interests. Reduction woodcut landscapes capture a broader view with loose marks and vibrant colors, while detailed woodcuts for posters and cards capture the beauty in the small details in nature.
I love to create and I love the schizotypal borderlands where the ideas find us. Those moments just before waking, or in the fugue of a daydream, where little epiphanies line up to taunt the sleeping butterfly who gives birth to our waking world.
I paint, sculpt, carve, drill, hammer and chide reality in attempts to materialize some of that strange brew of mostly empty space in which we swim to form a reflection, a hint, a slight whiff of the endless possibilities of Morpheus unbound. I never quite get there, fettered by the tedium of the work-a-day world fear and relative sobriety, but that is the struggle, that is what keeps me going to the next thing as I sing " …in my chains like the sea".
I have a RBA with a concentration in Commercial and Fine Art from (what is now) Shepherd University. After college, I worked in museum exhibits and created various interesting works from enamels for the National Cathedral to bigger than life elephant leg for a lawyer's office at Ringling Brothers. Working in exhibits eventually pulled me into the digital and a career in software architecture and corporate insanity that is finally circling back to the analog, hands on joy I sought when this journey started. The struggle between left and right (or upper and lower) brain is constant as my vocation and avocation duke it out.
In the end, Art, like life in general, is a journey and I often feel like the kid in the back seat saying, "Are we there yet?". I think we never really are "there yet", but I hope you will enjoy these snapshots from along that road.
P.S. It is amazing, humbling and a great joy of my life that my son, Liam, and I are traveling along this same little stretch of Art road together for this father & son show. He is an amazing guy and has started his journey well!
Charlottesville artist, Adam Disbrow joins us in May for Portrait of Beauty.
In his home and abroad, Adam Martin Disbrow is emerging as an exceptional expressionist painter. His work has earned him representation from Alexander Salazar Fine Art in San Diego, California, and he is a resident artist at the Sperryville ARTist Cooperative in Sperryville, VA. His works have sold to collectors around the country.
Adam Disbrow’s works combine Abstract Expressionism, German Expressionism, Neo-Expressionism, and impressionism in a style he refers to as, “Major Expressionism.” He focuses on layers of objective conceptuality, pulling upon both history and culture for content. His works are made to sit on the stairway of Man’s history.
“The paintings are a commentary on the history of Man. They address current and ancient issues of religion, politics, and natural order. Freedom, entropy, and time are key concepts of my work. I use chaos to portray beauty. Each piece is designed to open and to provoke -- to create a conversation with the viewer. I do this by using many layers of objective conceptuality, contrasting colors, and free brush strokes. These techniques combined create form for the infinite possibilities of the mind, allowing each piece to speak differently to each person. When nothing is sacred and nothing is safe, art is brave.”
We're very excited Nancy Polo will join us with her Bunny paintings in April! Please join us for her reception on April 1st from 6-8.
Nancy is an emerging artist who lives and works as a chef at Smithfield Farm in Berryville, VA. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area by parents who immigrated from Italy in 1962 and 1966. She has a BA from the College of William & Mary in Art History and an MA from UNC Chapel Hill in Art History. Her works have been shown at the bi-annual Art at the Mill show in Millwood, VA; A Show of Hands Gallery in Alexandria, VA; Dolcezza in Washington, DC; and her studio, La Capretta, has been included in the Clarke County Studio Tour.
"Bunny is a totem animal created to explore hidden desires and unusual perspectives on everyday farm life. Whether in the kitchen, at the easel or attempting to fly a kite, Bunny is always dreaming, and so am I." - Nancy Polo
We recently asked Nancy to answer some questions for us to gain further insight into her work and process...
What is your medium of choice?
Watercolor or Acrylic Paints
Why have you chosen your current medium?
My paintings are derived from very strong visions and fantasies. Painting is the most immediate way I can translate those visions for others to see.
Why do you feel art is important/relevant today?
Artists shape dialogue in a complex and unbalanced world. They have the capacity for subtle discourse through images, sound and touch-‐-‐ which can be far more effective in filtering complicated reactions to that world. They can also act as a medium and a voice for people who cannot react or process for fear of retribution, or because of a lack of resources.
What has been the most difficult challenge for you as an artist?
Finding a way to make painting relevant to contemporary culture & our collective socio-‐economic landscape.
What's your typical day?
I help manage a farm and commercial kitchen as a day job. Paperwork, taxes, hiring, training staff, business planning and being a mom are what shape my days. Any spare moment I can, I spend drawing and painting. I would rather spend more time on artwork.
Is there anything you'd like the public to know about your work upon purchasing it?
Cuteness is one of many tools I use to engage my viewers. Don’t accept it at face value. Bunnies and other familiar, cuddly animals are an excellent way to unpack heavy stuff that happens in the real, human world.
What is the most gratifying part of making your work?
When someone gets the multi-‐layered meaning behind the slick, trick that is a well-‐crafted image.
Where do you find inspiration?
Human beings are crazy good at hiding from reality. I like to hold up a mirror with humor and compassion.
What's your studio playlist?
I have a subscription to Audible and I love nothing more than to lose myself in a good book while I paint. I get access to two very different parts of my brain. I also love to listen to Ludovico Einaudi, Blues, Sam Cooke, Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams.
Where is your studio?
I have two: one with a garden for larger projects in warm weather. My favorite place to paint, however, is ten feet from my kitchen in my house. There’s always a meal to put together and a time limit.
How do you get yourself out of a creative rut? I listen to music or poetry.
Favorite blog/movie/tv show/book that never fails to inspire or just clears the mind: I am a voracious consumer of the Golden Age of TV. Girls, Easy, Love, Sensitive Skin, Game of Thrones, Halt & Catch Fire. I love all books by John Berger, Rebecca Solnit, Pablo Neruda and many, many other authors—I love books. I love Louis CK, Trevor Noah and Aziz Ansari. Well-‐written comedy is the quickest way out of a depression.
Share your process:
I love lucid dreaming, the kind that happens when you fall back asleep in the early hours of the morning. I solve a lot of my problems and dream big during that kind of sleep. If I’m lucky, some crazy idea for a painting emerges. I work through the visual logistics of it in my head during the day. This process can take weeks to months. I sketch on paper and then the painting surface. Then I fill it with color.
What's your dream project -‐ if you had all the time and materials in the world? An interactive
Tea Time with Flora
illustrated guide to emerging as an adult. It would be a collaborative work with a comic writer. It would be performed and recorded as an audio and e-‐book. You would buy it on one platform.
What artists influence your work -‐ who are your creative idols?
Frida Kahlo, Bernini, Michelangelo, Vermeer, Rubens, Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent, Georgia O’Keeffe, Beatrix Potter, Walt Disney, Hayao Miyazaki, Cartoon Saloon, Nick Park and Aardman Animation… (the list is endless)
Describe yourself in 5 words: Italian Girl with No Tribe
Describe your work in 5 words: Manic Pixie Dream Bunny World
How do you find balance? I make things, sing, love and cook.
To learn more about Nancy and see more of her work visit: http://nancypolo.com
aMuse Art and Craft Festival is in it's second year and I can't tell you how excited we are to partner with The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley! This year's event will be in the beautiful MSV gardens where attendees can shop and stroll, see artists in action, participate in a community art project, and listen to some music while having a bite from a local food truck...or a beer from a local brewery! aMuse will be May 27th and 28th from 10am-5pm each day.
For more info and to apply go to: http://www.amuseartfair.com/apply.html