Jennifer Wingard & BLT at the Light Well

April 1 – May 31, 2015

The Light Well, 110 East Main St., Orange, VA

gem ascent

“Gem Ascent” – Jennifer Wingard

Wingard, a PhD candidate in Biophysics at the University of Virginia, possesses the dual distinction of being published both as scientist and designer. Her ability to see metaphor in almost any event, coupled with her investigation of structures at the molecular level, has generated a rare depth of vision from the contemplation of relationships and symmetries from the atomic to the macro worlds. Her unique perspective challenges our ordinary ways of perceiving and assembling meaning, often expressing itself in a comfortable ambiguity of forms. She has lived in Chicago, Baltimore, Charleston, and Washington, D.C., among other cities, but always with a pen close at hand. She currently makes her home in a small Virginia town with a rescue dog, Rhys.

Though a scientist by training, Jennifer calls herself an artist at heart. “I have always seen patterns and connections between things, sometimes in the most unexpected places. This ability to see patterns enables me to be a better scientist and attracts me to certain objects as an artist.”

Jennifer is a former first place winner of the Baltimore Zoo & Aquarium Art Contest for which she received a scholarship to the Maryland Institute of Art, the recipient of an award for excellence in editorial layout design, has done volunteer graphic design work for multiple community organizations, and has participated in collaborative projects with the VABC (Virginia Arts of the Book Center).

“We do not truly see objects; rather, we see the light which bounces off of them. The technique I used for Bending the Light involves the mirrors of a kaleidoscope, which in effect bend light even more. It’s interesting what happens when we bend light… in this case, it transforms a common everyday object into an objet d’art. By performing symmetry operations and repeating the image, the combination becomes something new. Reality becomes distorted, and in its distortion, becomes familiar once again as we assign meaning. It rather reflects a basic philosophy of mine: that although we are all made up of the same stuff chemistry-wise, our unique configuration gives us an existence unlike any other; we remain intrinsically connected to every molecule and every event that has brought us into being.”

tree of life

“Tree of Life” – Leslie Barham, Frances Lacy, Patricia Temples

The world of art has great diversity derived from the individuals whose eye, talent, and skills project their own vision. At Firnew Farm Artists Circle, individuality is celebrated and encouraged, and growth and inventiveness are openly shared. As a test of creativity and collaboration, three artists at Firnew Farm decided to incorporate their different techniques into three original prices of art. The unlikely TRIO of a colored pencil artist, a watercolorist, and a photographer each contributed a work that served as a foundation for one piece, and the other two added to it. As each artist added to the creation, she gave up ownership, recognizing that the art was now owned by the group, not the individual. The spirit of artistic movement is the exploration of new ideas. There is no end to the possibilities.

NATURE: Up Close & Far Away at River District Arts from March 14 – April 30, 2015

Richard Young & Leslie Barham have a stunning exhibition in the Confluent Gallery at River District Arts in Sperryville

Richard Young & Leslie Barham have a stunning exhibition in the Confluent Gallery at River District Arts in Sperryville

Both artists are members of the Firnew Farm Artist Circle, a boisterous and talented group of artists based in Madison County, VA which come together once a week to be inspired and to critique each other at Trish and David Crowe’s Firnew Farm.
Leslie Barham is inspired by the bounty of beautiful objects offered up by Nature. She is drawn to natural forms, collecting seashells and feathers, butterflies and birds’ nests. Using a range of art media including colored pencil, paint, fabric and collage, she strives to share her love of nature’s details and to help others to see and appreciate the treasures that surround us all. She continues to explore new media and approaches that might present my observations of the natural world in an unexpected, yet somehow still familiar way.

For thirty years, she taught art in the Virginia Beach City Public and sought to help students develop their artistic talents and to appreciate the importance of the arts in our cultural heritage. After retiring in 2011, she relocated to Greene County where she has been dedicated to developing her own artistic voice.

Using oils-on-canvas, she carefully crafts each scene, each specific place, each season, each time-of-day. She strives to capture the drama, the mood, the details unique to the places she visits and the places where she has lived. Roads, rivers, and fences are both barriers and avenues, leading the eye to travel with her through each scene. Although she sometimes works plein air, she usually refers to her photos to finish works in the studio. Clean edges, details, heightened contrasts, often layers of tonal glazes, all work together to complete each finished piece. The intention is that each completed work will provide a pleasing sense of identification and connection.

Richard Young was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and grew up in the hills of West Virginia. He has lived the intervening years in the Alleghenies of Bath County and in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. So the hills and hollows, with their changing seasons, have always been a part of him. Following a career as a school art teacher, he is now busy painting, depicting the beautiful natural world of around him.

He is greatly influenced by time-honored landscape painters such as Frederick Church, Albert Bierstadt, and the Hudson River School of artists. Their abilities to depict distance and drama, light and shadow, the real and the mysterious, continue to inspire him.

Happy 2015!

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
– Martha Graham