We are pleased to share the following article written by by Pat Fitzgerald, Editor of the Greene County Record. Thank you, Pat!
With a theme of windows, this Sunday’s “Firnew at 15” annual juried art and photography show will let hundreds of people look into the artists’ circle’s — and area high schoolers’ — creativity.
The centerpiece of the “Firnew at 15” show, which takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. May 6 at the Firnew Barn Gallery at 19 Wolftown-Hood Road in Hood, is Madison County resident John Berry’s 12-foot by 24-foot photograph of William Monroe High School Advance Placement art student Catherine Gausman.
“I have to say I have had my eyes on the silo for a while,” Berry said. “That’s about as big as you can go around here.
“One Thursday on the drive home from here to Sheetz, all this stuff went through my head,” he said. “I just had the idea of ‘wouldn’t it be cool if we had a window in the silo of where we were looking in at an artist at work. I’m thinking of 15 years of art here, and all the artists who have gone through here.”
After coming up with several ideas, he finally found one that was perfect. “Here in the last few years we’ve been working more and more with student artists with all the high schools,” Berry said. “I thought, ‘what if we’re working in at a young artist at work?’”
Though not wanting to focus on one person, he thought Gausman, who he worked with before, would be the perfect subject. And then he found the perfect window — the one from the red house on the hill by Firnew.
“When I took the photos of her looking in the window, it actually ended up being … one of her looking out. She’s at work on an art piece,” Berry said. “I wasn’t sure you would see her face in the final photo, but the one that I chose – from far as I am concerned – is perfect.”
In addition to highlighting the works of more than 30 local and regional artists, this Sunday’s show will showcase student artwork from Madison, William Monroe and Woodberry Forest high school students.
In addition, Woodberry Forest Fine Arts Chairman Kelly Lonergan will have some pieces of his works in the show. He’s also putting together 30 small pieces of work from his art students that’ll create a bigger picture. “It’s a lot of little pieces that get put together [to make] a large piece,” said Trish Crowe, Firnew Farm Artists Circle founder.
Naturally, Sunday’s show will feature works in various media – oil, photography, watercolor, pottery, jewelry and mixed media. “This group is working at such a high level, it just takes your breath away,” Crowe said of the group’s artists from Greene, Madison, Fluvanna, Fredericksburg, Louisa, Albemarle County, Culpeper and Rappahannock.
“The other part I think is so exciting is that the people who come here [are those] who have been coming,” Crowe said. “I love that kind of local support from the community that says, ‘I wouldn’t miss this for the world’ because they’ve also watched all the artists grow.”
At least 800 visitors – if not 1,000 – are expected at Sunday’s show. The show also will include music by Madison County resident Toni Clare at 1 p.m., a May Pole dance by Grymes Memorial School students at 2 p.m. and a presentation of Firnew’s Tucker Hill Memorial Scholarship recipients at 3 p.m.
Refreshments from Sombrero’s Mexican Cuisine and Snow Mountain Ice Cream and Kettle Corn will be available for purchase.