New members’ work debuts at Middle Street

The Middle Street Gallery is presenting a special exhibition of works by its new members through April 26. Patti Brennan, an artist from Sperryville who works in stained glass, Paula Endo, a photographer from Amissville and Patricia Underwood, a printmaker from Castleton and Washington, D.C. will show their works. Mary Brownstein, a sculptress from Marshall, will show her works in June.

Detail from a work by Patricia Underwood. Photo by Gary Anthes.

There will be an opening reception for artists and the public from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 10. The gallery, a non-profit artists’ cooperative, is located next to The Inn at Little Washington.

Brennan was recently elected by the cooperative to be its new president. She moved from Boulder, Colo. to Rappahannock County in 1981 and established a stained-glass studio in Sperryville. She combines such techniques as silkscreening, etching on flashed glass, kiln fusing and slumping and traditional glass painting.

“I’m dedicated to preserving the integrity of an Old World art form, while combining the use of technology today,” she says. “Creating symbolism in glass work has been a primary focus of my work for many years.” She has worked with several stained glass studios, churches, restaurants and private clients in Rappahannock and nationwide creating designs in glass.

Detail from a stained glass window by Patti Brennan. Photo by Gary Anthes.

In the current show Brennan is exhibiting a collection stained-glass windows in botanical motifs. She has been featured on the Home and Garden TV Network, the “Carol DuVal Show” and Virginia Living Television for her work. She is also a member of the Stained Glass Association of America.

Endo shot film for years but recently switched to digital media. Many of her black and white images have a mysterious, out-of-this-world quality. She says of her style, “It is a way of dreaming while awake, singing without a voice, speaking without words.”

She speaks of a “tension and shifting back and forth” between an introspective style and a documentary one. Endo, who is Japanese-American, says that some of her images have been inspired by “the years her family spent behind barbed wire in a ‘relocation camp’ for families of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast during World War II.”

Endo is currently one of the leaders of a multidisciplinary project to document the history of and life along Columbia Pike in Arlington, Va., one of America’s most ethnically diverse communities.

Underwood, trained as a printmaker, is a mixed-media artist who creates works critics have called “evocative, complex and richly textured.” She works in materials as diverse as wax, wood veneer, beads, hand-made paper and bathroom caulking. “The work is about layers – layers of media, content and meaning,” she says. “The content typically deals with complex social issues or underdogs – innocent children in Afghanistan, gays fighting for their right to human sexual dignity or the planet itself fighting for its existence. For me, there is a most decided spiritual nature to these beads and pulp and wax. There is a visceral language to all the materials I use.”

Underwood has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally including the Corcoran’s “Artsites” and two solo shows in Warsaw in 2007. She is represented by Parish Gallery in Washington, D.C. In 2006, she moved her studio to Rappahannock County, where she maintains a large-format printing press and is, she says, “inspired by the exquisite views from Castle Mountain in Castleton.”

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