This Saturday (April 13) at River District Arts, they’re going to need a parking attendant or two. RDA’s “Trifecta Saturday” includes: an afternoon reception for the 17 local artists in the “Rappahannock Creates” exhibit, a book signing and presentation on “Color Harmony” by Dan Bartges, and an oyster, barbecue and wine pairing party sponsored throughout Rappahannock Central by Little Washington Winery.
The artist reception is 3 to 5 in RDA’s Confluent Gallery (which is down the hall from Middle Street Gallery and across the drive from Old Rag Photography, both of which are also showing off new work). Artists participating in the “Creates” juried exhibit are Kay Beatty, Ray Boc, Hans Gerhard, Joyce Harman, Barbara Heile, Bette Hileman, Peter Kramer, Kathy Krometis, Davette Leonard, Margo Neuhaus, Doug Norton, Nol Putnam, Francie Schroeder, Gerald Smith, Patricia Underwood, Cathy Wolniewicz and Mike Wolniewicz. The works include paintings, prints, fine craft, custom furniture and sculpture in this first-ever show of artists creating art in Rappahannock County.
From 11 to 5, Rappahannock River Oyster Company will be shucking oysters, Little Washington Winery will be pouring and barbecue will be available. Admission is free (you pay for what you consume). At 1 p.m., oil painter and color-theory expert Dan Bartges shares his thoughts on creating color harmony in art and other aspects of daily life (including gardening, decorating and fashion). His book, “The Secrets to Color Harmony,” will also be available, and his paintings can be found in RDA’s River Gallery during the month.
Rappahannock County’s 33 Civil War Trails markers installed over the last four years relate the varied human aspects of the conflict, emphasizing the war’s impact on local residents, and tell the stories of the many famous and not-so-famous who passed here.
Did you know, for instance, that a prominent member of John Brown’s Raiders had roots in what is now Rappahannock County? Or that George Custer and J.E.B. Stuart barely escaped meeting their fates here? Or that Lee’s entire army passed through en route to Gettysburg, with two-thirds visiting on the retreat? Or that John Pope’s Union Army of Virginia spent nearly a third of its short life occupying these hills and hollows? These stories and more are discussed from 2 to 4 Sunday, April 21, at Washington’s town hall by the Rappahannock Historical Society’s Judy and John Tole. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call RHS at 540-675-1163.
Join Nikki Wood Brady at the Flint Hill Public House this Sunday (April 14) for a dinner which, thanks to the Public House, will help raise money for the Race for Hope 5K team of Brady’s late brother. The Perkins+Will Team Wood’s participation in the 5K raises money for brain cancer research. The Public House will make 15 percent donations of brunch and dinner receipts all day Sunday for any guests who mention (or bring along) this item in the paper. Bluegrass music by Brady’s father-in-law, Richard Brady, will be offered from 4 to 7 on the deck, where there are hammocks and the kids can run free on the back lawn after those brief moments when they try to sit still at the table. For more information, call Nikki at 540-675-3736.
At 8 next Saturday (April 20), classical pianist Yiming Zhang makes his first appearance at the Theatre at Washington with a unique program drawn from both the Western and Chinese musical repertoires. From the Western tradition with which the audience is familiar, the program includes Liszt’s “Legend No. 2, St. Francis Walking on the Water,” and Mozart’s Sonata No. 18 in D Major, K 576. From China, there’s music of the contemporary composer Wang Lisan, “Impressions of Paintings by Higashiyama Kaii,” “Fantasy-Sonata, Memories of the Song-and-Dance Duet” and “Other Mountains.”
Born in Shanghai where, from age 4, he studied the piano privately with professors from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Zhang came to the U.S. in 2006 to continue his studies with Lambert Orkis and Harvey Wedeen. Orkis, the Grammy-winning pianist, says that “Yiming Zhang is a brilliant young pianist whose probing interpretations and magnificent pianism bring great joy to his listeners. Coming from China, he is unique in that his programming includes music from his native land, that, while more than satisfying the musical expectations of Western audiences, opens up a refreshingly new sonic world, giving music lovers insight into a glorious and proud 5,000-year musical tradition.”
Zhang describes Wang Lisan as one of China’s most important contemporary composers and adds, “he merges western and eastern styles of music in developing his own style of Chinese music that, as he himself said, ‘no foreigners could write.’ ” Orkis says that Zhang’s renderings of the music of Wang Lisan “captivate audiences who count themselves fortunate to have attended his concerts.” Zhang believes “more people need to hear the voice of Wang Lisan, the legendary composer who still remains unknown outside China.”
The concert at the Theatre is a rare opportunity to listen to and contrast music from the East and West, and from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Tickets are $25 ($10 for students 17 and younger). For reservations, call 540-675-1253 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
R.H. Ballard Gallery’s next exhibition – April 20-May 12 – features exciting and unique work from artist Janet Brome and opens with a reception from 4:30 to 7 Saturday, April 20. Rappahannock Cellars wine and light fare will be served.
Janet’s show is comprised of unique wire and screen sculptures and masks inspired by nature and wildlife. Her subject matter is wide-ranging – from undersea creatures to shamans and condors. The mask creations can actually be worn.
“My work is the result of both intuitive, right-brained activity and figuring out mechanical solutions to realize the vision I have in mind,” says Brome. “Some art critic could probably come up with philosophical musings and historical references to explain my art. As for me, I just do what comes naturally.”
Brome grew up in San Diego. She majored in art in college and served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. She then earned a Master of Teaching degree and worked in arts education. In 1978, she became a mother and a potter, and her animal pots were sold in craft galleries throughout the country. She exhibited her pottery at the American Crafts Council Show in Baltimore. After 10 years as a potter, she returned to the field of education as a gifted and talented resource teacher.
Returning full time to artwork in 2000, Brome has studied at the Maryland College of Art and Design, the Corcoran College of Art, the Art League in Virginia and with Linda Benglis at Anderson Ranch. She has taught art at Lord Fairfax Community College, the regional Governor’s School for the Arts and regularly conducts workshops in the region.
Are you hungry? Wait until 7:30 this Saturday morning (April 13), when the Rappahannock Senior Center (111 Scrabble Rd., Castleton) opens the doors for its three-hour benefit breakfast. The menu includes biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs, fresh fruit, ham, pancakes, breakfast casseroles, fried apples, coffee, juice – and music by the Stoneridge Bluegrass Band from 9 to 10:30. Donations appreciated; there is no entry fee. For more information, call 540-987-3638.
On Saturday, April 20, the Rappahannock County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee, chartered with Rappahannock County’s observances of the 150th anniversary of the 1861-65 conflict, holds a fundraising event from 1 to 5 p.m. at Narmada Winery in Amissville. On stage: Narrow Path Blue Grass, and Turkey Ridge String Band.
Raffle tickets will be available for a private dinner with Ron Maxwell, the Hollywood film director and Flint Hill resident whose credits include “Gettysburg” and “Gods and Generals.”
A donation of $10 will be accepted for admission (kids 11 and younger get in free).
All proceeds help fund the committee’s two-day Heritage Weekend Sept. 28-29 at the Rappahannock County Visitors Center in Washington, which includes a parade on Saturday, with reenactors portraying Maj. Gen. Jubal Early’s troops marching towards Gettysburg in the summer of 1863; and a reenactment on Sunday commemorating the fighting July 23-24, 1863, at Battle Mountain, near present-day Laurel Mills.
In the 1863 fight, Union cavalry commanded by Brig. Gen. George Custer attempted to take on one-third of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army on the retreat to Orange County from the Battle of Gettysburg. Two Union soldiers were later awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions that day in Rappahannock County.
County farms and local businesses that wish to participate in this year’s Rappahannock Farm Tour won’t want to miss the upcoming kick-off meeting and potluck, scheduled for 7 p.m. next Thursday (April 18) at the Virginia Cooperative Extension office conference room (in the Kramer building on Gay Street in Washington).
During the meeting, participants will discuss several ideas that may result in some significant changes to the annual event, including renaming it the Rappahannock Festival and Farm Tour. Other ideas include having a bike ride as part of the tour, providing maps for scenic drives and allowing attendees to pay their admission by donating non-perishable food to the Rappahannock Food Pantry.
As for the potluck, bring whatever you wish – the meal always seems to come together as if by magic. For more information, call Cathie Shiff at 540-219-8396 or 540-937-5438 (or email her at email@example.com).