The Rapp for Aug. 7

Pollinator walk at Jones’ nature preserve

Though it’s officially private, many folks believe that Bruce Jones’ nature preserve, at his and wife Susan Jones’ Long Mountain Road property near Washington, can never be opened to the public often enough. Those folks will be happy to know that the next opportunity to visit, and keep up with the Joneses, is next Saturday, Aug. 16.

“The Arrangement,” by photographer Carl Zitzmann, is among the works on exhibit this month and next at Middle Street.
“The Arrangement,” by photographer Carl Zitzmann, is among the works on exhibit this month and next at Middle Street.

From 10 to 11:30 a.m., the Piedmont Environmental Council’s habitat team is sponsoring a Pollinators Walk at the Jones Preserve. Join Jennifer Davis of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and Virginia Working Landscapes, and PEC’s habitat field assistant Celia Vuocolo, for a talk and walk (mostly on mowed paths and fields) about pollinator identification, natural history and conservation efforts. The walk will focus on habitat management for pollinators and will showcase the restoration efforts at the Long Mountain preserve.

This event is free, but registration is required. Contact Vuocolo at cvuocolo@pecva.org or 540-347-2334 (ext. 25).

Football fundraiser

Rappahannock County High School’s varsity football team hosts a fundraising spaghetti dinner and auction at 5 p.m. this Saturday (Aug. 9) at the high school, meant to raise funds for transportation for the upcoming season’s games, as well as the purchase of helmet pads and other equipment. Auction items include a five-night stay in a timeshare, Easton S1 Bats (valued at $400), prepaid restaurant cards and more. Admission to dinner is $10 ($5 ages 10 and younger). For more information, contact coach Mark Heinle at mdheinle@gmail.com.

Orcs roaming Rappahannock?

Later this month, folks strolling certain woods and meadows of Rappahannock may encounter elves, orcs and medieval-looking warriors. It’s not a fanciful invasion or a hallucination; it’s “The Rangers,” a local indie web series being shot in the area. For one week, Rappahannock will double as Andrasil, a land in grave peril that only its protectors, the Rangers, can save.

“The Rangers,” a local indie web series, shoots in Rappahannock later this month.Courtesy photo
“The Rangers,” a local indie web series, shoots in Rappahannock later this month.

“With its natural beauty and proximity to D.C., Rappahannock is the perfect location to film our project and bring our world to life,” said creator and director Ron Newcomb. “As we’ve planned this project, we’ve received nothing but support from Rappahannock’s residents. You’re going to see more indie films and artistic endeavors in the area.”

Said local resident Lynn Sullivan: “We’re looking to make the area into a destination for artists, filmmakers, musicians and fans who love the creative arts, artisanal products and natural beauty. In fact, we’re developing an innovative online platform with a click-through sales process that allows viewers to purchase products embedded in the media as they watch. A service at the point-of-sale also facilitates charitable giving to local communities. It creates a nexus where the fan experience, economic development and charitable giving truly come together. ‘The Rangers’ will be the first offering on that platform.”

Backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign this past spring, “The Rangers” shares that entrepreneurial spirit. The series is an entirely independent project by Opening Act Productions, makers of “Rise of the Fellowship,” a feature film from last December. A modern-day action-comedy that pays homage to “Lord of the Rings,” the film is currently available on Netflix, Amazon, iTunes and other online services and retailers.

“While ‘Rise of the Fellowship’ was a family-friendly romp, ‘The Rangers’ will definitely be a more intense, grittier outing,” Newcomb said. “We’ve pulled out all the stops for this one — custom-made costumes and weapons, incredible special effects make-up, some up-and-coming actors who already have an impressive list of credits among them and great partners like the residents of Rappahannock.”

Fans can see what Newcomb is talking about and share in the new online fan experience being brought to them by Sullivan and others when “The Rangers” comes out in December 2014. For more information, contact Newcomb at ron@openingactproductions.com or Sullivan at ls@thumbelina.biz.

Animals, gardens and . . . Middle Street

From this Friday (Aug. 8) through Sept. 14, the Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville offers an extensive collection of drawings by member artist Thomas Spande, as well as smaller collections of works by four other members of the artists cooperative.

A work from Thomas Spande’s “Pachyderm” collection at Middle Street this month.
A work from Thomas Spande’s “Pachyderm” collection at Middle Street this month.

Spande is exhibiting more than 20 new drawings of pachyderms — “a virtual herd of elephants, a crash of rhinos and a pod of hippos” — all done in pencil on heavy paper. The energetic drawings tell of the artist’s interest in cross-hatching and lyric line quality while exploring the inner life of these incredible and endangered animals.

Carl Zitzmann, a new gallery member, is displaying digital photographs ranging from traditional “found” subjects to studio compositions and challenging abstract visions. Meanwhile, Leslie Hilton, another new member, is offering paintings “of my travels, from Turkey to Canada and back.”

Ann Currie is showing “the essential contours of simple garden plants,” inspired by the clean, incisive line drawings of Ellsworth Kelly. The drawings are created in ink on an acrylic painted wood panel surface finished with multiple layers of encaustic — pigments mixed with hot wax that are burned in as an inlay.

Finally, Nancy Brittle will offer the public her vision of Summer in the Garden. Says Brittle, “I have been vacationing in my garden and in the fields around our small town, looking at the familiar lay of the land, noting the changes in color and the summer advances, and enjoying the quiet moment.”

There’s an opening reception for the artists and the public from 3 to 5 this Saturday (Aug. 9) at the gallery, located at Rappahannock Central (3 River Ln., Sperryville). The gallery is open 11 to 6 Friday-Sunday. More at middlestreetgallery.org or 540-987-9330.

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