Sperryville column for March 12

The nature of art at RDA

Landscape oil paintings by Richard Young are part of RDA’s new exhibit, “Nature: Up Close and Far Away.”
Landscape oil paintings by Richard Young are part of RDA’s new exhibit, “Nature: Up Close and Far Away.”

River District Arts (RDA) in Sperryville is an artistic oasis; a creative incubator filled with the poetic grace of the arts, where sunlight streaming into the former apple packing shed illuminates the unique works of gifted artists.

RDA provides a dynamic, ever-changing platform for talented artists to create and showcase their emerging work. A new show featuring Leslie Barham, a still-life artist, and Richard Young, an oil painter, is currently in place. Both hail from the Firnew Farm Artists’ Circle (FFAC) founded by Trish Crowe in Madison, a haven of inspiration for local artists. The show is entitled: “Nature: Up Close and Far Away,” and will be in RDA’s Confluent Gallery from this Friday (March 13) through April 30. A reception to meet the artists is 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21.

Still-life artist Leslie Barham’s close-up takes on the natural world are part of River District Arts’ new exhibit.
Still-life artist Leslie Barham’s close-up takes on the natural world are part of River District Arts’ new exhibit.

According to Bonnie Dixon, an RDA artist and a member of FFAC: “The two artists complement each other as one paints distant, clear scenes of landscape while the other does up-close details of nature.” According to Sally Mello, another RDA member artist: “The Confluent Gallery has a great name because, like our waters, art knows no county boundaries. It too flows from the hills and hollows of the area. The effect of this show is to bring the outdoors inside and give us glimpses of breathtaking beauty seen through the trained and sensitive eyes of two Piedmont artists.”

“So much of me the rest of the world can never see or share or understand,” says artist Richard Young. “But then I put oil paint to canvas. And through my landscape paintings others may experience the same enjoyment of God’s beautiful earth.”

“At heart,” Leslie Barham tells us, “I am a still life artist, preferring to showcase the bounty of beautiful objects offered up by nature. I have always been drawn to natural forms, collecting shells and feathers, butterflies and birds’ nests. Seemingly insignificant natural objects hold for me the deepest fascination.”

There’s more about the artists, and other goings-on, at riverdistrictarts.org.

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Chris Green
About Chris Green 128 Articles
Chris Green (formerly Chris Doxzen) is an an executive recruiter by profession who enjoys exploring and writing about all things Rappahannock. Friends and neighbors with potential stories for her Sperryville column should email her at chrisdoxzen@gmail.com.