Letter: A (self) portrait of the (encore) artist

Artist Jeanne Drevas has started packing for her trip east for the Artists of Rappahannock Studio and Gallery Tour Nov. 7-8.
Artist Jeanne Drevas has started packing for her trip east for the Artists of Rappahannock Studio and Gallery Tour Nov. 7-8.

Your article in the Sept. 10 issue of the Rappahannock News about the new doings and artists on RAAC’s upcoming Studio and Gallery Tour was informative up to a point, listing all the new artists and a new gallery, but then became generic and caused me to feel bereft, and seriously invisible.

You mentioned a new feature of the tour, of a limited program for “encore artists” that will feature artists who “have since — for some unfathomable reason — moved away.” No names mentioned, boo hoo.

So this artist would like to explain to you why she moved away. Plain and simple, I moved for my man, who grew up in central Oregon, who left for Vietnam at age 17, and who needed, after 25 years of marriage to me in Rappahannock County, to move back to complete his life’s journey. I’d like to state here that he is indeed deeply content to be back in Oregon and I’d like to state I’m happy he did not grow up in “fill in your state that you are glad you don’t live in.”

I lived in Rappahannock for 40 years, coming as a young adult, building my handmade hippie house, and now I’m out here — adjusting, a newbie, with people looking through an aging woman. Not what I’m used to. Returning to Rappahannock County, my homeland, makes me visible again.

Now on to the completely self-serving reason for this so-called letter. That “encore artist” is me, and I will be a guest artist at Susan Dienelt’s studio in Sperryville, showing my response to the upheaval I created by physically leaving Rapplandia and landing near Portlandia.

So during the Nov. 7-8 art tour, come visit me and Susan’s pots and Davette Leonard’s paintings and surprise me and fill me up with all that I still grieve for, with a big hug and much catching up. I desperately miss the land and community even as I develop a history out here — but never to be matched, never, by my time in Rappahannock County.

Jeanne Drevas
Sheridan, Oregon

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