50-plus artists, 7 galleries ready for this weekend’s Tour

The county’s hills will be alive with fall foliage and art this Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 7-8) during the Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community’s 11th annual Artists of Rappahannock Open Studio and Gallery Tour. The tour runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and costs $10 per person (good for both days).

Along with 20 new studio artists and one new gallery, a new venue will be unveiled for tour headquarters: The Washington School on Mount Salem Avenue. The tall ceilings and newly erected screens upon which the work of Rappahannock’s artists transform the old school auditorium into a gallery where visitors can see samples of the artists’ works before they head out onto the byways.

A crew of RAAC volunteers and board members sets up shop — or the ad hoc gallery that serves as Tour headquarters — at the Washington School last week.Megan S. Smith | Rappahannock News
A crew of RAAC volunteers and board members sets up shop — or the ad hoc gallery that serves as Tour headquarters — at the Washington School last week.

The RAAC tour offers the chance to visit with and see the work of the 21 juried artists — some with their own invited visiting artists, more than 50 artists all told — in their creative environs, as well as explore seven featured galleries.

The list of artists participating this year includes all of those spotlighted here in the Rapphannock News over the last few months (visit rappnews.com/artists for reviews and see RAAC’s advertisement on page A2 for artist and gallery listing).

The new gallery on the tour will feature accomplished landscape oil painter Kevin Adams, who has moved into his much-anticipated studio adjacent to the freshly renovated Gay Street Gallery in Little Washington.

At Kevin Adams new studio on Washington's Gay Street, light is a frequent subject addressed by the painter as well as a frequent visitor to the studio and adjacent gallery.Kevin Adams
At Kevin Adams new studio on Washington’s Gay Street, light is a frequent subject addressed by the painter as well as a frequent visitor to the studio and adjacent gallery.

Two weeks ago, the gallery celebrated with quite a bash — 100 people, Adams estimates — on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon. Joining Adams’ work for the grand opening, and also on display during the tour, were creations by self-taught sculptor Robert Bouquet, who works in the “taille-directe” method in stone, and former county resident June Jordan, who is known for spectacular intimate interior “landscapes.”

The gallery, Adams said, expects to occasionally showcase artists from elsewhere in the country, but will focus its exhibitions on outstanding local and regional artists working in all media.

Adams’ airy studio space, lit by a huge overhead skylight, is a perfect surrounding for his creation of new works, which, as he says, largely “involve architecture.”

“I want [my art] to be about the color,” Adams said. Referring to one lovely Amissville home he’s been “taking photos of for years,” the painting is “less about the house than the quality of light,” he said, adding, “the house is just a tool . . . to talk about a very beautiful day.”

In a wonderful series of one Cape Cod cottage that Adams uses as “a template,” he repeatedly paints the scene at different times of day, much like Van Gogh’s haystacks. “It’s a process to talk about the air,” weather, light, and seashore humidity, he said of the stirring series.

Adams “loves living here and appreciates being a continual part” of RAAC’s doings, now including the annual fall studio and gallery’s art tour. His work is also being shown at The Shops at The Inn at Little Washington,  and at Middleburg’s Gallery on Madison.

In addition to the new Gay Street Gallery, seven of the county’s other galleries will host regular and guest artists. In Washington, Robert Ballard will show his new series of skyscape paintings; the American landscapes of Thomas Mullany; the landscapes and ceramics of Clive and Virginia Pate; and the constructions and paintings of Paul Erlenborn. The popular Geneva Welch Gallery will also have some of her lovely new works.

In Sperryville, there will be no shortage of attractions with its five galleries gearing up for the tour. At Glassworks Gallery, founder Eric Kvarnes is firing up his furnace for fascinating glassblowing demonstrations. Down the street, Andrew Haley will showcase the works of  both local and regional artists at his Haley Fine Arts Gallery.

Visitors to Middle Street Gallery will find a cornucopia of small works of art, all priced at $100, as part of a new fundraising effort for the artists’ cooperative. Next door, River District Arts’ residents will be in their nine studios, and RDA’s Confluent Gallery will show a wide range of local artists’ work. In addition, the Old Rag Gallery will show the impressive photography of its collective members.

For more information, visit raac.org.

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