At the library, a new year for Second Friday
Rappahannock’s own Bill Dietel will speak at the Second Friday at the Library series, Friday, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. Dietel is a leading philanthropist and an accomplished storyteller. His talk, which he calls “Room 5600,” deals with his experiences working alongside one of America’s renowned families. Room 5600 was the headquarters of the Rockefeller family, in New York’s Rockefeller Center. In the ’70s and ’80s, Bill worked for the Rockefeller family philanthropic office and as president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. He will give us a behind the scenes peek at what he saw from the top of the world. The Second Friday talks are sponsored by Rappahannock Association for Arts and Community and are free.
On Gay Street, pictures, pottery, paintings and jewelry meet up…
Kevin Adams and Jay Brown’s Gay Street Gallery will debut its winter exhibition this weekend, featuring photography by Andrew N. Morgan, pottery by Rebecca Quinn, jewelry by Yvonne Jarrell and paintings by Adams.
The Opening with the Artists reception is Saturday, Jan. 9, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the gallery, 337 Gay St, Washington. Bill Gadino of Gadino Cellars will be pouring and discussing wine.
Adams’ paintings and prints are regularly on display across the United States in both private and public collections. The State Department, through its Art in Embassies Program, has selected a number of his American landscapes to hang in embassies around the world.
Jarrell served as Washington’s postmaster for a decade and often wore to work jewelry she made herself, without thinking of herself as a jewelry designer. That changed when customers and neighbors began to ask if
they could buy her necklaces and earrings. When she retired from the U.S. Postal Service a couple of years ago, the entirely self-taught Jarrell began her design business in Chester Gap.
Quinn began her art career in conjunction with her teaching career. Initially, she took summers off to create independent bodies of work in drawing and painting, clay, and mosaics. Predominately self-taught, she used her summer collections to obtain a full scholarship to the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Quinn received her Master’s in 2014, and was recently awarded a five-year grant to learn, grow and teach art in Virginia.
More about photographer Morgan in our new Gallery feature on Page B1. And more about the show at www.gaystreetgallery.com
…And on Middle Street, members and friends team up
This month and next, the Middle Street Gallery in Sperryville will put on its annual Members and Friends exhibition, in which members of the artists’ cooperative show their works alongside those of selected guest artists. The show will run from Jan. 9 through Feb. 14., and there will be an opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 16, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., with guest artists introduced at 3:15 p.m. The public is invited to come and see a broad array of subjects, styles and media from more than 30 artists from Rappahannock County and nearby areas.
Gallery president Kathleen Willingham will show her pastels with works by her painter friend Carol Iglesias of Locust Grove. Iglesias, an award-winning pastel artist, describes herself as a “colorist and contemporary impressionist with bright, bold colors.” Nancy Brittle will have impressionist views of people in public spaces, and her guest artist David Williams will offer a large painting of trees on a stone outcropping called White Rocks, near The Plains. Says Williams, “Although recently closed to the public, White Rocks, part of the Bull Run Conservancy, has been a long-time favorite hiking destination.”
Rosabel Goodman-Everard will combine her unique views of trees with watercolors by Ruth Anna Stolk, who, Goodman-Everard says, “has an eye for quirky detail.” Sybil MacKenzie, a new member of the gallery, brings in artist John David, of whom she says, “He is a well-traveled visual artist, having lived in Europe and New York City before settling in Mineral County, W.Va. His work is unencumbered by prevailing attitudes about what art should or should not be; each work speaks directly to the eye and heart without need for explanation.”
Guest artist Nadia Lauder was born in Egypt and now paints floral watercolors at her studio on a horse farm near the Blue Ridge. She is joined by Phyllis Northup with a watercolor of a woodland scene. “Wetlands are often home to these nurse logs, where fallen trees provide a growing environment for new life,” Northup says. “I love the contrast of the lush greens of the moss and plants against the autumn colors and muted tones of the rotting log.”
Photographer Jo Levine is continuing her recent theme of shadows, with photos of architectural details at the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery of Art. Her friend is Margot Neuhaus, a resident of Washington (DC) and Sperryville, where her studio has been a popular stop on RAAC’s annual Studio Tour. Neuhaus is showing two ethereal photographs taken from the air.
Joan Wiberg, a new gallery member and a Warrenton-based artist, shows paintings of abandoned local rural structures, while her friend, Carol Josefiak, will offer an oil painting of a colorful train approaching a local rail crossing. Member artist Wayne Paige’s friend, Maureen Paige, will show paintings featuring bright colors and shadows in natural settings. Recently retired from Prince William County after teaching middle school art, she is recommitting to doing her own art full time.
Jane Forth, a new member of the gallery, will present a work in encaustic, called “Wild Cherry.” Like so many regional artists, she draws inspiration from the nearby Blue Ridge. “The mountains are a vivid reference for my work,” Forth says. “Dreamlike in atmospheric color, the expression of the forms and changing appearance of landscape are a rich source for the fluidity and unpredictable process of painting in wax.”
Inspired by the plants that grow on her land, Ann Currie focuses on what remains at the end of the growing season, rendering what she observes in colored pencil on a watercolor monoprint. Her friend, writer and botanical illustrator Christine Andreae, presents two works from her series of 12 woodcuts inspired by the ancient Sumerian poem about the descent of the Goddess Inanna into the underworld and resurrection three days later.
Walter Weiss, a retired Washington, D.C., physician, will offer two paintings of the C&O Canal, done en plein air in a single afternoon. He is joined by gallery member Gary Anthes showing scenes of Rappahannock farm animals in a snow storm. Gallery member Barbara Heile and her son, Devin Sherwood, will offer pen and ink line drawings.
The gallery is located next to River District Arts, 3 River Lane, in Sperryville. Hours are Friday – Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 540-987-9330 or visit www.middlestreetgallery.org for more information.
— Gary Anthes
Christmas tree burning returns next Saturday
The fourth-annual Rappahannock Christmas tree burning will take place in Washington on the Avon Hall property between the pond and John McCarthy’s office on Saturday, Jan. 16., starting at sunset (around 5:30 p.m.)
Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue will provide support, as well as hot dogs, coffee and hot cocoa. Fire master Hunt Harris is overseeing the traditional event. Bring your trees, wreaths and garlands — but please, no wire.
All county residents (plus their children, dogs and good spirits) are invited.
Benevolent Fund Celebrity Waiter Dinner returns Jan. 30
The purpose of the Rappahannock Benevolent Fund is to care for the needy in Rappahannock County beyond that which is available from existing public sources. The Fund welcomes referrals from all the churches and service agencies of the county, including fire, rescue, and police. The Fund seeks to meet emergencies in the basic areas of heat, electricity, food, and rent, but is open to other possibilities as they arise. Payments are made directly to suppliers of services for those in need and no cash is given to individuals. The average grant is about $275 and most grants pay for housing, electricity, and heating or cooling and sometimes transportation and medical needs.
The primary source of funding is a combination of an anonymous grant matched with funds raised by the annual Benevolent Fund Celebrity Waiters dinner. This year’s dinner will be held on Jan. 30 at the Washington School House from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. It will be a “Mardi Gras,” an elaborate feast featuring New Orleans style décor, food, and dress. The menu will include some Big Easy favorites, two side dishes, a vegetarian side, and desserts. Waiters and guests will contribute to the ambience and entertainment.
The waiters invite the guests to their tables. In addition to serving the meal, they will also provide entertainment for their tables and sometimes the whole room. All is to encourage “tips” above the basic cost of admission. The waiter raising the most money in tips receives a prize and the competition among the waiters is fierce. While the prize is a token award, more important, is the knowledge that they have contributed their help to a good cause in the community. All monies above the cost of the dinner go to the Benevolent Fund to use to assist those in need.
Admission to the dinner is $65. If you have not been invited by a waiter but would like to attend, please email Dee Vest (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are keeping a list of those who would like to attend and will place them at tables that have not been filled. We will fill all the seats in a first-come, first-served order. If we can’t seat you this year, we can put you at the top of the list for next year’s dinner (or you can volunteer to be a waiter).
For any who would like to contribute, a check made payable to the Rappahannock Benevolent Fund can be sent c/o Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 299, Washington, VA 22747. Trinity (a tax-exempt organization) currently serves as the fiscal agent for the fund. Contributions to the Benevolent Fund are tax deductible. They are kept in a separate bank account, and there are almost no administrative costs associated with the fund.
— Bette Mahoney