The Rapp for Dec. 16

Del. C. Todd Gilbert

Gilbert is deputy House leader

Newly elected Virginia House Majority Leader Delegate Kirk Cox this week named third-term Del. C. Todd Gilbert (R-15th) to be his deputy. Rappahannock’s representative to the House will be responsible for taking a lead role in floor debates as well as any other duties delegated to him by the majority leader.

The 15th District includes the counties of Rappahannock, Page, Shenandoah and the Swift Run precinct of Rockingham County.

Said Cox: “Having observed Todd on the House floor for several years, I have been extremely impressed with his debating skills and ability to articulate our conservative philosophy. He was my obvious choice to be deputy majority leader. I know he will do a great job defending the values that we share.”

“I have always had a lot of faith in Del. Cox as a leader,” Gilbert said, “and I am grateful that he has placed that kind of faith in me as well. I am looking forward to playing a key role in our new leadership team. Hopefully, this will also afford me a greater opportunity to help protect the interests of my constituents in Richmond.”

Madison artist Bonnie Dixon, right, painted a dozen local goose egg ornaments of Piedmont landscapes. The fragility of the egg symbolizes the mission of land conservation.

Pretty as a Piedmont picture

The Firnew Farm Artists’ Circle’s “Paint the Piedmont” benefit for the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and the Blue Ridge Foothills Conservancy ends this weekend, Dec. 18 and 19, at the River District Arts Collective. The show is open 10 to 6 both days in Sperryville, with a reception from 4 to 6 Saturday with food by Cafe Indigo chef Sebastian Carosi and music by the Possum Ridge String Band.

A benefit kickoff was held Dec. 4 at DuCard Winery in Etlan. Sherry Buttrick, of VOF, and Trish Crowe, founder of the art group and president of BRFC, have been brainstorming this event for a couple years.

All the paintings were done in conservation areas, both in Madison and Greene counties and in other areas of the Commonwealth. Fifteen of the paintings were selected to be part of a silent auction that will close Sunday at 6 p.m. at the River District Arts Collective, in the otherwise not-yet-completed Rappahannock Central restaurant-gallery-food coop at 3 River Lane in Sperryville.
All the other work is for sale.

The show highlights undeveloped areas of the region in different mediums such as watercolor, mixed media, sculpture, acrylic and oil painting. Area artists include: Noah Bradley, Armand Cabrera, Trish Crowe, Bonnie Dixon, Lou Messa, Michelle Powell, Chee Ricketts, Janice Rosenberg, Fran Wohlfelder, Richard Young and Sharon Zarambo. Though many of the group’s shows have related to the idea of place, this is the first one specifically to highlight easement areas.

“We ought to be able to see the unspoiled landscape in the future,” Crowe said. “Once it’s paved over, you can’t get it back.” Some of the artwork can be viewed at

For more information, contact: Trish Crowe at 540-718-0370. For information about the Arts Collective: or 540-987-8770.

Detail of a new work by Thomas Spande.

Spande in Sperryville

Haley Fine art hosts Thomas Spande’s New Work, a show that opened last week at the Sperryville gallery and stays through the month. Thomas’ works are a delight, says Andrew Haley: “Bright colors, sharp edges, images barely contained; Spande’s diverse works are unified by his brilliant technique.” Spande has been painting in Rappahannock since childhood, and began showing with Haley Fine Art in 2008. Haley Fine Art (540-987-1000) is open 10 to 6 daily through Christmas.

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