Saturday (March 2) marked the grand opening of River District Arts’ new Artisan Market, which features Virginia-made fine handcrafts, including jewelry, stoneware, wearable art, wooden accessories and photography. The market, like River District Arts, is open 10 to 5 Friday-Sunday.
To celebrate the opening, a pairing of artisan wines and food by Madison County’s Early Mountain Vineyards runs from noon to 4 this Saturday (March 9). Sommelier Michelle Gueydan and assistant Jacob Lyon are pouring wines from select Virginia vintners as well as from Early Mountain, and pairing them with tasty morsels. The same day, there’s also a vintage button jewelry-making workshop from 2 to 3 with fiber artist Mary Kenesson, who’s having a trunk sale from 10 to 5 at RDA of her fiber jewelry, purses and clothing. She will be demonstrating throughout the day. (The 2 p.m. workshop is $35; email email@example.com to reserve a spot.)
Also opening at RDA in March is Oak Shade Farm Artisans. A local fixture for almost 30 years, Oak Shade Farm is a Mello family venture: Jim Mello is a weaver, Sally Mello creates woodcuts and paints, and she and her daughter, Jeanne Day, hook rugs. Their son, Frank, is a blacksmith and has a forge at the farm. Other family members also felt and weave, and the family grows and sells Christmas trees at the Rectorsville farm. In spring, the Mellos can be found at local farmers markets selling honey, jams, shiitake mushrooms and other organic vegetables.
Oak Shade Farm has rented Studio 9 at River District Arts to display their craft and farm products. There’s an open house for Oak Shade Farm Artisans from 1 to 4 p.m. March 23; a weaving and rug-hooking demonstration will be part of the activities.
RappKids, the band of mothers who brought the kid-rock act Rocknoceros to Sperryville, has organized another fun-packed event for the young children of Rappahannock and surrounding counties. The next event is April 6 in Huntly in the auditorium of Wakefield Country Day School, with performances starting at 4:30 by Excell Dancers of Warrenton, followed by Oh Susannah, who’ll engage the youngsters with her beautiful voice, clever lyrics and guitar-playing. (She was voted best for families by readers of Family magazine and just nominated in the best children’s artist and best children’s recording categories of Washington’s Wammy awards.)
When they’re not dancing or singing along, junior engineers can also play on a Mega Wooden Train Layout, with interactive train accessories that will make your child’s eyes pop. Snacks and dinner may be purchased. Come with your dancing shoes on and get ready to boogie with your kids. Tickets are $5 (ages 1 and older). Sponsors include Wakefield Country Day School, Union First Market Bank, Coterie and the Flint Hill Public House.
It might be that dusty old vase in your attic – the one from your great-grandmother with the Chinese characters on it. Or maybe it’s that book that looks like it might have come off Gutenberg’s own press. Or perhaps you are wondering about those silver spoons that have been in the family for so long nobody remembers where they came from.
Wouldn’t you like to know what they are worth? Maybe you’d like to sell them and are wondering what they might fetch, or perhaps you want to know if you should insure them. Maybe you are just plain curious.
Wonder no longer! Bring those mysterious and possibly-precious objects to the fifth annual Antiques Appraisal (and Bakery Boutique) on Saturday, March 16 at the Copper Fox Antiques in Sperryville. While you hold your breath, one of several professional appraisers will inspect your furniture, book, print, silver, firearm, toys, trains, vintage kitchenware, old building hardware, pictures or objet d’art and help you decide whether to put it back in the attic, toss it in the trash or take it to Sotheby’s in New York.
The event is sponsored by the Rappahannock Historical Society, which asks for a donation of $10 per item (or $25 for three items). You may leave your large items in the back of your truck and an appraiser will be happy to go out for a look, or bring pictures.
Last year’s event was great fun for all who participated. A surprisingly wide range of items, some valuable and some not, will receive careful and often enlightening, entertaining and humorous scrutiny. With years of experience, the appraisers are knowledgeable and skilled in their craft.
At the annual event’s new venue, you can also browse the wares of Copper Fox Antiques, bid on a silent auction and purchase goodies – all while having your own precious belongings explained and their value estimated.
Occasionally an appraiser runs across a valuable item in the hands of someone who failed to see its worth; last year an old atlas was assessed for a princely sum. But one appraiser cautions against counting on very many “Eureka!” moments at the upcoming appraisal. “More often,” he says, “people come in with something they think is valuable, but it is not.”
The Historical Society is holding a bakery boutique and silent auction at the same time and place. If your item turns out to be more trash than treasure, you can console yourself with fresh bread, muffins, cookies or other baked delights. An added bonus is the opportunity to browse Copper Fox Antiques!
For more information, contact the Historical Society at 540-675-1163 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 8 p.m. Saturday, March 16, the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society and the Theatre at Washington present two outstanding works from the chamber music repertory: Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, K. 493, and Schubert’s Quintet in C Major, D. 956. The Schubert Quintet has been played once before at the Theatre when, according to Theatre director Wendy Weinberg, it “brought the house down.” She added that “we are so fortunate that this magnificent piece of music will be heard again Little Washington.”
The Quintet was composed in 1827, in the last months of Schubert’s life. Schubert died at the age of 31 and the work was published posthumously. It is generally regarded as not only the “towering masterpiece” of Schubert’s chamber music, but among the greatest works of chamber music of all time. The English critic John Amis has written of the music’s “heavenly strength, tenderness and mystery” and contrasted the “intimate joy” of the slow movement with the “dark abysses . . . of the Scherzo.”
Smithsonian Chamber Music Society artistic director Kenneth Slowik plays the piano in Mozart’s Quartet and the cello in the Schubert Quintet, with The AEolus Quartet: Nicholas Tavani, violin; Rachel Shapiro, violin; Gregory Luce, viola; Alan Richardson, cello. The AEolus Quartet are grand prize winners of the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition and 2011 Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition.
Tickets are $25 ($10 for those 17 and younger). To make reservations, contact the theater at 540-675-1253 or TheatreVA@aol.com.
Shenandoah National Park is now accepting applications for its summer Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program. YCC provides gainful employment and an educational experience in the conservation of the park’s natural and cultural heritage. Enrollees work to maintain park trails, roads, buildings and campgrounds, all while learning about the park itself.
This year’s program runs for eight weeks, from June 1-Aug. 9. Applicants for YCC crew member positions must be between 15 and 18 years old; enrollees work 40 hours per week and earn minimum wage.
Additional program information and an application can be found online at nps.gov/shen/parkmgmt/ycc.htm.
Completed applications should be mailed to Volunteer & Youth Programs Coordinator, Shenandoah National Park, 3655 US Hwy 211 East, Luray, VA 22835. Applications must be postmarked by April 15 to be eligible.