The Rapp for March 13

Flint Hill chef featured in ‘Best Chefs’ edition

Flint Hill Public House chef Marvin Swaner.
Flint Hill Public House chef Marvin Swaner. Courtesy photo

Chef Marvin Swaner of the Flint Hill Public House Restaurant and Inn is included in “Best Chefs America Presents: The American South,” the first in a five-part series of peer-review regional guides released this month, highlighting the country’s top one percent of chefs. This is Swaner’s second consecutive “Best Chefs” citation.

 “I am thrilled to be chosen by my peers and included in ‘The American South,’ ” said Chef Swaner, who’s been with the Public House since its reopening in 2011. “This recognition is truly an honor and gives me yet another reason to be appreciative of my fellow professionals and chosen profession.”

The book was the result of more than 5,000 one-on-one interviews with chefs across the country to find out who chefs think are the best. Copies are available at

Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin at Theatre

Classical and romantic works for the piano make up the program to be heard at The Theatre in Washington at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 23. The acclaimed Canadian pianist Audrey Andrist returns to the Theatre for this solo recital.

The two Haydn and Beethoven sonatas which comprise the first half of the program could not be more different from one another, except for being in the same key. And the final Beethoven sonata on the program was dedicated by the composer to Haydn, so the program will seem to come full circle. Most of the music to be heard in the second half of the concert is by the great Romantic composer, Frederic Chopin — a nocturne, a prelude, an impromptu and two mazurkas. The full program is available on request from the Theatre.

After early musical training in Canada, Andrist completed Masters and Doctoral degrees at the Juilliard School in New York, where she won the Juilliard Concerto Competition. She went on to be the first-prize winner of the San Antonio International Competition and the Mozart International Competition. She is now a busy soloist and chamber player. This season she gave concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., as well as performances in New York and several other states. She has given concert tours in China, Japan and her native Canada.

Tickets for the concert on March 23 are $25 for adults ($10 for students 17 and under). Reservations for preferred seating are recommended, but unreserved tickets will also be available at the box office. To make reservations, or to obtain a copy of the Theatre’s spring schedule, call 540-675-1253 or email

Plant a tree (or at least three), with help

The Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District has received funds from the Virginia Department of Forestry to promote the planting of trees that replace turf grass and other mowed areas for homeowners. Residential, commercial and public lands are eligible to participate.

Requirements: You plant at least three one- or two-year-old seedling trees — no shrubs — with 10-foot spacing using tree tubes, stakes and mat. The trees must be planted this calendar year and the landowner commits to maintaining them for 15 years. The CSWCD will pay $75 per 1,000 square feet to plant approved tree species on land that is currently managed turf (mowed lawn), which is an option the landowner agrees to forfeit. If the trees are self-planted by the owner, then CSWCD will pay for materials up to a maximum of $5 per tree. If the trees are planted in a riparian zone, the planting area must be at least 35 feet wide.

For more information, call the Culpeper Conservation District at 540-825-8591.

Eire Rappahannock

Couple of celebrations of All Things Irish of note this weekend in advance of Monday’s St. Patrick’s Day:

At Coterie, in Sperryville’s Schoolhouse complex, the shop will feature Triple Oak Bakery queen Brooke Parkhurst trading her baking gear for the banjo (or whistle, or both) from 2 to 3 for some Irish music to accompany your browsing. And Lauren from Valley Green Naturals will be there from 1 to 3, showing off the Amissville-based bath- and body-product maker’s wares (which are 10 percent off all day).

Saturday evening, Griffin Tavern’s always-popular St. Patrick’s Day party features Irish, Gaelic and folk music by Low Water Bridge.

‘The Figure’: multi-media, a la Mullany

An exhibition of new works by Rappahannock artist Thomas Mullany opens Sunday (March 16) with an all-day open house at R.H. Ballard Gallery, from 10 to 6, at 307 Main Street in Washington. The show runs through April 6.

Detail from Thomas Mullany’s “Geological Nude,” in which a blue figure is forever joined with a vintage U.S. Geological Survey map.
Detail from Thomas Mullany’s “Geological Nude,” in which a blue figure is forever joined with a vintage U.S. Geological Survey map. Courtesy photo

“The Figure: Studies on Found Paper, Paintings & Sculpture” is unique for Mullany in that it shows his use of a wide range of materials and methods and also his ability to spontaneously render the figure. Ultimately, for the viewer, this event is a surprising and in-depth look at the creative process.

The exhibit has three levels: Studies on paper ephemera, oil paintings and wood sculptures. Mullany uses paper ephemera such as antique maps, packaging, vintage book and music pages as part of dozens of unique compositions. In addition, oil paintings with figurative elements as well as new figurative sculpture are also part of this exhibit.

Mullany’s work spans decades, and throughout his career he has always created drawings on paper as precursors to larger murals and paintings, but they are also special as individual pieces of art.

Historically speaking, there has been a tradition in modern art in which the artist would appropriate found papers and objects and incorporate them into layered compositions. Artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Kurt Schwitters and Robert Rauschenberg, among others, often created works using this method. For Mullany, he often develops studies on found papers while working on larger murals or commissions, but also incorporates this method in smaller works of art.

Mullany has exhibited for many years in Washington (Little and Big) and New York, mounting more than 18 one-person shows. This is his eighth one-person exhibit at the Ballard Gallery. He is included in more than 20 corporate collections and has created numerous murals, sculpture and public art projects throughout the U.S.

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