As everybody in Rappahannock knows, a visit to the Flatwood Dump — aka The Flatwood Mall, a veritable social mecca — typically involves an hour or so of catching up with neighbors and friends, dropping off donations and bringing some treasures home.
Long ago, when I first moved to the county, and was yabber jabbering at the Mall, I had occasion to meet Hans Gerhard, as he shares my father’s name, Hans Gerhard Viezen.
We chatted amicably and when one of my German cousins, one of many who’ve visited me in Rappahannock, came for the summer, Hans graciously invited us to his beautiful Hughes River Farm.
There I discovered his artistic talent, from whimsical creatures carved from wood, to abstract paintings, and fantastic sculptures welded into metal objects displayed around the farm.
Hans has an exhibit currently at Hazel River Arts & Antiques between Sperryville and Washington, and it’s a splendid display of some of his current work.
His accomplishments are not only of the artistic sort.
He taught economics at Duke University, and later joined the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C. While in the nation’s capital he studied at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, and drew much inspiration from Franz Bader, the venerable arts dealer who encouraged Hans’ pursuit of painting.
Hans sees his work as evolving out of the traditions of German modernist art, as well as American Pop Art and the Washington Color School.
He’s a veritable renaissance man and his exhibit is not to missed.
Check out http://www.hazelriverartandantiques.com/