Fine Art...With A Side Of History at September's Very Special First Friday

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Fine Art...With A Side Of History at September's Very Special First Friday

We know you already have First Friday’s Gallery Walk on your calendar for every month because we always have a wonderful turnout, but in September we have an extra-special reason to make 5 W. Washington your first stop!

At 5 p.m., Cabell Gorman, owner of the Cabell Gallery of Fine Art, and Harry H. Warner, owner of the building at 5 W. Washington St. in downtown Lexington, will be celebrating the dedication of a plaque commemorating the unique history of our 1914 building, which has been designated officially by the Historic Lexington Foundation as the “Withrow Gift Shop”. 

Although the current building is just over a century old, it stands on one of the original half-acre lots on the six original streets laid out after Lexington was created as a county seat in 1777.  In 1792, William Alexander purchased all the lots on the present west side of Washington Street between Main and Jefferson Streets.  He built one of the oldest – and finest - standing structures in town, known now as the Alexander-Withrow House (location of The Georges today). 

Owned by a succession of other prominent citizens and their families, including John Leyburn and George Baker, Jack Withrow purchased the property in 1886 and constructed the “Gift Shop” in 1914. Withrow and his descendants owned the property for over 80 years. 

In 1969, 5 W. Washington and the Withrow Gift Shop was sold as a separate parcel, despite the earnest endeavors of the recently created Historic Lexington Foundation, which hoped to keep the property intact.  Although outbid at auction on the Withrow Gift Shop, the Historic Lexington Foundation was able to acquire and preserve the Alexander-Withrow House. 

Even with all the interior changes in recent decades, the Withrow Gift Shop has had the good fortune to maintain what has been described as, “the typical Victorian Shop Front configuration.  This entails two large windows flanking a central recessed door.  “Up above, the cornice is quite simple with small brackets and carved blocks.”

Between 1969 and 2013, when it was purchased by Harry H. Warner, the Withrow Gift Shop housed several businesses including Lexington Lighting and the law office of renowned attorney Larry Mann (husband of Lexington's most famous photographer, Sally Mann.) And, of course, Cabell Gallery of Fine Art will soon be celebrating three successful years at 5 W. Washington with many more yet to come. Future historians take note!

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August's Featured Artist: Kim Hall

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August's Featured Artist: Kim Hall

When Kim Hall learned she had been selected as Cabell Gallery’s featured artist for August, she traveled to Rockbridge County and got lost – but don’t worry, that’s just part of the fun and challenge of plein air painting for this Richmond resident.

“I had not spent much time in the area before the show.  I like to get lost and find these out of the way places, they’re getting harder and harder to find”, Kim said of her time exploring our beautiful area and creating many of the paintings showcased.  She saw the view in “Valley Splendor” (below) while driving in Rockbridge County with her faithful dog, Romeo, and pulled over into the parking lot of a shuttered gas station to set up her easel and paints.

 

Raised in Arlington, VA, Kim’s mother, Ann Hall, was a self-taught landscape painter and very involved in the local arts community. As a child, making art was “just what we did”.  Kim studied art in college and transitioned to art as a full-time career after moving to Richmond, VA.  She feels fortunate that some of her greatest influences include her contemporaries, including Curney Nuffer, another Cabell Gallery artist. 

A veteran of many established plein air festivals and competitions, Kim started painting outside for the first time about 10 years ago. “It really changes the way you see color and light.  You end up picking more of the atmosphere of the scene than you do from a photograph.  It has taught me to be a better painter, a faster painter, and be better able to edit a scene.  As opposed to capturing each detail when painting from a photograph, you get to focus in on what is the big picture of the scene and things that aren’t important you can leave out.”  

Corner of Washington and Main.jpeg

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July's Featured Artist:  Bonnie Mason

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July's Featured Artist: Bonnie Mason

After welcoming her to Cabell Gallery in the Fall of 2016, we are so pleased to have Bonnie Mason as our featured artist for July.  From breathtaking mountain vistas to beguiling still life compositions, the common thread in Bonnie’s paintings is the depth of emotional connection she has with her subject matter.  This connection begins with her deep roots in Virginia, especially the city of Salem, where she has lived her entire life. 

Bonnie’s father, an avid hunter, shared his extensive knowledge of the woods and mountains by pointing Bonnie to many a spot to paint that she might never have found otherwise. Since his passing in 2016, Bonnie especially treasures memories of her father accompanying her in his later years while she painted plein air, he by then having traded his gun for a camera.

A full-time artist for almost a decade, Bonnie finds her smaller plein air pieces can sometimes inspire larger works. But, there is always a story beyond just what you see on the canvas. “Summer Breeze” (below), expands on a smaller commissioned work for one of her first collectors for whom memories of that particular view had a special meaning.  Bonnie sought to capture what it would have been like to wander through those fields years ago and also how she felt when she saw it for herself on a beautiful, breezy summer’s day. 

Summer Breeze

 

Ideal

Bonnie also strives for meaning beyond aesthetics in her lovely still-life compositions.  In “Ideal” (left), the blue mason jar is one of several that her parents have passed down to her.  The blooming lilacs in the jar are from Bonnie’s garden, but they are especially precious to her because they were grown from a cutting Bonnie made from her mother’s lilacs, which in turn were cultivated from a cutting from her mother’s lilac. 

If learning about a native Virginia treasure like artist Bonnie Mason and the story behind both “Summer Breeze” and“Ideal” has you interested in seeing more of her work, we hope you will make plans to come to Cabell Gallery – we have already sold half a dozen of her paintings as of this posting!  We are always updating our inventory on the website, www.cabellgallery.com, or you may contact us directly with any questions or to make an appointment outside of gallery hours. 

 

 

 

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The Art You Treasure Most

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The Art You Treasure Most

So we just went through the crazy busy time of year here in Lexington. Where the parents and families of all the graduating students from VMI, SVU, and W&L descend on Lexington. Don't get me wrong, we love it! Any opportunity to show off our town to other people we'll take it. 

I NEVER get tired of hearing out-of-towners say, "Lexington! What a wonderful town. I had no idea! You have such a great art vibe here."

Yes :)  We do.

When all the families come for graduation, they come in looking for art that will remind their graduate of their school or maybe just Virginia. Having grown up in Lexington, I can certainly speak for VMI and W&L that their graduates love this town so dearly that many of them grow up to get second homes here, or retire here. Or, like me, just move back to the best place they could find on the planet. 

When picking out a graduation gift, many of the families get what I get. Nothing is a better gift than art. See, some people think you shouldn't buy art for other people. Not true. Especially when it is someone young. When they are graduating and going to live in their own place, perhaps their first apartment, few young adults can prioritize art. It's just not what they are spending their money on yet. But somehow, when they are given art, hanging an original work in their home makes them feel like an adult. There is a right of passage almost to "Now I have more than framed posters of Monet or Bob Marley. Now I have original art." And when that art reflects on a very important time in their life, say, college, that makes you treasure it even more. And you have created an heirloom, perhaps their first. One that their kids and maybe their kids will always know too. The gift giver always like to think that they will be remembered when they give a gift. Well, something as meaningful and permanent as art certainly does that.

At the Cabell Gallery we really focus, not just on Fine Art, but on Fine Art from the central Virginia area. Sometimes even scenes of the schools themselves. I tell you, it's a real kick for me to see a young person get their first real piece. The first of many hopefully. So think about it; if you have a young adult in your life, whether they have graduated or not, maybe it's birthday, Christmas, new baby, or no reason at all, the gift of art is something that you treasure your whole life. And, if it is a work that represents an important time in their life, even more so. Stop by or check out our website. And if you have something specific in mind, tell us about it! Many of our artists would gladly paint you the vision that you have in your head. Talk about a personal gift! People who say that you "can't" give art as a gift don't know what they are missing. Art, it may be the gift they will always treasure the most.

 

 

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Susan Egbert's Monotypes

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Susan Egbert's Monotypes

The return of the First Fridays art walk was a success as we celebrated the work of Roanoke artist Susan Egbert. Her work will be featured in the gallery throughout the month of March so be sure to stop in! To fully appreciate Susan's unique work, it's important to understand the process of creating monotypes, which constitute the majority of her collection in the gallery. 

First, a definition: Mono-typing is a form of printmaking that has lines or images that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, where there are multiple originals. There are many techniques for creating monotypes. Examples of printmaking techniques which can be used to make monotypes include lithography, woodcut, and etching.

And now the process with photos below borrowed from the blog "'Diary of a Madd Weekly Painter': Small Paintings by Sue Furrow" and the post titled "Monoprint Demo by Susan Egbert" (Aug 8,2012). 

First, Susan uses brayers to mix water soluble oils on a piece of plexiglass. Next she rolls the oils onto another piece of plexiglass that is customized to the size the final image should be. Susan then continues to add more colors and layers. To create the image she uses brayers, brushes and nibs to remove paint and create textures. 

Once the artist is satisfied with the image she places the painted plexiglass on the press table with a damp sheet of watercolor paper on top. Next, she cranks the plate and paper through the press and TA-DAH!! A Susan Egbert monotype!

Pictured above is "October Meadow," an 18x18 framed oil monotype, which is still available at the gallery! 

Pictured above is "October Meadow," an 18x18 framed oil monotype, which is still available at the gallery! 

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New Artist: Wendy Musser!

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New Artist: Wendy Musser!

We are so pleased to welcome North Carolina native, Wendy Musser to the Cabell Gallery! 

Oil and pastel landscape painting is her primary focus.  Her education includes obtaining an Associate of Arts Degree from Peace College, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Returning to school later, she completed a second major in Interior Design at Meredith College.

After years of working in art related fields Wendy aspired to return to her college art training.  She then began to study acrylic studio painting under Mary Anne K. Jenkins.

 To better understand the landscape and to capture the inspiration of being in nature as one paints, in 2001 she began studying “plein air” pastel painting.  Due to the array of pastel colors available the medium has energy and immediacy that makes painting on location an exciting experience.  Translating the stimulation of painting in nature into a vivid yet harmonious image of colors is a rewarding challenge.  The plein air paintings are generally worked to near completion while on the painting site.  Back in the studio the pieces are evaluated and finishing touches are added.  Once finished, they may become an inspiration for larger scale paintings.

Believing that learning should be a life long experience Wendy has continued to study pastel painting with Kevin Beck, Albert Handell, and Richard McKinley.   Her studies in oil has been under Scott Christensen, Rick Mc Clure, John Poon and Libby Tolley.  She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, a Charter member of PAiNT NC and the Pastel Society of North Carolina.  She is the Co-fonder and Secretary of the Western Wake Artist Studio Tour and has been accepted in and received awards in juried shows in the Triangle Area since 1997.  

"Plein air painting is not only observing the object as you paint it, but painting in the out of doors.  My first experience with the medium of dry pastels and my first experience of painting in nature were at a workshop.

I was immediately hooked.  I am convinced that painting out in nature is both the most challenging and most rewarding painting experience.  Not all of my selected painting locations are breathtaking.  All, however, are unique and the test is to create an inspiring image from any location.  Concentrating on a single focus of interest among a vast array of subject matter is very challenging.  Light changes so quickly that the image you see is constantly changing.  As I paint, the light is quickly moving, the birds are singing, the bugs are biting, the air is refreshing (or muggy, or freezing) and the subject is directly in front of me for translation into a painting.  Dealing with the distractions of the elements and working hard to capture a moment when the light is favorable makes the painting process even more exciting and exhausting.

My goal is to capture the beauty of the places that I have discovered and to lure viewers to want to visit the very spot where I have painted.  God has given us a beautiful world that is quickly being altered by our actions.  I hope that my painting experiences can preserve a glimpse of the natural beauty of this great land and to entice others to take time to celebrate the environment we have been given by enjoying the gift of our landscape"

(Pictured above: "Greener Pastures" 20x20 Pastel)

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Arts and Education: Inspiration and Creativity

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Arts and Education: Inspiration and Creativity

When I first began my position at the Cabell Gallery I wrote a blog about the importance of art and now, almost four months later, it is still a relevant topic from another perspective. Each day as I watch my six year old daughter color, paint, craft and create beautiful pieces of art I realize how much this act of creation, of doing something she is proud of and that challenges her to be unique, helps her to grow intellectually and makes her feel special. 

Lucky for my daughter and for myself, we have been fortunate to grow up in beautiful little Lexington, where community leaders and the public education system value the positive impact the arts make on small children. Here, we are blessed with after school enrichment programs, middle-school band, FAIR, Lime Kiln, the Rockbridge Choral Society and Youth Chorale, the list goes on. There are great opportunities for children to be exposed to fine art, music and theatre right here for relatively little cost and that is certainly something to be grateful for while the world continues to become more complicated. 

When I think back to my childhood, I am most nostalgic for the unlimited imagination I once had that made the most ordinary tasks more entertaining. As we age this power of creative imagination becomes jaded with the harsh realities of adulthood and we find alternative ways to escape the monotonous daily routine. Many find their alternative reality in the pages of novels, while others prefer the less mentally laborious method of "Netflix and chill." From the Middle Ages through Baroque, prior to modern technologies and the immediate accessibility of entertainment, fine art provided entertainment through edifying tableaus that were inspirational and imaginative. Elaborate sculptures and architecture were created in honor of popes, kings and saints to demonstrate power while beautifying and modernizing large cities during the Baroque period. As an art history student, I understand the value of learning history through art and architecture. We read the story of contemporary culture, politics, and socio-economics through clues in each masterpiece.

Each time I visit an art museum with my daughter I see art through a totally new perspective. Specifically while in modern and contemporary museums I love to hear her interpretation of completely abstract, non-figural pieces. Many adults lack the freedom of imagination to let go of science and reality to truly understand or enjoy these pieces. Children, however, approach such pieces with their full imagination to allow their brain to construct the image in their own understanding without the pressure of feeling inadequate if their analysis is "incorrect." Perhaps to young, creative minds the potential to grow their own talent to such a masterful level attracts them to art, or maybe it's the colors and textures. No matter what draws us or our children to art and more importantly, to creativity in general, we should nourish this desire because ultimately there is always something to be learned and gained while creating or viewing art. 

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Thank you 2016, Looking forward to 2017!!

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Thank you 2016, Looking forward to 2017!!

As the end of 2016 rapidly draws near, we would like to express our gratitude for all of your support throughout this year. Our second year has been incredibly successful and we can't wait to see what 2017 has in store!

In 2016 we have improved the gallery in many ways: we welcomed a couple of new employees and several amazing artists, we opened seven days a week and have expanded our cherished client base significantly. We love sharing our passion for art with each client that enters the gallery. Whether you're a serious art collector or an enthusiast browsing the gallery for pure pleasure and relaxation it is always a delight to discuss our artists, their inspiration and their background with you. We are grateful for all of you that have enriched the gallery this year with your comments, smiles, and unique perspectives.

Remember that when you need a break from the hustle of the holidays, you're always welcome to join us in the gallery to take a breath and enjoy fine art. 

We hope that everyone has the happiest of holidays and we can't wait to see you in 2017!

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Welcoming Greg Osterhaus!

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Welcoming Greg Osterhaus!

Last month Greg Osterhaus joined our group of wonderful artists at the Cabell Gallery and then promptly sold one of his famed cow paintings in less than a week! We still have a couple of his brilliantly colored landscapes and will be receiving more of his paintings soon, so if you haven't been to the gallery in a while stop by to check out these new additions. 

Greg has been living in Roanoke since age 12 where he still lives and paints in his home studio. Like many of the artists in the gallery, Greg was born with an innate talent and passion for art which his family encouraged throughout his youth. Mr. Osterhaus attended Virginia Tech then tried a career in illustration and spent sixteen years in the corporate world before fully devoting himself to painting. 

While Greg cites some inspiration from Wolf Kahn, Twachtman and John Singer Sargeant, his unique style and use of color reinterpret the visual world using his vivid imagination and a meticulous process of layering paint. Greg is most known for his brilliantly colored cows, which he paints in five hour stretches with ten minute segments. The artist begins his process by choosing several cow photos out of about 1,000 that he photographs each year. These photos serve as his inspiration and point of reference, not necessarily as models to replicate on canvas. During a 2013 interview for the Richmond Times Dispatch, Osterhaus explained that it is "calming to look personally at cows," for their "soulful, restful" demeanor. This calming, personal look at the cows translates to the viewer through each brushstroke and layer of color the artist places on the canvas. 

Greg's landscape paintings are equally as eye-catching with their vibrant color palette and dynamic brushstrokes that encourage the viewer to escape from an ordinary view and delve into the artist's imaginative vision.

To view Greg's work visit his page on our website, visit his personal website http://osterhausart.com and of course, come see it person at the Cabell Gallery!  

 

 

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November Featured Artist: Nan Mahone Wellborn

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November Featured Artist: Nan Mahone Wellborn

It's almost our favorite time of the month again: First Friday in Downtown Lexington! On Friday, November 4 from 5:00-7:30 we will be celebrating the work of Roanoke based artist Nan Mahone Wellborn. Nan's color palette and fluid painting style immediately attract attention and create an incredibly soothing aesthetic; I can't wait to see the new paintings she brings for the opening! 

Throughout her youth Nan practiced her talents by painting her mother's flower arrangements, which helped develop the artist's interest in observational painting of light's affect on color and nature. Now, as an established artist, Nan paints primarily plein air landscapes in the Blue Ridge Mountains, using oil as her medium. 

Wellborn's style "captures the immediacy of moment," and infuses traditional themes of reality with a unique, modern color palette to express an emotional interpretation of a sense of  place. Observing her surroundings creates the basis for Nan's work while focusing mainly on the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, through the marshes in South Carolina and all the way down to the Florida Keys. Nan credits Piet Mondrian's early landscapes, Pierre Bonnard, Nell Blaine, Fairfield Porter and Canadian artists, the Group of Seven, with continuously influencing her work. 

"My current work is a response to feelings and moods the constantly changing light creates in the landscape. I want to connect you with an evocative experience. I want you to feel as if you're in that place, at that time, to give you a heightened sense of the warmth, smells, textures, colors, and atmosphere I find in nature."

To see more of Nan Mahone Wellborn's work visit her personal website http://nanmahonewellborn.com or you can see what we already have at the gallery on her artist page on the Cabell Gallery website. Nan will be in the gallery for her opening on November 4, so please come by to  say hello, enjoy a cocktail and view her beautiful collection! 

Nan Mahone Wellborn_Fall Painting IMG_3855.jpg

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New Artist at the Gallery: Joanna Tyka

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New Artist at the Gallery: Joanna Tyka

I am so thrilled to have Joanna Tyka's art work at the gallery! I saw her business card sitting on the main desk a few weeks ago, and checked out her website then immediately fell in love with her style as well as her zest for life. Tyka's biography on her website describes a fiercely competitive, driven woman with a natural talent and skill to succeed in all of her endeavors. The "Tyka style" is truly identifiable and adds a new, unique aesthetic to the awesome collection at the Cabell Gallery. 

Joanna Tyka grew up in Warsaw, Poland where she developed a passion for music and art at a very young age. Winning her first art competition at age six, Tyka always had a competitive spirit and has been active in skiing, tennis, golf and sailing throughout her life. She cultivated her love of music by frequently attending the Warsaw Philharmonic as a child and all of these early influences continue to contribute to her artistic inspiration. 

Ms. Tyka graduated with honors from the Academy of Fine Arts, an ambition she had as a young child, and then exhibited her work at the prestigious Zacheta National Gallery of Art, a prestigious contemporary art museum located in Warsaw.

Joanna's family emigrated from Poland to Canada and then to France, but she settled in Hamburg, Germany where she could pursue her passion for sailing while continuing to develop her artistic career.  She also contributed her talents to design through graphics, fashion and tapestry. While in Hamburg, Tyka received the Altona Prize and exhibited her work in many museums. 

Seeking new environmental and cultural inspiration, Tyka moved to Miami where her dynamic whimsical aesthetic developed into the "Tyka style" with bright, tropical colors that were translated into themes of Latin America and the Caribbean. This identifiable, unique style led to the development of valuable relationships with fine art societies and galleries within the United States and also in Europe. 

Throughout her career, Tyka has been commissioned to paint pieces for several prominent musical societies and events and has also exhibited her work in shows throughout New York, San Francisco and Miami while also expanding her talents to furniture design. Additionally, Tyka's puppet productions, complete with self-designed stage and theater, have been shown in connection with Barnes and Noble, as well as the Greater Miami Opera. Always expanding her own education and expertise, Joanna also studied at the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, California. 

In addition, Tyka spreads her passion for the arts through teaching and has taught art classes in Germany at the Anthroposofic Institute of Rudolf Steiner and the Volks Schools, in Miami and also in Richmond.

To see her art in person here in Lexington, stop by the gallery but to see her full array of themes visit her website: http://tykaart.com.  

 

 

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Artist Spotlight: Bonnie Mason

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Artist Spotlight: Bonnie Mason

A couple of weeks ago we received several paintings from one of the newest artists represented by the gallery, Bonnie Mason. Mason grew up in the beautiful mountains of Virginia where her family encouraged her early interest in painting and drawing. Bonnie's childhood adventures with her parents in the Blue Ridge Mountains included hiking, identifying animals tracks, plants and trees. This early influence is apparent in her plein air paintings, which evoke awe and appreciation of the Virginia landscape. In addition to her mountain landscapes, her portfolio also includes stunning seascapes, still lifes and "critters." 

Bonnie Mason obtained a B.A. Fine Art and now lives in Salem, Virginia. She participates in a plein air group that represents a variety of mediums and styles called The Double Line Painters of the Blue Ridge.

Stop by the gallery to see Bonnie's work, view her artist's page on our website or check out her personal website bmasonart.com.  

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2 Year Anniversary Celebration!!

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2 Year Anniversary Celebration!!

As I've previously mentioned, October marks The Cabell Gallery's 2 year anniversary and the gallery team is so excited to celebrate with everyone on the 7th! Our party will begin at 4:30 shortly before the Arts of Lexington Block Party. We'll be serving cake and one of Cabell's specialty cocktails, of course.   Although there is information about the gallery and the team on our website, I wanted to highlight what is new at the gallery and how it has been evolving over the past two years. 

Cabell Gorman began the gallery to celebrate "beauty, emotion and life through the work of the artists we represent" after recovering from the death of her son, Patrick. Cabell shared her passion for art with Patrick, who was also a gifted artist, and after a year hiatus from painting following her loss she was able to step into the studio and feel connected to his spirit though her own creative expression. Cabell displays her work in the gallery along with other artists that explore the beautiful world around us. While mainly featuring plein air landscape paintings and views of emblematic Lexington buildings, the gallery also offers immaculate sterling silver jewelry by local Lexington artist, Jennifer Letter, amazing glass pieces, pottery and truly unique furniture. Cabell has created an environment in which visitors can browse the gallery or even lounge in our comfy chairs without high pressure or a museum-like silence. The gallery team enjoys simply talking about the art and artists and getting to know the clients in order to create a relaxed experience that is catered to their specific interests. 

Since opening two years ago the gallery has expanded its hours to include Sundays and Mondays and hired a gallery assistant. 

The gallery also welcomed a new curator last fall, Susan Groves. Having beautiful art is important but displaying it in a way that enhances each piece is integral to the sale and client experience. I often hear visitors comment on how great the gallery looks as they browse our collection. I agree! Susan does a wonderful job of displaying the amazing pieces of art in engaging and interesting ways. When I asked about her curating method she said: 

"I try to make it feel comfortable. A place that you'd feel okay just hanging out. You should spend time with art to see what really speaks to you. I rearrange things a lot. Sometimes when you come in you are drawn to one particular piece and everything around it falls away, but then of you come in again and see things in a different arrangement, maybe a piece you hadn't noticed before shines through. Art is that way, it's like they say about love, you'll know it when you feel it. Except art is easier to keep. You can take it with you and have it always. "

The art displayed in the Cabell Gallery is certainly a celebration of life and beauty that reminds all of us to treasure the world around us. We look forward to many more years of providing a space for people to escape to when they just need their "art fix" or when they are looking to fill an empty space in their home! See you Friday! 

"Main Street Twilight" by Amy Donahue 

"Main Street Twilight" by Amy Donahue 

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Featured Artist: Susan Dull

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Featured Artist: Susan Dull

Don't forget that October 7, 2016 from 4:30-7:30 is the Cabell Gallery 2 year Birthday Celebration and also the Arts of Lexington Block Party (starting at 5:30). As mentioned in the previous two blogs, we will have three featured artists for the month of October, two of which will be doing live plein air painting demonstrations during the party. To get you excited for this awesome event, I'm focusing on each of the three artists leading up to it. This week I'm focusing on Richmond artist Susan Dull, who will be live painting along with Curney Nuffer (who was featured in last weeks blog). 

Growing up in a family with a history of artists in Northern and Central Virginia, Susan Dull's love for art was cultivated at a very young age. While in college at Randolph-Macon Women's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, Ms. Dull studied art history and literature and minored in photography. During her junior year of college Susan traveled to England where she studied with two prominent art historians, Linda Nochlin and John Kenworthy-Brown. 

Susan Dull's career in art began with thirty years as a photographer, specializing in dark room developing, which later led to an interest in oil painting. Beginning in 1990, Susan took painting and drawing classes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School and the Visual Arts Center. In 1992 she further developed her painting technique and knowledge of pigments, varnishes and glazes while studying under Emily Dashwood Naper at the Loughcrew School just outside of Dublin, Ireland. Back in the States, Susan continued her education through classes taught by the Director of Conservation at the National Gallery and well known landscape painter, Ross Merrill. 

Currently, Susan Dull primarily practices painting beautiful plein air landscapes and still lifes using oil on canvas. She participates in the Nimrod Hall Summer Arts Program in Bath County, Virginia and also studies in Richmond, Virginia with Curney Nuffer.

To check out more of Susan Dull's art before October 7, please visit www.cabellgallery.com or her personal website www.susandull.com

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Featured Artist: Curney Nuffer

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Featured Artist: Curney Nuffer

As mentioned in yesterday's blog, each week I will be focusing on one of our three featured artists leading up to the Arts of Lexington Block Party on October 7 (5:00-7:30pm). This week the featured artist is Richmond based Curney Nuffer who will be participating in live plein air demonstrations during the party. 

Born in the Shenandoah Valley in 1951, Mr. Nuffer has a special talent for portraiture, still lifes and beautiful plein air landscapes. He began his education at East Tennessee University and then, after returning to Virginia and settling in Richmond, he began classes at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School as well as at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

After graduating, Mr. Nuffer cultivated his talents with several artists whose influences are still visible within his work. Through classes taught by Richmond portrait artist Eloise Atkinson, Curney fostered his talents for portraiture. Even while viewing his portraits on the computer, the viewer gets a strong sense of personality. Each painting tells a story and is endearing, which encourages us to want to know the sitter personally.  

Later, Curney Nuffer developed his stylistic techniques while working with several artists trained in the esteemed Surikov Institute, established in Moscow, Russia in 1851. In addition, Mr. Nuffer, along with the Surikov artists, participated in "Intensive Painting from Life," a landscape painting course taught at the King Erekle International School of the Arts Summer Studies Program in the Republic of Georgia. The influence of Russian Realism from this education is prominent in Curney's plein air landscapes and still life paintings. 

Currently, Mr. Nuffer maintains a studio at The Fulton Hill Studio in Richmond while also teaching art classes. Additionally, Curney is known for his workshops abroad for artists who wish to develop their own plein air and still life talents while surrounded by the culturally rich European atmosphere. 

It will be such an awesome experience to watch such a highly trained plein air painter in his natural "studio" right here on Washington Street in Lexington! If you would like to check out more of Curney Nuffer's art before October 7th, please visit our website www.cabellgallery.com or his personal website www.curneynuffer.com.  

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Arts of Lexington Block Party with Live Plein Air Painting at the Cabell Gallery!

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Arts of Lexington Block Party with Live Plein Air Painting at the Cabell Gallery!

We are really excited for next month's block party on October 7 celebrating the arts of Lexington, Virginia! Located on Washington Street between Main and Jefferson, the block party will highlight the immense artistic culture that can be found in our beloved little town with live music from Greenhouse (thanks to the sponsorship of Southern Inn Restaurant and Dan Vance/Edward Jones), local weavers, potters, metal workers, and live painting. The galleries (The Nelson Gallery, Artists in Cahoots and Cabell Gallery) and merchants (Sunday's Child, Walkabout Outfitters, Wolf and Company Antiques, and Virginia Born and Bread) will all be open, in addition to paintings and sculpture on display outside. Children will also have the opportunity to express their creativity with several activities like clay work and sidewalk art. Local restaurants will be serving up some delicious food and of course, there will be fine wines from Rockbridge vineyards!   

At the Cabell Gallery, three artists will be featured: Richmond artists Curney Nuffer and Susan Dull, as well as, David Elsea, from Charles City. For an extra treat, both Curney and Susan will be doing live plein air paintings during the block party! 

Every Monday leading up to the block party our blog will provide everything you need to know about each artist, so make sure to check back! Tomorrow, September 19, Curney Nuffer will be featured. 

We look forward to seeing everyone on October 7 from 5-7:30! 

 

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Why Art?

In a modern world where our senses are constantly bombarded with sounds and images, why should we value art? As an art historian, I find myself regularly defending abstract paintings that people say, "my child could paint that!" But, "no," I reply, "your child can't do that because he is not experiencing the same conditions in the same context as that artist did!" 

I was told that most museum visitors spend an average of six seconds in front of a painting. For those that can't develop a story or don't know the history behind a piece of art, it is difficult to connect with the artist's idea and why it matters. If for no other reason, art matters because it gives us moments of escape from the daily hustle of our many responsibilities. Whether we connect with a piece in deep understanding or we simply like it as a "pretty picture," art provides us with a different perspective of the world around us. 

At The Cabell Gallery, we primarily sell plein air paintings and it is truly amazing how each artist imbues their work with love and emotion that we, as the viewer, can feel. We have several paintings of Rockbridge county landmarks like Lee Chapel, House and Jump Mountains but each one comes from a different perspective. Each artist has a different connection with their chosen location or subject and that reminds me of my own emotional connection and how it may differ from that of the artist. As a native Lexingtonian, I often take this town and its beautiful surroundings for granted, so for me, taking a moment to analyze these paintings provides me with a new appreciation through someone else's eyes.    

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Congratulations Camp Mont Shenandoah 90 years and still going strong

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Congratulations Camp Mont Shenandoah 90 years and still going strong

Painting by Curney Nuffer available at Cabell Gallery

This summer, Camp Mont Shenandoah celebrates its 90th year.  Recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register, it is the oldest private residential camp in continuous operation in the state.  “Significantly, this turn-of-the-century camp is among the few places that created outdoor experiences solely for young women, and to this day the place has retained its architectural heritage and its picturesque setting,” said Julie Langan, Director of Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources Director.

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It's the End of the World As We Know It, But I Feel Fine...

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It's the End of the World As We Know It, But I Feel Fine...

<Painting : Foggy Day in Virginia by Julia Lesnichy (available at Cabell Gallery)>

The world is going to hell in a hand basket! At least it seems like it if you listen to TV, or Radio, or Social Media. Our bridges are crumbling, our glaciers are melting, no one can get a job, college cost more, aging people have less.  If _________ becomes president I’m moving to Canada! It is all pretty stressful. I guess I could just take a Xanax and keep doing what I’m doing, but I have a better idea. Art.

You know, at one time I thought of art as just something to collect, maybe it reminded me of a certain trip, maybe it was cool and I wanted others to see it, or maybe it even matched my couch. Those are all completely acceptable reasons to have art, by the way. But then I discovered not just collecting art, but spending TIME with art. 

Sometimes here at the Cabell Gallery, we will get a student that wanders in from the W&L Law School and says, “I’m not here to buy anything, is it alright if I just look at the art? I just had an exam and I need to decompress.” I love that. What a great purpose that art gets to serve, not just to bring joy…but to bring peace. 

I like to spend time with art. I like trees. I like rivers. I like fields. There are some wonderful paintings of fields here at Cabell Gallery that I can just get lost in, that I can look at and imagine what the wind sounds like as I’m walking through them. Sometimes people say, “Oh I don’t have any more room in my house for art,” (there is no such thing btw) but I will say, “What about your office?” The office is where you could REALLY use a tree, or a river, or a field to get lost in for a few minutes. Try it. When I find myself immersed in a painting of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I may not know all the answers to the world's problems, but I know this; there is no way I’m moving to Canada.

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