New exhibition for local group at Suffolk Art Gallery – The Suffolk News-Herald
Carol Whitaker loves the camaraderie that comes with being a part of the Elizabeth River Artists and how it has influenced their work.
Now the creations of the 21 members of the judged Art Membership Group will be on view until January 21st as part of a new winter exhibition in the Suffolk Art Gallery. There was a chance, she said, that people could see what she described as the group’s standout art.
“A lot of the things I haven’t seen come as a surprise,” said Whitaker as he attended the opening ceremony on December 9th. “They say, ‘Wow, that’s just great. To be honest, I find that first-class art. “
The group meets on Tuesdays in the art gallery to paint and socialize, they also hold lectures and workshops, and give out grants to aspiring artists. Your exhibition includes up to four works by each member, representing a variety of media and themes.
“We respect each other’s art so much,” said Whitaker, “and we value what each does and we can express that to one another.”
Karen Sallaz, the group’s outgoing president, said that while members have exhibited separately in different shows, this is the first time all of their members have been shown in one exhibition.
None of the artwork in this exhibition, held at the invitation of the Suffolk Art Gallery, has not been seen anywhere else, and many of them watched them be painted, covering everything from landscapes, portraiture, animals, abstracts and more. Three of the four works that Sallaz shows in the exhibition are spatula work.
“With the opportunity to come together as a group, especially with resources as limited as last year, it is so rewarding,” said Sallaz. “Our friends and family are here with us and the artists, and I’m really happy that we were able to do that and that we were invited.”
Much of the works on display were grouped thematically, thanks to Angela Reavis, the city’s cultural coordinator who designed the exhibition.
“Sometimes you can put it (with) all the artists together,” said Reavis, “I’ve done more themes per wall.”
The exhibition has an animal area, an area with more traditional still lifes with flowers and birds, seascapes, more traditional landscapes broken down by seasons, and then an area with great landscapes.
Reavis received the art for the exhibition on December 6th and hung it on the walls two days later, then spent the exhibition opening day creating the labels for each work.
Sallaz said she appreciates the care with which the artists’ works are presented to the group and it gives the public the opportunity to view works of art of professional caliber with reasonable care and respect.
“We just want people to come and see it,” Sallaz said. “Very often there are people who may not have a chance to see original works of art, and that is very important. If you can’t get to the big museums, if you can’t get to the Chrysler (Museum of Art), this type of exhibition can help you see original artwork hanging on the wall. And that’s special. It’s different than just a print. “
Want to go?
The Elizabeth River Artists Winter Exhibition at the Suffolk Art Gallery runs through January 21st. The gallery on Bosley Ave. 118 in downtown Suffolk is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. All exhibits are free and open to the public. For more information call or visit Suffolk Art Gallery at 757-514-7284, Suffolk Parks and Recreation at 757-514-7250 www.suffolkva.us/suffolkartgallery. For more information on the Elizabeth River Artists, people can visit the art gallery on Tuesdays from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm to speak with current members.