The art scene in Fredericksburg was brimming with life Friday night as visitors and artists filled the downtown galleries. Some had student shows, while others focused on the theme of Valentine’s Day, from the colors to the feelings of the holiday.
LibertyTown hosted its 7th annual Young Fredericksburg Juried Art Show, curated by local artist Bill Harris. The show is designed for those just entering into the world of showing art in a gallery setting. Focused on artists ages 16 through 30, the gallery guides them through the process of submitting a piece of art to a professional gallery, from the framing to how to price each piece.
This year’s show has more 70 pieces and more than 50 participants. Timmy Cook, a local artist and student at the University of Mary Washington, is showing his silk screen T-shirts through February at the gallery.
“A T-shirt is better than an image on a wall because you can wear it and express it,” he said. “If someone likes my work, they get a chance to show others.”
Influenced by the music of Dr. Dre, Cook looks to his work to create exposure, always finding different ways to express his thoughts in an out-of-the-box way.
“I’m kind of the exact opposite of rules, structure and conservatism,” he said. “I want to find the color in life, and all the hidden gems in Fredericksburg.”
The show at LibertyTown also features paintings and other creations from local new artists and will run all month.
In the upstairs gallery at the Virginia Wine Experience, Sandy Skipper’s photography adorns the walls. Primarily a nature photographer, Skipper’s show features water images without any digital effects. Her work shows the beauty and color of the water and light straight from the camera.
“I’ve always been drawn to water,” she said. "Not sure if it’s a coincidence that my last name is Skipper.”
Her most-recent work is from Annapolis, a town centered on water. The show combines water photography from 2009 through 2011. Skipper has shown in a variety of places all over Fredericksburg, and her next show will be at the England Run Library in Stafford County in April.
Art First Gallery is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a silent auction to benefit local high school art programs. Several of the original members are still part of the gallery, regularly contributing original work. Still active members from 1992 include: Ruth Ann Loving, Jane Woodworth, Johnny Johnson, Elizabeth Butler, Cathy Herndon, Dee McClesky, Jane Snead, Linda Warshaw and Paula Rose.
The silent auction will last until Feb. 26, giving visitors plenty of time to bid on the original 12-inch by 12-inch work. An Anniversary Celebration party will be held on Feb. 26 from 2 to 5 p.m., where winners of the auction will be revealed.
Brush Strokes Gallery created a show this month entitled “What Moves My Heart,” where artists can showcase work that is most dear and special to them. Photographer Fritzi Newton has three featured pieces this month.
Her work “Still Alive,” a picture of old trucks, is one that is particularly interesting.
“There’s always something exciting about the colors,” she said. “In this picture everything came together with the afternoon light, it was the perfect storm for a photographer.”
The photograph was taken in rural Virginia, and was just an image that Newton decided to stop and capture with her camera.
“When you see the perfect subject and everything comes together perfectly—that moves my heart,” she said.
The Ponshop Gallery hosted its annual student show, featuring work from all of its classes. The exhibit includes work from Mixed Media and Ceramics, Intro to Street Art, Skate to Create, Adult Drawing, Through an Architect’s Eyes and other private sessions. From the creative bottoms and skateboards to kid creations of ceramic fish, this exhibit is definitely one to check out this February.
Sammy T’s is also hosting an exhibit for artist N.D. Jones. His show is entitled “Subversive Attacks of Domestication,” and features work from a three-year span.
“I’m a painter in search of a style,” Jones said. “Like Degas said: ‘I’m glad to say I haven’t found my style yet, I’d be bored to death.'”
His paintings come from his creations after his normal "9 to 5" job, and as a local he’s excited to show his work here in Fredericksburg.
“I am hoping people will come enjoy some thought-provoking pieces, while not getting too wrapped up in justification and explanation,” he said.
All of these shows run in February, so be sure to visit each place to see what the art community has to offer.