Earlier today I attended the opening reception for the "Secrets" art exhibit at the Franklin Park Center for the Arts in Purcellville, Virginia. These mid-winter shows at the center are probably my favorite, for the variety and quality of work, as well as the added interactive element. This time around, attendees were encouraged to go around and match artists' work with the secrets we submitted, pertaining to the pieces we entered. Each form submitted made participants eligible for free tickets to performances of their choice this Spring. Normally, I see people look at a piece for no more than a minute, at both galleries and museums, and this little contest caused viewers to really look closely and observe the work. One of my favorite pieces was from one of my grad class colleagues (pictured above), Colleen O'Malley Basinger, titled "The Village". This huge piece was originally an older painting she worked on years ago, which she completely reworked and transformed into something totally new and fresh. It was great seeing the process in action each week in class and I'm so glad she decided to go ahead and enter her painting, which is part of an entire series she based on her hometown.
It was really good to see my "The Watcher at Brandon Park" painting up on that wall. I reworked it for at least another hour, adding some crucial final touches after posting about recently.
"Moving Mountains" (above) by Penny Hauffe was another highlight, painted vividly in oils. If you look closely, you'll see it's much more than meets the eye originally.
As always, there was a great variety of excellent work at Franklin Park.
I really liked this tiny piece called "No Wires for Me!" (see above) by Jill Perla, which was both a sculpture and painting. Very cool, charming little piece!
I was also so glad to see three works (above) from my friend and art teacher colleague Brian Kirk at the show. Brian was also in the grad class with me when he made these three, which are part of his Cleopatra series. I affectionately referred to Brian as the mad scientist when I'd see him, back there in his little nook of the room, completely immersed in his amazing creations. These works are merely a fraction of the art he's completed in recent months. When I look at them, I'm reminded of some of the best stencil-based street art being made these days, but with a naturalist twist. Naturalist graffiti perhaps?
There was some fantastic sculpture work as well at the show. I forgot to make note of who made the big three-dimensional piece in the photos, but I know he was one of Brian Kirk's students many years ago. I love big, bold sculptures like this one, which remind me somewhat of Henry Moore.
The drinks and snacks were sampled as well.
Mr. Bob Friedenberg had another wonderful piece in the show (above), and this time I was glad to get to talk to him again some. Good news is he's working on a possible book collaboration with his wife, whose writing he'll illustrate. I'm really looking forward to this project in the meantime!
Love the brilliant Sylvia Plath piece (see above) by Meg Keadle!
One of sculptor Stephanie Roan's incredible animal pieces was in the show once again. I don't think I've seen or talked to her since a year ago at the January 2011 F.P. exhibit, so it was nice getting caught up, and it's always interesting and enlightening to hear what she has to say. I wish I took a better shot of her "Alewife" fish sculpture, but I guess you'll have to go see it in person for yourself, which I highly recommend.
"Nautilus, Queen of the Deep" by Pam Forbes caught my eye immediately with it's bright, gorgeous color scheme. It's another one that has to be seen to be believed.
The piece above was perhaps the most striking and impressive of the show, in my opinion. I need to go back and find out who the artist is and it's title, which is fine, because I want to get another close look at it.
Once again, the folks at Franklin Park and the artists involved did a very fine job with this show. The "Secrets" exhibit is my fourth and favorite out of all the shows I've participated in. "Secrets" will continue to run up through the end of January 2012, so don't hesitate to make a trip out to the center, which is a real treasure in Western Loudoun County.