‘Art From the Good Earth’

Posted: March 20, 2014

The Winchester Star

Artists exhibiting their work at the Fire House Gallery’s “Art from the Good Earth” show include (from left) Nancy Geeting, a fused glass artist from Berryville; Jody Mussoff, a ceramics artist from Front Royal; Jeanne Krohn, the exhibit designer from Front Royal, and Mark Zimmerman, a wood turner from Frederick County. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Fused glass artist Nancy Geeting of Berryville will be among the exhibitors at the Fire House Gallery's “Art from the Good Earth.”
Wood turner Mark Zimmerman of Frederick County will be among the exhibitors at the Fire House Gallery's “Art from the Good Earth” show, opening Friday. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

Berryville — The Fire House Gallery is celebrating the earth as a bountiful supplier of art with a new exhibit opening this weekend.

“Art From the Good Earth” will feature the artwork of nine regional artists who create in wood, clay or glass, said Jeanne Krohn of Clarke County, exhibit coordinator. The show opens Friday and runs through April 12 at the gallery, 23 E. Main St., Berryville.

An artists’ reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the gallery. Both are free and open to the public.

“In all of human history, people have turned to the earth to make vessels,” said Krohn, owner of Krohn Design. “Over time, alongside the utilitarian uses, people have added their own artistic expression.”

The new exhibit celebrates artwork that is both utilitarian and aesthetically appealing, she said. In choosing the art from the participating artists, she wanted to show the range of works and techniques possible in the three mediums.

“We want to compare the qualities of each. We want you to look at a wood bowl, a clay bowl, and a glass bowl and compare and contrast their qualities,” she said.

Almost all of the artwork will be for sale.

Nancy Geeting of Berryville is one of four glass artists featured in the show. She works with fused glass making platters, trays, plates and other dishes.

The dishes tend to have geometric designs on them that reflect Geeting’s love of math and clean lines. She is a math teacher at Wakefield School in The Plains who started making fused glass three years ago.

“One of the things I love about fused glass is when you put the piece in the kiln, what comes out is not what you put in. It is always an adventure,” she said. “What comes out is so much more vibrant and alive.”

One of three potters in the show, Jody Mussoff of Front Royal took up the art form as a way to challenge herself as an artist. She has been drawing for about 30 years, and 15 years ago decided to do something different by using under glazes to put her whimsical drawings on pottery.

She has a cup with a drawing of a duck, a lidded jar with a canine theme, and a woman on a plate surrounded by shoes. “I like that this brings the drawings out in a three-dimensional way.”

Mark Zimmerman of Frederick County is one of two woodworkers in the show. He started out making furniture for 20 years before he began wood turning and now makes bowls, platters, and other items.

Zimmerman said he looks forward to taking a chunk of green wood and starting to create something never quite knowing how it will turn out.

“I love the discovery part of mounting a piece of wood on my lathe and turning it so I can expose the grain in the most attractive way,” he said.

One of the big attractions of woodworking is that it can be a lifelong hobby in terms of learning and trying new things, he said. “What you can do on a lathe is endless and fueled by your imagination.”

When Zimmerman was asked to participate in “Art From the Good Earth,” he said he jumped at the opportunity to showcase his work and to be involved in what the show was trying to demonstrate about art. “All these things come from the earth. They were originally used totally in a utilitarian way and evolved into art.”

The other participants in the show are Joe Lucero in wood, Kary Haun and Steven Wilson in clay, and Trish Alizade, Charmaine Jackson, and Heather Mansfield in glass.

The show was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

Information

The Fire House Gallery and Shop’s new exhibit, “Art From the Good Earth,” will be on display from Friday to April 12 at the gallery, 23 E. Main St., Berryville. An artists’ reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. It is free and open to the public. For more information, call 540-955-4001 or go to firehousegalleryandshop.org.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com