Exhibit features ‘Faraway Places: Travel-inspired Art’

Posted: April 26, 2013

The Winchester Star

Artists participating in the new exhibit of art inspired by travel at the Fire House Gallery in Berryville include (from left) Carl Tribble of Summit Point, W.Va., Patricia Perry of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va., and Constance Fisher of Berryville. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Berryville artist Constance Fisher shows with her painting of “Les Andelys, France,” featured in a new exhibition inspired by travel at the Fire House Gallery in Berryville.
Berryville artists Chet Lewandowski and Bonnie Jacobs discuss Lewandowski's portrait of a child in Thailand while preparing for a new exhibition at the Fire House Gallery in Berryville of art inspired by travel. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)

Berryville — Beautiful moments from around the world are being celebrated in a new exhibit at the Fire House Gallery in Berryville.

Photographs and watercolor, pastel, oil and acrylic paintings from 13 artists are the focus of “Faraway Places: Travel-inspired Art.” The show opens today and runs through May 18 at the gallery at 23 E. Main St., said Kate Petranech, gallery co-director.

A free artist reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today.

The exhibit shows special moments local artists captured while on trips to Thailand, Botswana, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, France, Italy, England and North Carolina, she said.

“I think it is inspiring,” she said. “I am hoping it will prompt people to want to do some traveling.”

Petranech’s inspiration for having the show came from talking to Berryville artist Bonnie Jacobs about the woman’s trip to Panama in early 2012. Jacobs mentioned the art she saw during the journey and how it inspired her, and Petranech saw a potential for a show along those lines.

Jacobs entered a photo on canvas showing a beach scene shot on one of the San Blas Islands off the coast of Panama. It was taken in the early morning, “when the light was just right.”

While she and her husband, Robert, were on a trip to Panama, she wanted to visit the islands, which are the home of the Kuna Yala tribe. The first painting she ever did was inspired by a National Geographic Magazine cover showing a Kuna Yala woman.

The photo captures the absolute beauty of the island, which is at odds with the primitive living conditions there, she said. “When you turn around, you have shacks falling down.”

Another photographer in the show, Chet Lewandowski of Berryville, entered three very different images from locations — Portugal, Thailand and Japan.

The Thailand picture shows a little girl with rings around her neck that was taken in summer 2008, he said. He and a friend took an elephant ride into the jungle to a remote village and came across a tribe where the women elongate their necks by adding rings as they grow older.

“I selected this because I thought it was typical of the part of the country I was in,” he said. “When I travel, I like to take pictures that represent history or culture — something unique to where I am.”

The other photos show a night scene on a street where he was staying in Portugal and a Japanese torii (a kind of gate) in the water at sunset.

Carl Tribble of Summit Point, W.Va., hasn’t been to Japan, but the art and culture interest him. He entered a watercolor of a cargo boat on the water, which is a popular mode of transportation for the coastal country.

“It was based on a historical photo, but it is my interpretation,” he said.

Another water scene, this one in oil, represents a poignant memory for artist Patricia Perry of Shenandoah Junction, W.Va. She painted a man punting (rowing) a couple in a boat on the Avon River in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“It is a beautiful country scene. You would also see this type of boating in England,” she said.

She started the image as a plein air painting while on vacation with her husband, Gavin, who is Australian. About six months after they were there, the city was hit with a massive earthquake in February 2011 that caused widespread destruction. “It is so sad to think of what they went through.”

When talking about a river cruise she took in summer 2010 from Paris to Normandy, Constance Fisher of Berryville can’t help but smile. She entered a watercolor she did of one of the towns they stopped at along the way, St. Andelys.

A bridge near the water, the spires of the buildings in the town, and a limestone cliff in the distance all came together to make a beautiful image she wanted to recreate, she said.

Like the other artists, Fisher was excited about seeing the other artists’ works and even talking about the places they visited. She sees the exhibit sparking plenty of travel discussions.

“It is a way of sharing different places we have all gone with each other and possibly seeing places we want to go,” she said. “We can’t travel every inch of the globe, so it is a nice way live vicariously through other artists.”

Other artists participating in the show are Anita Baarns, Christy Dunkle, Diane Artz Furlong, Chantal Gabard, Marilyn Lister, Julie Read, Jo Russell and Josie Tilton.

Information

“Faraway Places: Travel-inspired Art” is a new exhibit that runs today to May 18 at the Fire House Gallery, 23 E. Main St., Berryville. An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. today. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 540-955-4001 or go to firehousegalleryandshop.com.

— Contact Laura McFarland at lmcfarland@winchesterstar.com