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New exhibit opens Friday at Urbanna Harbor Gallery

Exhibiting artists Kostas (Gus) Paphides and Patti McHale Bartol

Urbanna Harbor Gallery is excited to present a new exhibit by artists Kostas (Gus) Paphides of Montross and Patti McHale Bartol of Mechanicsville. The exhibit opens Friday, August 16, and will continue through mid-October.

With a mother and grandmother who were both painters, it is natural that Patti Bartol has pursued her art from her earliest memories vacationing with her family on the Northern Neck. Holding a BA in fine art from St. Mary’s College in Maryland, Bartol continues to hone her art by studying the masters, both old and contemporary, with ongoing involvement in classes and workshops. She prefers to paint the quiet, hidden spots along the shorelines, marshes and mountains, exploring the nuances of light, color, and shadow. People will recognize some of her images from here in Urbanna.

Some paintings were done in her Mechanicsville studio, while others are plein air works. Although this exhibit is primarily in watercolor, Bartol has taught drawing, pastels and oils, as well as watercolors. Her work is featured in several galleries, corporate, and private collections, and she belongs to several art groups including the Metropolitan Richmond Artist Association, Virginia Plein Air Painters, and Virginia Watercolor Society.

Coming from a completely different background, Kostas (Gus) Paphides is a self-styled artist. Born in England during World War I to a London seamstress and a Greek Cypriot restauranteur, he came to this country in 1946, ending up in Arlington in the early 1960s. He began his art career as a hobby after he retired and moved with his wife to Montross, creating original gift items for friends.

A simple declaration of Paphides’ exhibit might initially sound mundane. It includes birdhouse art and various carved fish, but there is nothing ordinary about any of it. Colors, texture, details and the fact that they are created largely from “found” articles makes this exhibit particularly fanciful. He has utilized the naturally-raised grain in boards he’s plucked from the Potomac River bank at his home in Montross. He has formed copper-roofed bird condos from 130-year-old wood planks from pig troughs. Driftwood, root bundles, antique doorknobs, corbels, and other old architectural or furniture parts have all been incorporated into his work. He also makes beautiful furniture from his finds. Hopefully, some of those pieces will later find their way into this Gallery’s exhibit.

Urbanna Harbor Gallery & Art Services is at 202 Virginia Street and is comprised of two galleries. Gallery I features a changing array of established and emerging visual artists. It also offers custom framing, photographic, advertising, and commercial art services. The adjoining Gallery II provides an overflow of representative art as well as being an Antique Mall housing several antique dealers with a broad variety of quality antiques and treasured collectibles.

posted 08.14.2013

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