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Wood art and masks to highlight Middlesex Art Guild show

Woodturnings by Barbara Gill.
Masks by Sally Shaffer.
It’s a rare privilege for the citizens of the Middle Peninsula to have free access to a great show for two weeks. The Middlesex Art Guild Gallery at 217 Virginia Street in Urbanna will feature two artists for the month of October who bring a cast of unforgettable characters as art. This show offers all the best of great theatre—drama, laughter, fantastic color and, best of all, something to think about. 

Barbara Gill of Urbanna will exhibit her skillfully handcrafted wood plates, vases, bowls, and forms she titles “Wood—Turned for Use and Decoration.” These woodturnings are created from walnut, hackberry, holly, cottonwood, yew, popular, etc.

Gill has received little formal education in this art form but her personal love for the beauty of cut wood guides her in seeking training through books, the internet, and sharing knowledge with accomplished turners.

Once a log is open the character of the grain speaks to Gill and, as she listens, her skillful hands enrich its natural beauty with the use of special woodturning tools. The finished items may be formal and classic in design or intuitive and free form. Either way each presents its own organic and sensual character to entertain and please the viewer.

Gill is a member of the American Association of Woodturners and the Artisans Center of Virginia.

Sally Shaffer of Lynchburg brings to the October MAG gallery her assembly of phantasmagoric mask that she titles “Magnificent Masques.” Just what is a mask? Something to hide behind? Or just possibly a subconscious yet public display of one’s inner self? 

Shaffer shows viewers what a mask can be through the use of paper, wire, plastic bottles, egg crates, beads, jewelry, pine cones and many other objects. Her use of these items is both economical and environmentally sound and has brought her an award from the Sierra Club for the “Best Use of Trash.”

Every finished mask is covered with luminous paints and a glossy protective polymer finish. Each one has its own identity and speaks on a whimsical but individually spiritual level.

Shaffer has exhibited at the Lynchburg Fine Arts Center and the Lynchburg Art Club.

The public is invited to a reception on Saturday, October 11, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Middlesex Art Guild Gallery in Urbanna. The reception is generously sponsored by Dave and Linda Cryer and Something Different Country Store. This event is free and open to the public. 

Weekly gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1 to 3 p.m. Sundays. 

The Middlesex Art Guild is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community arts organization and a Community Partner with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Contributions may be tax-deductible. For more information about the Middlesex Art Guild and how to support its programs and events, please call 758-9080.

posted 10.08.2008

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