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Urbanna Harbour Gallery creates Oyster Festival poster

The 2011 Oyster Festival poster

Urbanna Harbor Gallery and Art Services is still fresh out of the box, but stitching itself into the community’s tapestry as rapidly and deeply as time and personnel will allow.

Among their most recent efforts, business owners Cloyde W. Wiley III and his wife, Barbara Hartley, have scored the winning entry for the 2011 Oyster Festival poster contest.

Thrilled to have been selected, Hartley explained the efforts involved in readying the winning image. “We waited almost too long to get our entry in,” she said. Just prior to Hurricane Irene, Wiley had created a photography set-up in the back of the shop. He had a fairly clear idea of what he wanted to do, involving a collection of antique oyster harvesting items.

“All he needed was a half-bushel of live oysters to include in the shot,” Hartley said. “But when he returned to the shop after the storm, he discovered he couldn’t purchase oysters anywhere because of silt churned up by the storm.”

Wiley thought about oysters from the float at their dock in Perkins Creek, but they were too small and, thanks to the hurricane, the dock was largely destroyed and completely inaccessible.

Fortunately, he was able to call on his friend, Larry Chowning, and borrow oysters from his float. After he shot several versions, he downloaded them to the computer. Hartley then selected two of the photographs to which she applied her design expertise, augmenting them with additional graphics and finessing two different poster versions for submission to the committee.

Wiley and Hartley’s winning poster will be available for purchase for $15 at the 54th annual Urbanna Oyster Festival on November 4-5. Posters also can be purchased now at the Urbanna Oyster Festival Office at 45 Cross Street (upstairs over town office, blue door), or call Pam Simon at 804-758-0368.

Urbanna Harbor Gallery and Art Services is a new business at 202 Virginia Street, in Urbanna. 

Wiley, or “Will” as he was known in his youth, taught advanced photography and other art classes at Central Virginia Community College for 35 years.

Hartley admits to a more checkered past. Before her three children were born, she was a music teacher. After a semi-hiatus of several years she returned to school and earned an additional degree in communication arts, leading to an extensive career in advertising design and copywriting, commercial printing, and publications.

Hartley and Wiley are both award-winning artists, in both fine art and commercial art. “What could be more rewarding than to form a successful creative partnership with the one you love?” asked Hartley.

posted 10.06.2011

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