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Caton Merchant Family Gallery

Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, on 25 June 2018, by , 0 Comments

Washington’s Shadow: Images in Limbo
Featuring Lynn McIntosh

July 17 – August 31

Lynn McIntosh, Korean War Soldier with Wall in Background, Digital photography, 16x24; (Sculptor of statues: Frank Gaylord, The Mural was created by Louis Nelson)

Lynn McIntosh is a native of Bluefield, Virginia, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. In Washington’s Shadow, Lynn has placed each image in limbo; which is like a “spotlight” to remove the distraction of a surrounding background – and, perhaps, to encourage a quiet and thoughtful emotional response. Although limbo photography is not a new technique, Lynn’s historical application suggests a dimension beyond the obvious, by surrounding the subject as if it is floating in infinite blackness. His collection contains familiar images of patriots and cataclysmic pitfalls that tested the mettle of the heroes who served after, and long after, our first president. In addition to provoking thought, the collection portrays a chronological historical narrative as each image relates to the picture that precedes or follows it. Experience the narrative for yourself & meet the photographer at the opening reception, July 21, 6-8 pm.

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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 14 May 2018, by , 1 Comments

Visual Expressions
A Timeless Perspective

On exhibit: June 13 – July 13

Visual Expressions is an “over 55” community art group that originated in Prince William County, Virginia. It was established in 2014 to promote creative endeavors to stimulate the mind, reduce the effects of stress-related diseases, and slow cognitive decline. The art group consists of graphic artists, art educators, and self-taught hobbyists. Soothing landscapes, realistic animal portraits, and vibrant abstract compositions make up their eclectic oeuvre and reflect a lifetime of learning, traveling, and exploring new techniques and mediums. Meet the artists at the opening reception, June 23, 6-8 pm.
Greater Manassas/Prince William County sponsors theatrical productions for children and adults, teaches arts classes, promotes visual arts and provides community outreach programs for local youth. Founded in 1984 by a group of artists and art lovers, the Center aims to enrich the quality of life in the Northern Virginia suburbs through arts performance and education. A theater, an art gallery and classrooms are located in the historic Candy Factory building in Old Town Manassas, at 9419 Battle Street.



Colleen Ganey, Crazy Flowers, Acrylic, 5x7, $25

Paralyzed from the neck down, Colleen paints with a mouth stick to create her artwork. Self-taught, her work is inspired by the time she spent during her childhood in the mountains of Virginia. Colleen’s work has been purchased by the Kennedy Center for Very Special Arts and Evan Kemp Associates, who were instrumental in passing the American with Disabilities Act.

Diana Mihaltse, Maine Coast, Oil, 30 x 24, $800.00

Diana is a certified art teacher with a Master’s degree in Fine Art Education.  She has taken courses at the Landis Valley Pennsylvania Cultural and Rural Life Institute and the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City. In addition to her oil paintings, Diana creates whimsies and folk art using new tin-plated sheet metal and old, rusted barn roof tin as a medium. Her craft work has been featured in several national magazines and displayed at shops in Williamsburg, VA, Houston, TX , the Museum of Folk Art in New York City and other specialty and craft shops across the United States.

Joan Wysong, From the Maine Train, Acrylic, 20 x 24,  $300.00

Joan became interested in art later in her life, as her children were growing up.  She began to take many art courses, and ended up in fine art at Ventura College in California.  Joan experiences painting as a meditation, an in-depth searching for soul. Abstract art, therefore, is her direction. “It frees me from the boundaries of realism, and besides - it’s fun!”  Joan often uses heavy texture in her painting to add another dimension to her work.

Joanne Gelfand, Natural Bridge. Pastels. 16.5 x 19, NFS

Joanne is a Washingtonian who graduated from the University of Maryland and taught art to elementary students in several DC schools. Later she created arrangements at her flower shop in Bethesda.  After relocating to VA in 1984 she began working as an administrative assistant.  Currently happily retired and, as always, enjoying "Art as an Experience.”

Liane Reiher Nash, Washington Monument, Acrylic, 18 x 15, $150.00

Liane was born and raised in Germany and, although self-taught, was inspired by her father who painted with oil and watercolor. Unfortunately, his life was ended in the war when she was just 7 years of age. After moving to this community, Liane picked up painting more seriously and moved from painting small subjects onto dried tree mushrooms to slightly larger ones on canvas. In past years, she has also made many dried flower pictures and creatures from natural stones and seashells.

Lynne Aleknavage, Florette, Oil, 22 x 28, $299.00

A self-taught artist is a member of the Prince William Art Society and the Visual Expressions Group of Four Seasons Community. Lynne's art has been exhibited at the Hylton Center for the Arts in Manassas and at the Four Seasons Community Clubhouse. 

Marlene Rideout, Tropical Trio, Watercolor, 17 x 20, NFS

Marlene has enjoyed Watercolor painting in the NC “Triangle” for a number of years. She participated with the Sertoma Park Artists and studied under Lelia Brigham at Vance-Henderson Community College. Her art was recognized at the NC State Fair art exhibits show where she won Honorable Mention for her “Peaches” painting. Classes have also been taken at an annual Artarama in Raleigh with instructors including Rocky Alexander, Tom Lynch, and Jeanne Carbonetti.

Mona Phillips, Mom’s Kitchen, Watercolor, 12 x 10, NFS

Mona has always been interested and active in the arts, particularly oil painting. She has also enjoyed working with stained glass. She began painting as an adult when she did an oil painting of an old barn that had served as the first church building for Whitehall Baptist Church in Accokeek, MD, where she attended at the time. That painting is still hanging in the current church building.

Pamela Newberry, Cat, Acrylic, 13 x 17, NFS

Pam, a long time crafter, recently decided it was time to move on to learning to paint. She has begun to paint in oil, acrylic and watercolor and find that it brings joy and calmness to her soul.

Sandra McClelland Lewin, Forest Cathedral, Acrylic, 24 x 12 $600.00

Sandra is primarily a representational artist, but occasionally dabbles in acrylic abstracts.  She received a BA in Advertising Design and spent her career doing computer graphics for the Central Intelligence Agency.  Upon retirement she gravitated to the fine arts, working primarily in watercolor, acrylics, and colored pencil.  She is a member of the Arches Gallery at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton and the Prince William Arts Society.

Sheri Herrick, Night Vision, Acrylic, 16 x 13, $125.00

Sheri has an art degree from JMU, and worked in Display Art, as well as Liturgical Art. Primarily an acrylic painter, she likes to explore special effects in her work. Other interests include jewelry making from found objects, such as rocks, shells and seaglass.


  • Sheri Herrick

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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, on 25 April 2018, by , 0 Comments

The Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County is pleased to present our newest exhibition: The Dalton Gang featuring 6 seasoned photographers from the DMV region! 

The Dalton Gang
On exhibit: May 2 – June 8

The Dalton Gang consists of photographers Bruce Fagin, Edward Savwoir, Michael Smith, Sandy Adams, Bonita F. Bing, and George Dalton Tolbert IV. Drawing inspiration from an infamous gang of outlaws in the Wild West (& George’s middle name), Michael Smith coined the group of artists The Dalton Gang. A few of the photographers met at Howard University in the 60s, while the others became acquainted after joining the Exposure Group, an African-American Photographers Association in Washington DC. Each artist has chosen 10 pieces from their personal collection to represent the gamut of their photographic career, emphasizing their individual styles and preferences.
Meet the Dalton Gang at the opening reception, May 4, 6-8 pm.

La Garita, Bonita F. Bing, Digital photography

About the Artists

Bonita F. Bing
Bonita F. Bing, a native Washingtonian, has been photographing for the past 30 years. She became interested in photography in high school after her father gave her a 35 mm Retina IIIC camera. She received a B. A. Degree in Speech Communications in 1981 from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While attending the University of Pittsburgh she was a photographer for the yearbook. She has worked as a Network Operations Specialist for thirty (30) years for the U.S. Senate Sergeant At Arms and currently worked for thirty-three (33) years with the federal government. She has been the President of The Exposure Group African American Photographers Association, a professional photography association, for the last 16 years and a dedicated member for 21 years.

Bruce Fagin
Bruce Fagin, born in Washingtonian D.C. and educated in its public schools, began using a camera as part of his art education at Howard University. For the next twenty years he incorporated that art education and photography into his occupation as a graphic designer. Bruce emphasizes dramatic light in all of his photographs and saturated color when not shooting black and white. This reflects his perception on life, bright moments of illumination and mysterious occurrences of reaching out into the unfamiliar.

Edward Savwoir
Edward is a Washington, D.C. based photographer with over 20 years of experience. Although self-taught, he acknowledges the influence of James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks and Charles “Teenie” Harris. To him each image defines a moment in time. What differentiates his approach to photography is his documentary style, the deliberative process. 

George Dalton Tolbert IV
George D. Tolbert IV served as the first African-American Official Photographer for the United States Senate. His images have been featured in hundreds of magazines, such as Time, Jet, and Ebony. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Exposure Group.

Michael Smith
Michael started his artist journey with a certificate in Advertising Art. Later, after serving in the military and joining the DC Fire Department, he became interested in
photography. Later after studying forensic photography at the University of Maryland, photography became another tool in his fire and arson investigations. When Michael retired from the Fire Service, he went professional with his photography. Weddings, portraits and events were the main focus. But his love of travel and the environment was his personal passion. His background in art, digital photography and now Photoshop became perfect for his future. Michael now considers himself a Photo-Artist. When he takes an image with his camera, it is the beginning of what his mind sees it to be. That can be anything from normal processing to it becoming a painting on canvas using acrylic paints.

Sandy Adams
Sandy Adams is a native Washingtonian and attended Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in
Photojournalism before pursuing a career in law enforcement. After many years of practicing photography “on the side”, she recently decided to pursue her passion for
photography full-time. Sandy owns and operates Outdoorvizions Photography where the primary focus is man-made, man-made with nature, and nature as decorative art photography. Basically, anything outdoors is fair game. Secondary is event photography with clients including Washington DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.; Asbury United Methodist Church, Washington, DC; The District of Columbia Office of Inspector General and private parties.


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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 22 February 2018, by , 1 Comments

Circalyans: Warriors of the Untime
R. Jones
(On exhibit: March 6 – April 25, 2018)

Meet the Artist & the warriors: 
April 7, 6-8 pm during our catered reception!
Heavy hors d'oeuvres and wine will be served 
- free and open to the public.

Fascinated by the indomitable spirit defining warriors of times past, present and imagined future, she has created an amalgamated league of conquerors, the Circalyan Warriors of the Untime, that transcend all time periods. The rustic, near life-sized portrait panels evoke the sheer might and domination of the eclectically adorned and armed combatants. Donnamaria R. Jones, a military veteran, is a portrait photographer based in the Washington Metropolitan area, and owns Circa Life Images photography studio in Waldorf, MD. 

The creative process behind the Circalyan Warriors was practically a full-on production featuring a makeup artist, studio set, custom costumes, and of course, models - most, if not all, tattooed by Scotte "Bricks" Turner of Bricks Tattoo.
All Special effects/Makeup by Jennifer Gingerbread Johnson and Erika Maverick Brereton. 

But, of course, before the photo shoot, there was the original conception:

Although Donnamaria was partially influenced by her martial arts background and her military career, she also acknowledges that the exhibit has some metaphorical significance as well. Donnamaria believes that each one of us deals with inner battles daily, even if not physically visible to those on the outside. The Circalyans could be considered the visual representations of these inner battles that we all experience. The scars, some authentic and some created, are considered the "spoils of victory", and are often something we hide, rather than expose or celebrate.

*All purchased art will be mounted to preserve the integrity of the print.

 *For more information about the artist please visit: https://www.circalifeimages.com/index

Greater Manassas/Prince William County sponsors theatrical productions for children and adults, teaches arts classes, promotes visual arts and provides community outreach programs for local youth. Founded in 1984 by a group of artists and art lovers, the Center aims to enrich the quality of life in the Northern Virginia suburbs through arts performance and education. A theater, an art gallery and classrooms are located in the historic Candy Factory building in Old Town Manassas, at 9419 Battle Street.

Storm II
Donnamaria R. Jones
Digital photograph on canvas


Guardian II
Donnamaria R. Jones
Digital photography on canvas


Donnamaria R. Jones
Digital photograph on canvas


Donnamaria R. Jones
Digital photograph on canvas



  • Equalizer


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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 17 January 2018, by , 2 Comments

Ayeye: A Retrospective of Black History Month
(On exhibit: January 30 – March 2, 2018)

To commemorate Black History Month, the Center for the Arts has scheduled an exhibit exploring art works by local and regional African-American artists. This eclectic and collaborative exhibition includes photography, painting, and mixed media with subject matter ranging from studies of African culture and history to nature and travel photography. The term ayeye means “celebration” or “ceremony” in Yoruba. Ceremonies are considered a core value in Yoruba culture and involve the participation of not only family, but community.  Join us in celebrating culture, history, and community at the Opening Reception, Saturday, February 3, 6-8 PM, hosted by the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The reception will include refreshments, live music, and door prizes (free & open to the public).

**Full Price List, Ayeye**

Exhibiting Artists:

Naomi Hanna

Naomi Hanna
Maasai girl and her guide
Acrylic and cowrie shell

Naomi Hanna has been painting for 12 years and is a mostly self taught Visual Artist based in Baltimore. Her paintings reflect her experience within the African Diaspora using water colors, acrylics, oils, multimedia, and more. Hanna spent one year at Delaware College of Art and Design in 2012. Recently, Hanna participated in multiple cultural events such as Artscape 2016 where she painted a temporary mural. In 2015, Hanna visited Salvador, Bahia, Brasil for Capoeira Angola Martial Arts and cultural exposure. In July 2016, her first Baltimore City Art Show "Dreams of the Motherland" was a success and paid for her ticket to Accra, Ghana. Her following art show Pilgrimage to the Motherland was a success and funded her spiritual temple. Hanna currently works as a full time artist in Baltimore City while attending school.

Ashley Joi Summers

Ashley Joi Summers
A Mother's Love - Daughter
Acrylic Paint, Paper Collage
$600 (two pieces)

Ashley Joi is an up and coming Visual Artist, residing in the Falls Church/Washington DC area. She attended Hampton University, where she studied Fine Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design.

Jimmy Clark

Jimmy Clark

Jimmy S. Clark, Jr. is a self-taught, emerging artist originally from Louisiana, currently living in Northern Virginia. Jimmy has been fascinated with drawing and painting since childhood. He specializes in landscapes and abstract painting using acrylic as his medium.

Joliza Terry

Joliza Terry
Double Self-Portrait
Mixed media; linoleum flooring
2' x 5'

Joliza Terry attained a Masters of Fine Arts from James Madison University in 2016 and  teaches Digital Photography Printmaking Graphic Design at Virginia Union University located in Richmond, VA. Her works in Ayeye are part of a series entitled Home Starts From Within which is about the perspective of a middle-class African American family.

Karl Rudd

Karl Rudd
Little Lives Matter
Digital photography

Karl Rudd was born and raised in North Carolina. His love of photography began in the 1970’s while a student at N.C. Central University where he photographed sporting events, and subjects
including Muhammad Ali, Alex Haley, and Louis Farrakhan. He now resides in Upper Marlboro, Maryland where he operates his photography business, and is currently working on a pictorial
collection called “Stones of Hope”.

Katina Douglas

Katina Douglas
Digital photography
$150 *portion of the proceeds will go to the homeless*

Katina Douglas studied at the Academy of Art University where she began her career as a self-taught portrait photographer. Inspired by the crippling effects of homelessness, namely how their existence is seemingly disregarded and almost invisible, she has dedicated a large portion of her work and time to humanizing those gravely affected by homelessness.

Cleve Bryant

Cleveland Bryant Jr.
Nubian Father & Son
Digital photography

Cleveland started his photography career doing individual & family portraits in the late 70’s in Rochester, NY. In his day job Cleve was an English teacher. At the same time he has been a freelance photographer for most of his adult life. He has done his share of commercial work over the decades, adapting from film and darkrooms to digital images and Lightroom. 

Ed Savwoir

Edward Savwoir
Ghana, Fishing Village
Digital photography

Edward is a Washington, D.C. based photographer with over 20 years of experience. Although self-taught, he acknowledges the influence of James Van Der Zee, Gordon Parks and Charles“Teenie” Harris. To him each image defines a moment in time. What differentiates his approach to photography is his documentary style, the deliberative process. 

George D. Tolbert IV

George D. Tolbert IV
Cheryl Edwards, Artist
Digital photography

George D. Tolbert IV served as the first African-American Official Photographer for the United States Senate. His images have been featured in hundreds of magazines, such as Time, Jet, and Ebony. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Exposure Group, an African American Photographers Association based in D.C.

Ambessa Jir Berhe

Ambessa Jir Berhe
Morning at Red Sea (Massawa, Eritrea)
Digital photography

Native of Eritrea, Ambessa Jir Berhe is filmmaker, photographer and Assistant Professor of Media, Journalism, and Film at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where he graduated with MFA degree in film production and now teaches graduate and undergraduate film production courses. He has been photographing experiment images for cinematography aesthetic enhancement for a long time while working and completing on numerous film projects. For the last five years he has been photographing professionally, working on several long-term photo projects. Currently he exhibiting some of his works from the photo project called "a glimpse images of my homeland Eritrea".


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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 9 January 2018, by , 0 Comments

Congratulations to all of the winners of the Off the Wall Annual High School Art Competition!

Thank you to Lockheed Martin for generously sponsoring the exhibition. Following the closing of the exhibit at the Center for the Arts, the student art work will be traveling to Lockheed Martin (Manassas) for the month of February. A separate reception will be held for the students, teachers, and family members.

The judges had their work cut out for them this year - with 40 pieces of art on display containing a variety of media and subject matter, it was a close call. 

Visual Arts Category:

1st Place: Saranne Mendez, Chromatic Portraiture: CrayoLian (2,226 crayons), Woodbridge Senior

2nd Place: Asha Martin, #Black Lives Matter, Colgan

3rd Place: Tam Vu, Sink Fish, Battlefield

Honorable Mention:
Corban Hubler, Creative Brush Studio
Evan Hackler, Battlefield
Imi Cabacungan, Battlefield
Olivia Woolfrey, Brentsville District
Hannah Phillips, Battlefield
Sandra Iveth Rivas Hernandez, Osbourn

2018 marks our 2nd year of incorporating the category of Art & Technology (inspired by our sponsor, Lockheed Martin). The Art & Technology category consists of 3d printed objects/materials. 

1st Place Art & Technology 2018:

RJ Weaver
Partially Exposed (double ring)(jewelry)
Manassas Park High School
Artist Description: This set of jewelry has a central theme of exposed hexagonal patterns that, from its open pattern, suggests a weak connection, but actually provides a strong bond to each side of the piece. The hexagonal patterns have a volume that is 72% less than a solid piece of metal, but have a surface area that is 25% greater. This provides the pieces with a structure that is strong and material efficient, while also revealing what or whom is behind the jewelry. The see-through pattern is contrasted by the solid band of metal that borders the hexagons, providing a solid wall of material that hides what is behind it.

Poetry Category:
1st place: Sa’Raye Wynder-Burs, "Inspiration", Woodbridge Senior 
2nd place: Rebecca Visger, "A Camel Through the Eye of a Needle", Osbourn 
3rd place: Brandon Carter, "Heartbeat", Osbourn 

"Inspiration" by Sa'Raye Wynder-Burs, Woodbridge Senior

Inspiration comes from fog
The corners of our mind
Sleeping dormant until
Awakened by our soul

Contained within your heart
Behind those locked doors
Pouring out the keyholes
And underneath the floors.

Some inspiration appears
From objects in our day;
There’s words, lyrics, poems:
Things that people say.

The painters with their brushes
Their muse giving them sight
Guiding their hands to perfection
Brushstrokes kept so light.

Musicians with their instruments,
Playing those sweet tunes
Fingers leap and fly
Leaving you so soothed.

Written words from a poet
Minds are left rattled, dazed
Open but confused,
Everything leaving a feeling.

There lies a poet’s muse

Poetry Honorable Mention:
Jessica Sebenlaer, Woodbridge
Ryan D'Emidio, Woodbridge

Wearable Art Category:
1st Place: Taylor McClain, CD Hylton, Dress: Paper Plates, Napkins, Duct Tape

Did you opt-in for the traveling exhibition? 

Lockheed Martin Manassas is pleased to invite Off the Wall student participants and their teachers to join us at our site for a reception and tour at the Manassas facility.

Thursday, February 15, 2018
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Lockheed Martin Manassas
9500 Godwin Drive

To register, contact Lynn Fields at lynn.fields@lmco.com or by phone at 703-367-4546 by Friday, February 9.

All attendees need to be registered prior to the event. Please contact Lynn if a student or teacher does not have U.S. citizenship or there are any questions.

Please return the signed photo release form (one per student) by Tuesday, February 13.

The Lockheed Martin employees have enjoyed viewing the wonderful art look forward to meeting the students on February 15!



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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 6 December 2017, by , 0 Comments

14th Annual Off the Wall
(December 15 – January 25, 2018)

The highly anticipated Off the Wall competition returns for its 14th year! Local area high school students will showcase their artistic talents in a variety of media. The annual competition features student work from the following categories: Visual Art, Poetry, Wearable Art, and our STEAM influenced category, Art & Technology! Interested in participating? Visit our Gallery Exhibits web page for How to Enter info.

This project has been extended from the Center for the Arts into an exhibition partnership with our sponsor, Lockheed Martin. The exhibit ends on January 25, many of these works of art will travel to the Lockheed Martin (Manassas location) to be on display through February 28, 2018. Following its display at Lockheed Martin, the exhibition travels to NOVA Manassas, and finishes up at its final location: Novant Health UVA Haymarket Medical Center.

Come support and celebrate the talented youth of Manassas/Prince William County at our Open House on January 6, 2-4 pm (Snow Date: January 13, 2-4 pm). The winners of each category will be announced during the Open House.

List of Participating Students:

Battlefield High School
Evan Hackler
Hannah Phillips
Hee So
Imi Cabacungan
Tam Vu


Olivia Woolfrey


Amy DesJardin
Annie Chotikul
Asha Martin
Emily Medellin
Hermon Seyoum
Jasmine Araujo
Laura Chioma Jones

Rebekkah Orrell

Forest Park High School

Avery Engstrom

Eliana Charalambous

CREATIVE BRUSH (Instructor: Christine Raymond)
Carolyn Vaseghi
Corban Hubler

Camryn Claude

RJ Weaver

Osbourn Park High School
Nicole Amaro
Ximena Guerrero-Zdeinert
Melissa Flores
Kari Clanton


Jacqueline Lopez
Owen Fargo

Ricky Martinez
Sandra Rivas
Carolina Fuentes Rogel

Gia Lee
Lauren Kim
Hannah Yelanjian

Alyssa Fuller
Clarisse Liclic
Connell Calvert
Hailee Hobbs
Joanna Vitela
Maxine Kwarteng
Saranne Mendez
Daniel Osei

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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 10 October 2017, by , 0 Comments

Our upcoming November exhibit features the work of 23 artists from The Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region. The exhibit titled Nature's Pharmacy: Plants that Heal features a variety of media emphasizing plants that have historic medicinal purposes. 

Nature’s Pharmacy: Plants that Heal
The Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region
November 1 – December 13
The Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region is a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists with over 100 members in Virginia. BASNCR promotes an appreciation of botanical art and supports educational activities focusing on botanical awareness. Their exhibits showcase the beauty of nature, as well as the science of botanical art while utilizing a variety of media such as watercolor, graphite, and colored pencil. Nature’s Pharmacy fuses this passion for science and the beauty of nature by emphasizing plants with historic medicinal purposes.

Meet the artists at the reception, November 11, 2-4 pm.

Anne Clippinger
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
colored pencil
Used to treat the common cold and other upper respiratory infections
17” x 20”


Margaret Farr
Virginia Woodland Plants II: Wintergreen (Gautheria procumbens)
Used in the treatment of arthritis and other joint & muscle pain
20” x 24”


 History of the Organization:

In 2004, botanical artists in the national capital area came together to form the Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region (BASNCR).  The organization has grown to about 100 members, primarily from Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.  The mission of the organization includes:

  • Promote an appreciation of botanical art
  • Provide and support educational activities that create botanical awareness
  • Encourage knowledge about the preservation of native plants and plant diversity
  • Provide creative opportunities for social interactions between artists and botanists
  • Offer programming that showcases botanical art and the science of botanical art
  • Provide opportunities to exhibit and publicize member art
  • Participate with other botanical and art organizations in providing a variety of botanical art experiences for the general public

Each year, the artists of BASNCR hold at least one juried exhibit at different venues in the region to promote awareness of botanical art as a living art form.  Each exhibit includes from 30 to 60 artworks, depending on the size of the exhibit location.  BASNCR artists work in a variety of media including the traditional watercolor on paper, as well as ink, graphite, gouache, colored pencil, oil, and silverpoint.  At each exhibit, BASNCR artists provide supplementary programs such as lectures, demonstrations, and children’s workshops. 

BASNCR has designed recent exhibits to stimulate public interest in historic gardens, native plants and the natural environment, and heritage plants.  Venues have included the Strathmore Mansion, the Athenaeum Gallery of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association; Brookside Gardens in Wheaton Regional Park; and the American Horticultural Society’s headquarters, River Farm.

Individual BASNCR artists participate in regional, national, and international juried exhibitions.  Some individual artists or groups of artists hold their own shows.

BASNCR is incorporated as a non-profit in Maryland, and is a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists.  Further information about BASNCR, and examples of members’ work are available on the organization’s website www.basncr.org.


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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 24 August 2017, by , 0 Comments

Our next exhibit is arriving just in time for the start of the school year - and appropriately so!
Visual Magic, The Art of Four Picture Book Illustrators (September 13-October 26) features four illustrators who have contributed to children's educational publications. Janet Stoeke, Susan Roth, Jennifer O'Connell and Carol Schwartz have spent their careers creating illustrations for children's books and even writing some of their own stories to go along with their art. They work with various mediums, including gouache, Photoshop, and even collage to express topics that range from science and nature to culture and history!

Meet the illustrators at the reception, September 16, 5:30 pm in the Caton Merchant Family Gallery. 

About the Illustrators:
With a focus on science and nature, Carol Schwartz has worked with many major publishers, including a Scholastic "Hide and Seek Science” series. Most recently you can see the small miracle of a chrysalis becoming a butterfly in Carol’s illustrations for a Tilbury House Nature Book, My Busy Green Garden, written by Terry Pierce. Carol paints predominantly in gouache, but also utilizes Photoshop for her illustrations. Her work has been selected for exhibitions throughout the USA including The Society of Illustrators in New York, Focus on Nature XIV and The Illustrator’s Club of Washington DC. She has also received honors from the The EdPress Association of America.

Susan L. Roth, NYC native, is the author/illustrator of 50 books. Her primary medium is collage. She applies this technique using scissors, tweezers, paste, and double-sided repositional tape. Some of her most popular publications include “Parrots Over Puerto Rico” (emphasizing the inescapable connection between people’s actions and the animals in the wild) and “Hands Around the Library” (a visual recreation of the story about protecting the Bibliotheca Alexandrina).

Janet Morgan Stoeke is best known for her whimsical picture books featuring Minerva Louise, a hen whose blithe optimism and inquiring spirit are never dampened by her many mistakes. Stoeke grew up in Connecticut among four siblings, a horse, a dog, frequent woodland adoptees and a pond full of ducks. But no chickens, although there were plenty of them just down the street. So yes, she is fluent in Farmyard. A painter by education, she came to the book-creating business through a contest, and has happily remained a contributor for the past 30 years. Her work has been singled out for its graceful lines, appealing palette and visual humor.

Jennifer O’Connell grew up in Darien, Connecticut and received her BFA degree in illustration from Philadelphia College of Art (now known as The University of the Arts). She was employed at Unicorn Graphics in Washington, DC before becoming a free-lance illustrator and designer. Jennifer’s picture book, Ten Timid Ghosts, is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestseller and has sold more than 780,000 copies. Her new book, The Eye of the Whale has received the Green Earth Book Award, a Moonbeam Gold Award, a Maryland Blue Crab Honor, and has been named an Honor Book by the Society of School Librarians International in the Language Arts - Picture Book category. It was a Maine Literary Awards Finalist and has been selected by RIF (Reading is Fundamental) for their STEAM list.

Artist Technique:
The visuals within a children’s book are pivotal to the overall message. Each artist has their own unique approach to creating illustrations. Susan Roth primarily works with collage using the cut and paste technique. Her supplies include: scissors, tweezers, paste, and double-sided repositional tape. This enhances the visuals by adding depth and texture through the technique of collage.

Janet Stoeke and Carol Schwartz utilize the medium of gouache, which combines the flexibility of watercolor with the flow of acrylics. The gouache method uses opaque pigments ground in water and thickened with a glue-like substance. In addition to creating her illustrations with gouache, Janet Stoeke also uses a black Prismacolor pencil to outline her art. Carol Schwartz also chooses to combine media and incorporates Photoshop into her illustrations as well.

Jennifer O’Connell prefers to paint her illustrations more loosely with the medium of acrylic paint on 4-ply Strathmore Bristol paper. The quick drying paint allows Jennifer to keep refining over and over until everything ‘works’. Occasionally, Jennifer also uses pen and ink with watercolor.

List of Publications:

The Eye of the Whale
Ten Timid Ghosts
It’s Halloween Night

Parrots Over Puerto Rico
Hands Around the Library

The Loopy Coop Hens
Letting Go

What Is There Were No Bees?
How Does A Seed Sprout? & Other Questions About Plants
How Strong Is An Ant?
My Busy Green Garden

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Posted in Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 7 July 2017, by , 0 Comments

Upcoming Exhibit:
Once More, with Feeling: Woodcuts and Related Works by Max-Karl Winkler

Exhibit on Display: July 26 – September 6
Meet the Artist Reception: Saturday, July 29, 6-8 pm.
Woodcut Carving & Print Demonstration: Friday, August 4, 6 pm. Max-Karl Winkler will be demonstrating the process of woodcut carving and how to transfer a woodcut into a print. 

Max-Karl Winkler
His work is in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian, the National Museum of American History, and the Library of Congress, among others. Max-Karl Winkler expresses profound mystery and grace embodied in landscape and the human figure. His art is informed by his fascination with myth, history, and language and influenced by Maya and Aztec sculpture. His recent work has been executed in pen and ink, woodcut, wood engraving, watercolor, and oil painting, with additional interest in more complex techniques and formats such as: the multiblock color woodcut, the reduction woodcut, and the whiteline woodcut.

The title of Max-Karl’s exhibit is not coincidental; the artist will be presenting various versions of the same image in different media to illustrate his artistic choices and processes. Accompanied by minimal text, Max-Karl Winkler’s works are meant to be interpreted by the viewer based on their individual perception and not intended to be interrupted as they make their own personal connections to the art. 

For more information on the artist, critic, and educator, visit http://www.max-karl.com/


Max-Karl Winkler, First Snow, Gull Lake, 11-color reduction woodcut, 2008

Max-Karl Winkler, The Cliffs at Sleeping Lion, oil pastel, 2007


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