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Posted in Uncategorized, Visual Arts, on 7 March 2019, by , 0 Comments

Fifty Shades of Green: Painting from Life
NOVA Plein Air Artists

Exhibit dates: March 7 – April 15, 2019
Reception: Saturday, March 23, 6-8 pm

It is believed that artists have painted in nature since the beginning of the art form. Although there is no exact documented start date, artists have portrayed the landscape for hundreds of years. Founded in 2016, Nova Plein Air Artists (NPAA) was initiated due to a shared desire to explore the idea of painting outdoors. Since then, NPAA has evolved into a creative, educational and social network of local artists committed to painting weekly at organized “paint-outs”. Plein air locations are chosen for their diversity, varying from state and county parks to rustic farms, vineyards, and urban settings within the Northern Virginia and Greater Washington, DC area.

While NPAA is primarily a plein air group, members also engage in painting other subjects including still life, genre, and portraiture. Fifty Shades of Green showcases artwork from 11 very active, local artists, many of whom graduated with fine arts degrees and enjoy a variety of creative interests.

Much of the art in Fifty Shades of Green features recogni

zable Virginia scenery such as Old Town Manassas, Morven Park, River Farm, and many other familiar locations. Using a variety of mediums, the artists bring each composition to life through their use of color, perception, and painterly technique.

Exhibiting Artists:
Amelia Cheuk, Anne Alden, Anne Cook, Margaret Power, Marilyn Miyamoto, Maureen Guillot, Michael L. Jackson, Paula Cottrell, Rachel Garcia Palmer, Robert Thoren, and Theresa Miller.

View the artwork and meet the artists at the reception March 23, 6-8 pm.

About the Center for the Arts:
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.

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Posted in Uncategorized, on 9 February 2018, by , 0 Comments

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us at the Opening Reception of Ayeye: A Retrospective of Black History Month! A special thank you to the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for hosting the reception!

Ayeye programs

Our musician for the evening was Clarence T. Brown, better known as "T". T is a senior at Colgan High School.


Artist Joliza Terry explaining how she carved her family portrait table.

Prince William County Artist, Jimmy Clark, posing with his piece titled "Carnival" ($499)

All of our artists posing with Lorraine Jackson (Chapter President of PW County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc) and Melissa Davis (Head of their Arts and Letters Dept)

Our Gallery Director, Jordan Exum, posing with one of our featured photographers, George D. Tolbert IV. George was the 1st African-American Photographer for the United States Senate! He is also Vice President of the Exposure Group, an African-American Photographers Association based in D.C.

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Posted in Uncategorized, on 28 March 2016, by , 0 Comments


“What Time Is It”, oil on canvas by Sissie Lewis.
On display through April, 29.

Sissie Lewis earned her fine arts degree from American University but put painting on hold to raise a family. It was only three years ago she got back into it with lessons from our friends at Creative Brush. We are pleased to have Sissie in our current exhibit.

Twenty artists are showing their works in the gallery under the Center’s Annual Fundraising title “Feed the Arts.” They are exhibiting in support of the Center for the Arts with their good name, time, efforts and talents to help us promote all the arts we do.

Not-for-profit arts organizations like ours don’t cover all expenses from earned income: art sales, ticket sales, camps and classes. To cover the difference, we must go to multiple sources to cover the costs of bringing the arts to the community: grant funding, corporate and individual giving, memberships and annual fundraisers!

With the “Feed the Arts" annual fundraiser we get to open the doors with a special event for supporters and for those who are just discovering us-- and to those rediscovering the process of exploring artistic expression!

Participate with us, enjoy classes in dance, visual arts and theatre arts. Go solo, or with your friends and family and of course, don’t forget to visit the gallery.

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Posted in Uncategorized, on 11 January 2016, by , 0 Comments

Congratulations to all the students who participated in and are exhibiting in the 12th annual "Off the Wall."
Winners were announced for Visual Art, Poetry & Wearable Art at the January 9th Open House. Special thanks to
sponsor Lockheed Martin for their continued support of this event.

Visual Art:
1st place: Michelle Lowe, Untitled, Graphic Design, Forest Park
2nd place: Husna Khan, Untitled, Dry Point Etching, Potomac
3rd place: Rachel Hong, Musical Reflections, Digital Photography, Battlefield

Honorable Mention:
Jason Anderson, Califi, Pastel, Osbourn Park
Tori Burns, Just Swimming Through, Graphic Design, Forest Park
Abrielle Genest, Untitled, Digital Image, Woodbridge
Allison Michas, Water is Life, Digital Art, Patriot
Sarah  Solomon, Untitled, Digital Image, Woodbridge

1st place: Taylor Petty, Untitled, Woodbridge
2nd place: Kaitlyn Graham, The Origin of Art, Woodbridge
3rd place Katherine Brown, Penance, Woodbridge

--Having the words "when poets confront art"
somewhere within a one page poem was the requirement.--

"Untitled", by  Taylor Petty:

Every morning that I went to pick her up the sun
was a red plate low in the sky, pink sequins glittering
in hovering ribbons. Her hair would twist
like licorice stems, her smile black like them too,
every word a little punch-knife in a heart-shaped
holster. When we talked,
it was always volley, bite after bite after bite,
heels digging into dirt. My poor engine
wanted to give up the ghost almost as much
as she wanted to call a war and dye the sky
in reams of cardinal. She had this paintbrush way
of turning everything I said to some grotesque
image of endless battles, incessant push-and-pull,
but for our own sakes, we never let go. I suppose
this is always how it is when poets confront art.
We fight. We rebel. But before I twist the key
when we arrive at the curb, before the sun has
transformed to liquid honey above the clouds,
we kiss and make up as though
it has never happened at all.

Wearable Art:
Leon Sunga, 1st prize winner from Osbourn High.

In its 2nd year, the wearable art contest requires the student to use at least 50% recycled “material” to create a garment to wear or have a model wear to the Open House to be juried for 1st prize. Leon Sunga, from Osbourn High School in Manassas, used recycled strips of paper, much of it from his personal school papers, to create a “Gatsby” themed white dress.


The Off the Wall exhibit will be on display until February 5th.
Gallery hours: 10-5pm weekdays; 1-5 Saturday




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Posted in Uncategorized, on 23 October 2015, by , 0 Comments

This week Osbourn High School visited for an enrichment session with docent Vida. They shared reactions after hearing poetry which accompanied paintings by Janet Morgan Stoeke and sound recordings which accompanied ceramicist Jessica Gardner's sculpture. For the first time in the gallery QR codes linked the poetry and sounds to expand the art viewing experience. It is also the first time poetry has been featured with artwork, in this case, written by the artist. This type of poetry with art is called ekphrasis: Ekphrasis is a recontextualization or literary description of a visual work of art. The exhibit will be on display through October 29th.

Osbourn_gallery_1022  Osbourn_QR_codes

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Posted in Uncategorized, on 29 September 2015, by , 0 Comments

First a bit of historical context. Although the Center for the Arts is over 30 years old, its gallery, the "Caton Merchant Family Gallery" was founded in 2002 and with any arts history -- we've opened a timeline. For those who have followed us since the doors first opened and for those first time over the threshold, we offer you a shared journey. The universal language of art, be it for beauty, commerce, personal or political statement, is a language to cultivate among ourselves and to be shared with others. Whether it's your "potato" or "po-ta-toe," your Pissarro or Picasso, your passionate-love or passionate-hate, welcome, come in...cultivate your personal experience and we hope you'll share. We'll blog about the exhibits, the artists, their techniques and be there along the way.

Sculpture by Joseph Henry Lonas

Sculpture by Joseph Henry Lonas

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