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Currently Exhibiting


Upcoming Exhibits

Off the Wall
December 18 – January 25, 2019
The highly anticipated Off the Wall competition returns for its 15th year! Each year the local area high school students are invited to showcase their talent by participating in a high school art competition. The competition allows the students to express their creativity and imagination in a professional setting and gain knowledge and experience in the field of art. The exhibition includes student work from the following categories: Visual Art, Poetry, Wearable Art, and our STEAM influenced category, Art & Technology (Think 3D prints & digital designs!).  View the student artwork at the Open House on January 5, 2-4 pm (Snow Date: January 12, 2-4).

1st place Visual Arts Winner of OTW 2018: Saranne Mendez, Woodbridge Senior High School, Crayolian Sculpture made with over 1,000 crayons


Born at the Bottom of the Ship: James and Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell
January 31-March 4, 2019
James Terrell and Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell are a husband and wife team of visual artists living in Washington, DC. They paint beautiful, vibrant afro futurist abstract portraits. Both artists have been featured in galleries and museums across the country.  The Terrells work closely with local nonprofits to develop youth art programming in their community, and both have been teaching art for 10+ years. Meet the artists at the reception February 9, 6-8 pm.

James and Zsudayka Terrell with their collaborative piece


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

March 7-April 15, 2019
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, education, 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. Meet the local artists at the reception March 23, 6-8 pm.

Tranquility, Rachel Garcia Palmer


Past Exhibits

Nuts & Bolts: NOVA Community College Faculty Art Exhibit
November 7-December 12

The Caton Merchant Family Gallery will host a NOVA (Northern Virginia Community College) Art Show featuring faculty from the Woodbridge and Manassas campuses from November 7-December 12. The exhibit will highlight the work of 11 creative instructors from the Art & Art History Departments. NOVA, a cornerstone of the northern Virginia region, boasts professors that work with a variety of media and techniques, such as painting, photo-collage, sculpture, and abstract mixed media. The exhibition emphasizes each instructor’s individual style, technique, and approach to art. Meet the instructors at the opening reception, November 10, 6- 8 pm.

Fred Markham, Frozen Creek and Hillside, Oil on canvas, 20x16


Four Ballets, One Year, One Painter
Web Bryant
September 5-November 5
Manassas Ballet Theatre is a local treasure, the largest professional ballet company in Northern Virginia. Web Bryant spent an entire year observing, sketching and painting these extraordinary dancers. His works in oils and pastels encompass all four ballets in the troupe’s 2017-2018 season, including rehearsals, performances, and candid backstage moments. Before turning to fine art, Bryant was a senior illustrator at USA Today for 30 years. He teaches at the Yellow Barn Studio at Glen Echo Park and is a member of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters. Meet the artist at the reception September 22, 7-9 pm.

Web Bryant, Three Dancers in Red, Oil on panel, 30x40

Washington’s Shadow
Images in Limbo

Lynn McIntosh
July 17 – August 31
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. * Lynn's exhibit is on display at the Haymarket Medical Center Community Gallery until December 31, 2018. 

Lynn McIntosh
Tomb of Unknown Soldier
Digital photography


Visual Expressions
A Timeless Perspective

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.

Sandra McClelland Lewin
Fawn in the Forest
Colored pencil

The Dalton Gang
May 1 – 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 12 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

March 6-April 25
Circalyans: Warriors of the Untime
Donnamaria R. Jones
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. Meet the artist (and possibly some of the warriors!) at the catered reception, April 7, 6-8 pm. Heavy appetizers and wine! Free and open to the public.

Donnamaria R. Jones
Digital photograph on canvas

Ayeye: A Retrospective of Black History Month
(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. Receptions are free and open to the public.

Naomi Hanna
Maasai girl and her guide
Acrylic and cowrie shell

December 15 – January 25
Off the Wall
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. 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).
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.

Sponsored by: 

1st Place Visual Arts Saranne Mendez Crayolian Crayon Sculpture Woodbridge High School


November 1 – December 13
Nature's Pharmacy: Plants That Heal
The Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region
The Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region (BASNCR) is a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists with over 100 members in Virginia. Each year BASNCR holds two juried exhibitions. 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 incorporating a variety of media such as watercolor, graphite, and colored pencil. Meet the artists at the reception
Meet the artists at the reception, November 11, 2-4 pm.

Anne Clippinger Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) colored pencil 17” x 20”

September 13 – October 26
Visual Magic, The Art of Four Picture Book Illustrators:
Janet Stoeke, Carol Schwartz, Susan Roth, and Jennifer O’Connell
This exhibit features four talented children’s book illustrators: Janet Stoeke, Carol Schwartz, Susan Roth, and Jennifer O’Connell. The artists have contributed to multiple children’s publications, and their crisp dynamic images bring life to the stories. The illustrators work with various media, 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, 5:30-7:30 pm.

They grew and they bloomed in our garden of whales. Jennifer O'Connell. Acrylic on bristol paper.


July 26 – September 6
Once More, with Feeling: Woodcuts and Related Works by Max-Karl Winkler
His work has been exhibited at 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. Winkler's fascination with myth, history, and language is represented in his woodcuts, paintings, and prints. Join us at the reception July 29, 6-8 pm.

First Snow, Gull Lake, Max Karl Winkler

First Snow, Gull Lake, Max Karl Winkler

June 7 – July 20
Nature Captivated
Suhail Mir
Captivated by the art of nature, he creates organic images in artistic, candid, and formal styles throughout the past 18 years. His innate passion for nature, art, and people is expressed through his photographs. He is an award winning photographer, photography instructor, and was named Prince William County’s Artist of the Year for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. Meet one of Prince William County's best artists at the reception, June 17, 6-8 pm.


May 3 – June 3
Rahshia Sawyer: Within the im/balance
Rahshia Sawyer is a conceptual photographer based in the DC area. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Foundation Francois Schneider, and Radford University Museum. Her current projects focus on the relationships that exist between beauty and humanity and its balanced (or imbalanced) interaction between reality and fantasy. Her figurative floating silk panels dwarf the viewer, disconnecting them from reality, and recreating their singular emotional struggle with loss — an experience we all share. Come experience the art for yourself at the reception, May 13, 6-8 pm.

Some Things I Can't Explain, Rahshia Sawyer

Some Things I Can't Explain

March 8 – April 29
Ignacio Alperin: Visual Jazz
Jazz genre inspires and formulates each of the canvases created by Buenos Aires artist Ignacio Alperin Bruvera.  His approach to art making is based on his synesthesia, a unique ability to “see sounds.” Just as there is beauty and complexity to jazz, the same qualities spill out from this artist onto canvas. His brilliantly-color abstracts reflect resonating movement, compacted intensity with natural soft counter balance. Meet the Artist, April 29, 4-6 pm in the Caton Merchant Family Gallery!

I know what I mean, Ignacio Alperin

I know what I mean, Ignacio Alperin

January 25 – March 3
The Exposure Group: Colors of Life
The Exposure Group photographers bring forth multiple interpretations of the experience of living in the DC metropolitan area. This visual and impactful body of work shares some of our Nation’s Capital outside of the usual tourist areas. The Exposure Group represents the gamut of subject matter including landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, architectural, and photojournalism. This exhibit will fascinate anyone with an interest in photography. The art will speak for itself.

December 15 – January 20, 2017
Off the Wall
Open House, January 7, 2017, 2-4 pm
(snow date January 14)
We've reached year number 13! Area high school students show us what they've got. Visual Art +Visual Art with Technology, Poetry, Wearable Art.
Sponsored by:


November 2 – December 9
Caleb Fletcher
With many figurative images reflected, Myth, Mythology, the Ghost Particle and the Birth of a Star are all topics Caleb Fletcher explores in his finely wrought graphite and color pencil images. He holds a BFA in sculpture from Alfred University in NY where the School of Art and Design has provided a long known history of connecting art, science and technology. Featured artist in the Historic Downtown Manassas Gallery Walk, November 4, 6-8 pm.

September 21 – October 29
Printmakers Inc.
This 12 member group of printmakers share workspace and talents while interacting and educating the public about the nuances of their art form. Works by Printmakers Inc. are included in many collections, among them the Library of Congress, National Women in the Arts, Smithsonian National Museum of American History and many more.

 August 3 – September 17
Jamie McPhail & Caleb Mathews
Encaustic artist Jamie McPhail has found what she states as easy expression in art based on her home state of North Carolina with its natural beauty, rich tradition and diverse peoples. With the hotplate as her palette Jamie turns basic beeswax into a colorful liquid often adding oils, inks, pastels and collage elements to create allegorical, whimsical and always striking compositions. Local artist Caleb Mathews makes art to express his idea of beauty in the world. For this exhibit nothing could express more beauty than his series of cloud paintings in oils. Caleb offers his works as an opportunity for perfect reflection and a time of solace.

June 21 – July 29
The Painter’s Journey
Kathleen Willingham, Nancy Brittle, Janie Mosby, Christena Smith
The Painting Ladies – Nancy Brittle, Janie Mosby, Chris Smith and Kathleen Willingham explore life in rural communities. Their works in oil, water and pastels depict a sense of place through landscape, still life and figurative art. They believe in working together with unique voices and variety of media as complements to one another. Meet the artists opening reception June 25, 6-8pm.

May 4 – June 16
Forgotten Farms
Andrew Morgan
Beautifully vibrant in color and composition but lonely in spirit, Forgotten Farms begs for another shot of the bucolic.  What was once thriving presents a mystery with Andrew Morgan’s look at possible land degradation or just time-weathered neglect. Wide open spaces asks the viewer to stand within the scene and think what once was and what might come to be.

March 22 – April 29
April 2nd  Help us, help us…Feed the Arts!
We have lots of creativity flowing in and out of the Candy Factory. Be all about the arts at our Annual Fundraising Gala on April 2nd & celebrate, celebrate, celebrate: dance and make some art with us, or even buy some art from us  -- but, spoiler alert – come hang out with a seriously funny prop named “Audrey II” and lots of her friends.

Thank you to all the artists who are exhibiting in the gallery in support of Feed the Arts!

February 10 – March 17
Catherine Cole: Drawing and Printmaking
Catherine Cole concentrates on figurative imagery with her printmaking in woodcuts, lithographs, etchings and screenprints. When she can, Catherine likes to add a touch of whimsy to her drawings. Note how she often features imagery of two of her favorite addictions: computers and chocolate chip cookies.

December 23 - February 5
Off the Wall
Visual Art, Poetry, Wearable Art
Winners have been announced on the gallery blog.
Each year the 1st floor gallery at the Candy Factory is filled with inspired artwork created by area high school students. The exhibit is here during a welcomed time of year when friends and family might take time out to enjoy channeled creativity. Whether viewing artwork by a first-time student appearance in “Off the Wall” or that of a revisiting graduating senior getting ready for new challenges, the experience for all involved becomes memorable.

November 5 - December 17
Along the Spice Route
The spice trade with its long and exotic history gives intriguing topic for these art quilts curated by Paula Golden and Ann Reardon. Rich sights and colors cause olfactory memories to respond, the imagination lines up time and place inside each market stall and with sounds and senses in perfect accord. Fall Gallery Walk Featured Exhibit November 6, 6-9pm. Extended gallery hours November 13, 10-8pm.

September 16 – October 29
Presence : Jessica Gardner & Janet Stoeke
The concept of time + memory, real and imagined is represented through thoughtful oil landscapes with open-ended skies by Janet Stoeke. Representational ceramicist Jessica Gardner searches through inner thoughts and cumulative experience. She offers playful memory triggers and evocative spaces for viewers to seek and reflect.


All images copyright ownership of the artists

Exhibition Policy
The Center for the Arts/Caton Merchant Family Gallery (CFA/CMFG) in support of the mission of the Center for the Arts, serves to enrich the quality of life among all the populations in our area through diverse educational and presentational arts programming of the highest quality.  Exhibitions are selected on the extent to which they enhance the Center’s mission and the exhibition policy of the CFA/CMFG.

Exhibit Proposal Submission Policy
The Center for the Arts/Caton Merchant Family Gallery will review for the purpose of exhibition all contemporary artists, in any medium, who submit a proposal.  By committee, each exhibit will be determined and selected artists will be notified.  Any proposal that must be returned to the artist should be labeled as such when submitted along with sufficient return postage.  Proposals must be submitted with images for review. Mail to: Gallery Review, Center for the Arts, 9419 Battle St., Manassas, VA 20110.

Guest Curators + regional & international artists
Send proposals: email to info@center-for-the-arts.org; preferably with a Google drive folder;  attn: Gallery Director in subject line; 3-d items must be adaptable to a hanging system for wall display only. No floor items allowed at this time.


Due to the sensitivity of an adapted re-use building the gallery must hold restrictions on size, proportions, weights of objects and installation art that is not two dimensional.