ABOUT THE ARTS CENTER OF MONTROSS
The Arts Center of Montross is a place where the community and the art world can meet, socialize and learn. Everyone is welcome! Come in, have a cup of coffee, sit down with an artist to watch them at work, talk about art with others, visit the Gallery and learn about the artists who are exhibiting there and more. We have painters, jewelry artists, and fiber artists on site. Plus, there are usually other artists available for conversation and help. Our goal is to bring art to this community and provide opportunities for those who want to get involved in the art world, whether for personal fulfillment or as a professional artist.
· The Center is --
· A place for artists and artisans to work, teach, exhibit, and sell work
· Where people can visit the studios and galleries to be in the atmosphere of art and artists, come for social art-related activities, learn as well as purchase original work from a wide variety of artists and artisans.
· Take classes and workshops from a wide variety of local as well as nationally-recognized teachers in a wide variety of mediums.
· Participate in the many special events sponsored by the Center.
Stop in to visit us to see everthing we have to offer!
Like so many people of my generation, I was told that I could not make a living as an artist and that I had to be a nurse or teacher. Neither of these professions was appealing to me. So, I took as many elective art classes as I could but none of them involved learning to paint which was really what I wanted to do.
I then spent 35 years working for the US Government in a very structured job which, I think, is quite an accomplishment for a right-brained person. I did not totally waste this time as I was always taking art classes or doing something creative. I painted on porcelain for more than 20 years which is very different from putting paint on canvas or other substrates but I learned a lot and have many pieces. I also worked in silver and glass fusing, unfortunately, not at the same time but hope to combine these skills at some point.
One holdover from my childhood that I did stick with was sewing which I transitioned into a design business. I won several awards for my original designs and the quality of my workmanship. I designed and made most of my clothing for much of my professional career and also for my children when they were young.
After retirement, I moved to Mexico where there were many wonderful art teachers. There I learned to paint with oils and pastels. I have given up painting with oils, other than with the oil and cold wax medium which love and I still use pastels.
When I returned to the US, I started taking painting more lessons as I wanted to move into painting with watercolors. These classes were usually attended by people who, like me, had retired and had started to learn to paint. T, there was a recurring theme like mine – you can’t make a living as an artist. Understanding this concept and also understanding that many people could not travel to take classes, I started bringing teachers to my area. I was able to attract many nationally and internationally renowned teachers and was able to sponsor workshops for about 10 years.
Then I was approached to sponsor an art festival locally. It took me about two years to plan the first one, which was a success. We went on to win the prestigious VIRGO award for two consecutive years for the best niche event in the Commonwealth. We have now, by invitation, moved this event to an adjacent County for a larger space.
Good things continued to happen. I was approached by an adjacent County to open an art-related business. Unfortunately, this did not materialize as we were unable to find suitable rental space after an extensive search. Then, a similar opportunity came in the County where I live. The stars must have been perfectly aligned as we found the perfect building that another artist/supported purchased. He offered me the opportunity to run the business and the rest is history.
The Arts Center of Montross opened on June 1. We have six studio/resident artists and feature the work of 20 other artists. I am extremely gratified that I have been given this opportunity. We want to make the Center a destination rather than a random experience. We are also making inroads in the Community as we just featured the first annual art show for the County Art Teachers and will celebrate National Youth Art Month annually by having a show for the County art students. This is only a small sampling of our plans – stay tuned!