An exhibition featuring a wide selection of work by 15 Virginia artisans will be on view at Mary Baldwin University’s Hunt Gallery from September 3 to 28. Titled “Artisans & Agroecology: The Cultural Connection between Craft & Rural Life,” the exhibition is curated by artist, artisan, and teacher Joe Sheridan. Each of the artisans is connected with the Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV), a non-profit organization that since 1997 has served the state of Virginia and its artisan community through a variety of public outreach programs. Some of the artisans included in the exhibition are: Anne Ross, a custom leather artisan from Wilson; blacksmith Gerald Boggs of Afton; Gary Dalton, a woodworker from Keswick; quilt-maker Jane Hicks from Staunton; Brian Raner, a woodworker from Charlottesville; and potter Janice Arone of Charlottesville.
“Outsourcing is not just when jobs or factories go overseas; it’s also believing that creativity and the incredible things people make all happen somewhere else,” said Sheridan. “The focus of this exhibition is the merging of artisanship and agroecology — the connection between craft and rural life as it is expressed in the state of Virginia. Much of our contemporary society and culture, from businesses and cities to churches and families, is trending toward local and sustainable practices and policies. Artisans, artists, and craftspeople have a fantastic opportunity to help move our world in this direction. As you explore ‘Artisans & Agroecology’ my hope is that it will rekindle your excitement and wonder. The creativity and ingenuity of human beings isn’t some far away thing you have to read about on Wikipedia. The power to shape our world and create with what we find (or foster) is right here in our community. It’s just down the street. It’s right next door.”
There will be an opening reception in Hunt Gallery on Monday, September 10, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Hunt Gallery is dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary work in all media by regionally and nationally recognized artists. The gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the college’s academic year.