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Buy Local Art!

March 16, 2012

Welcome to the Loudoun Arts Directory – Artist Members of The Loudoun Arts Council. To find an artist, arts organization/business, or arts instructor, begin by selecting a category to the right. Thanks for visiting!

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Member Spotlight – Inksanity

July 23, 2011

Kim Taylor, artist at work


In 1891, mummified remains of a Priestess of the Goddess Hathor were discovered at Thebes in Egypt. Strange geometrically inked markings covered the priestess’ mummified body and her remains were dated to around 2160 BC. Further investigation revealed the geometric dots on the mummified body were part of a ritualistic practice reserved specifically for women in ancient Egypt. In 1991, a 5000-year-old man covered in 57 artful markings was found in the mountainous region between Austria and Italy. The placement of the markings suggest they were strategically applied for therapeutic reasons such as treatment of arthritic aches and injuries. In 2000, a young woman in Northern Virginia is jokingly asked to mark her first skin canvas. To the surprise of the jokester, the young woman’s natural artistic ability, attention to detail, and intensity for the art leave no room for laughter. From that point forward Kim Taylor is apprenticed and on her way to mastering one of the oldest and most culturally diverse forms of art on Earth – the art of tattoo.

“There are a few main reasons why people get tattoos,” says Kim as she stares reflectively into the distance. “The first is that they just like it. It’s just that simple. The second is that there’s something bound up inside the person and they just want to find a way to get it out. It can be death of a loved one, a divorce, reaching a goal, having a baby or something emotional that changed them and they just want to get that out there.” The rationale behind tattoos is something Kim has thought about for a long time. She is a woman in the business of marking people for life and she takes her art form deadly serious. Kim’s canvas is human skin and as such she takes precautions for both herself and her clients. “I refuse to tattoo anyone if I think they have any alcohol or drugs in their system,” she says. “This is something that will mark them for life and they need to have enough respect for me and themselves to know what’s going on.”

Kim’s arms and legs are clothed in meaningful ink, each image carries a story and an underlying message. There is no marking on Kim that is gratuitous – everything there has a purpose. My eyes roll over her arms and legs trying to figure out the meaning of each mark and I ask her how she would describe herself in one word. She tells me that one word is “Free.”

I ask Kim how she stays inspired in her work and she tells me about her network of fellow artists. Her art has evolved tremendously in the past ten years and she branches out beyond tattooing to other forms so she can stay fresh. “You can’t be stagnant as an artists,” she says. “You have to keep moving.” She invites me to watch her in action with a willing client. She gloves her hands, preps the client and settles in. Her gaze is intense and demeanor focused as she clicks on the tattooing machine. Her arms cuffed with colorful art are an interesting contrast with her pink t-shirt and hard stare. A tiny pink bow sits nestled in her hair as she leans over to apply the first outline of a spider on her client. She is absorbed in her work – an admitted perfectionist. “I love tattoos and tattooing,” she told me. “I’ll do it for the rest of my life.” When asked about the type of tattoo she most loves to create she says, “the type no one else wants to do – the ones that are really challenging and detailed.”

Flipping through Kim’s book of diverse work in the reception area is mind-boggling. Her ability spans from script and tribal tats to extraordinarily detailed and complex mandala and scenery. The range in her work speaks to several elements – the ability to listen attentively to the client and provide a lasting meaningful piece, and a skill that comes from practice, natural talent, growth, and a sense of self. Tattooing is not a discipline where mistakes are tolerated and Kim’s technical skill and confidence must come through in her work in order to be a success. This is an art form with literal blood, high emotion, complexity and a history that dates back before humans began recording history. In many ways, as evidenced by archaeological finds in the past several hundred years, tattooing was one of the first methods by which woman and man left their mark on the world. The evolution of this form is astounding and even more complex are the psychological associations and the ability of dedicated artists like Kim Taylor to carry this practice forward.

I realize Kim needs to focus while she works so I take a few photos on the iPhone, thank her, and turn to leave. The studio is extremely clean, open. and there’s an aura of community. The owner of the studio, Sherry, is in the next room working on a client, Kim is absorbed in her mark, and the receptionist, Darleen, smiles and sincerely wishes me a great weekend. This is a studio of talented artists who take their profession seriously.

Kim Taylor creates art at Inksanity Tattoo Studio in Leesburg, VA : 703-777-5377. Her work can also be viewed on her website at http://www.kimzilla.com/ and blog at http://kimzillarawrr.blogspot.com/ .

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Member Spotlight – The Hamilton Trio

May 17, 2011

The Hamilton Trio: Louise Fenn (flute, voice & keyboard), Elizabeth Kellogg (cello) and John D. Howard (violin, viola, arranger and leader)

By Allen Pearson

Poodle takes the show at wedding!!!  Keep reading….

Does chamber music scare you? Remind you of a cat screeching?  Those were my thoughts until I gave a closer listen. Turns out, it’s an exhilarating experience you need to have!!

The Hamilton Trio, was founded in 1986, by Louise Fenn (flute, voice & keyboard), Elizabeth Kellogg (cello) and John D. Howard (violin, viola, arranger and leader). Their biographies attest to a wide-range of experience as orchestral and chamber musicians.  The Trio has been honored by repeat performances for many families, organizations, concert series, and has received honors such as a favorite in Leesburg Today’s annual ‘Best of Everything’ (Performing Arts) poll and a nominee for the Governor’s “Excellence in the Arts” Awards.

Got a party coming up? Graduation? Father’s Day? Wedding? Gatherings such as birthdays, anniversaries, holiday parties, dinners, hunt and dressage events, dedications, Church programs,  commemorations, and office parties is a sampling of the trio’s artistry hallmark. The Trio is versatile (sorry, not jazzy!):  When the trio receives a spontaneous request, like the Yale Fight Song (as at one wedding reception years ago), Louise can almost always play it from memory.

The repertory of the Hamilton Trio is expansive, covering music from “really old” (but “for the ages”) composers of the baroque, classical, and romantic periods to new pieces–rarities–from the neglected American classical period.  John Howard, violinist, prepares special songs when requested and arranges lighter fare, such as broadway tunes by Gershwin and Cole Porter;  ethnic–Irish, Swedish, Jewish, English, Italian, German, Spirituals;  American fiddle; Stephen Foster, Civil War;  waltzes and other music for the dance.  And there’s always those works whose beauty endures like Pachelbel’s Canon, Handel’s Fireworks and Water Music, Haydn’s Trios, Wagner and Mendelssohn’s wedding marches, Mozart’s Romanza, Chopin’s Waltz in a, Dvorak’s Humoresque, and Minuets in G of Beethoven and Paderewski, to name a few.

A member of the trio with a rare distinction (in addition to her musicianship!) is Betty (Elizabeth), who is now a 50-year survivor of type I diabetes.  This June she will be the first speaker at an annual event at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston in celebration of such survivors, at which she will discuss in detail her very rigorous life with respect to diet and monitoring of herself.

The Poodle?  Turns out, as the Hamilton Trio was playing for a Wedding, the bride took too long and a poodle decided to come down the aisle!

You deserve a treat–go hear them in concert or have them play at your next event – to learn more about them or to book them, please visit:  www.classicaltrio.com.

~ Allen Pearson

www.allenpearsonsphotos.com – specializing in dogs and garden photography

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LAC Member Spotlight: Bob Friedenberg says, "It's NOT A WOLF!"

January 16, 2011

By Allen Pearson

Bob, Howi and Bernard

Quantum leap? Heisenberg Uncertainty Principal? Quantum Tunneling- this reminds me something I did in last winter’s snow!! And, what is String Theory? I’m clueless. But, ask Bob Friedenberg. Not only does he understand and have a PhD in physics, but he has an incredible talent in doodling.

We met for breakfast in Purcellville, where I learned that this former physicist is a doodler at heart! A passion since childhood, his family encouraged him to start again! His imagination and fascination with sci-fi and things-physics are at the heart of his drawings.

I was intrigued at the way Bob creates his works of art. It’s not simply a matter of putting pen to paper and illustrating a dog or whatever…I know because I asked. It’s deeper. Something like that would be trivial to him. He begins by finding something he’d like to draw. It may come to him while talking with his wife, family, friends, or coworkers, or while surfing the internet but it doesn’t stay there. It goes further.

Using the idea of illustrating a cuckoo clock, he starts drawing it. However, as he does, if he decides that a “skier” or “snowman” might look great on the side of the clock, even though it’s not there on the original, he’ll add it in. This description may leave you thinking that he creates a bunch of wandering mindless pieces that no one would want. That’s far from the truth! The “parts” or “pieces” added to the clock, creates depth and keeps you wondering what else you might find in this illustration. I found myself looking at his work for the longest time.

"Crystal City"

Some illustrations he’s just starting can be found on his Facebook page, “Not-Wolf-Productions”. Check it out and comment- he reads them.

Bob began participating in shows in 2010 with a relative which quickly led to one of his early successes: winning “Best in Show” at Clifton Day.

Bob’s wife, JoEllen, does ALL the work for “Not-Wolf-Productions”. She handles the production, marketing, and web design. Without her skills, Bob’s lost!

Not-Wolf Productions”, is named after his dog which looks like a wolf and howls like a wolf but has absolutely no wolf in ‘em!” And, yes, had to meet Howi (Miwok Indian for ‘Turtle Dove’), the “not-wolf” and yes, he looks like a wolf!

Allen Pearson
Nature, Dog, Cat Photographer
www.allenpearsonsphotos.com
www.facebook.com, “Allen Pearson’s Photos
www.twitter.com/AllensPhotos

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Amy Manson Puts the Fun in Functional Pottery

December 15, 2010

by Kimberly McCann-Pierce

“It found me,” says Amy Manson when asked how she settled upon pottery as her artistic medium. Talking over wine during an ice storm Amy agreed to take a pottery class with a friend. “It was pretty instantaneous,” she says, describing her kinship with pottery.

Amy draws her inspiration from nature. “I really like things that are found in nature. Clays and colors that are earth tone.” When she started, Amy strove for geometric perfection, the perfect clay pot or piece with contours and lines without flaw. As her artistic voice grew, she began to experiment in what she describes as “the fun and funky hand building” side of pottery.

Her Leesburg, Virginia studio is spotted with both the specificity of wheelwork and the hand fashioned clay shapes of funk. Amy describes hand building as “more instant”, giving the creator something useable right away. The flexibility of hand building permits patterning or free flowing creativity. While traditional wheelwork is strong in identifiable shape and contour, giving an easily recognized piece an immediate sense of place, hand patterning is different.

Amy’s hand patterned clay art ranges from twists, bends, speckles, and colorful dollops to delicately filigreed images inspired by birds, trees, Earth. Display shelves in her home studio boast trays with funky splash, artfully jagged lines, and trendy backgrounds. Next to the hand-patterned creations, geometrically perfect drinking cups line the shelves, popular pieces Amy designs for weddings and gift giving.

She sees herself moving more in the direction of creating the perfect imperfect piece, blending different artistic modalities to create something both fun and functional. I spot some pieces haphazardly placed on a bottom shelf and ask about them. “Oh, those are just my seconds,” she smiles. In looking around her studio, I find nothing but first rate artistic expression.

In addition to transforming clay, Amy also teaches several pottery courses throughout Loudoun County. Currently her work can viewed and purchased at the Gateway Gallery at: http://www.thegatewaygallery.com/. For more about Amy and her artistic journey visit the Gateway Gallery home page biography at: http://www.thegatewaygallery.com/bio/AmyMansonBio.pdf.

Her teaching venues include:

The Round Hill Art Center, Round Hill, VA 2010
Children’s Ceramic Instructor
Handbuilding Instructor

The Old Furniture Factory, Round Hill, VA 2010
Adjunct Advanced Wheel Instructor
Beginning Wheel Instructor

ArtSquare, Leesburg, VA 2010
Children’s Ceramic/Art Instructor
“Get Me Started With Clay” Instructor

You can also follow Amy’s pottery adventures on her blog at http://amymansonpottery.blogspot.com/

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Member Spotlight: Nadine's Folly & Glass Art

November 16, 2010

By Allen Pearson

Looking for a unique Christmas or Holiday gift this year?  Something not from a store?  Check out Nadine’s Folly, Glass Art, of Ashburn.

I joined Nadine on her typical morning commute to her studio, “It’s a killer!,” she says, “Sometimes, the kitchen slows me down!!”  We ended up in the basement with a computer, materials, machines, and a comfortable client area where I was shown the process of creating glass art.

How does it happen?  Want artglass but don’t have a design? Nadine has several reference materials, such as catalogs and magazines, to generate an idea.  When I suggested drawing my own design she smiled, and said “of course, someone can do that,  that’d be great!,” She assists you from start to finish with every single detail.

After selecting/creating a design the excitement begins.   She takes your design and draws it out in detail.    Then, uses a computer program to enhance it and fill the colors.  During the design stage, she works closely with the client to get the design exactly as you envision, before the actual creation begins!

Once the client approves, glass selection is next.  She has quite a selection to choose from and can order pieces.   Now, she gets to have the fun she’s done for 30 years!  She will cut, grind, foil, solder, clean, and polish the glass to create art.

Nadine’s had the opportunity to create artglass for clients including Loudoun County and  Fairfax schools,  Beth Chaverim Reform Congregation in Ashburn and a Synagogue in Falls Church.  Her fondest memory is at Legacy Elementary School where a stained glassed window was dedicated to a young boy who recently passed away.  The work included  Labrador Retrievers, music, sun, soccer ball, science, flowers and his favorite colors, red and blue.  The work was placed by a garden named after the student.

Nadine’s art career began as a portrait artist but changed after she sat in on a stained glass class for her husband.  She studied fine arts  at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.   She is currently serving as Secretary for the International Guild of Glass Artists and President of the National Capital Art Glass Guild.

Want to Christmas shop? The website is, www.nadinesfolly.com, contact her soon! Nadine’s work is one of a kind and unique, you’ll need to plan to have that special Christmas present.

By
Allen Pearson

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Member Spotlight: Fun music keeps men singing… and crowds wanting more!

September 23, 2010

By Steve Freeman
A unique musical treat. … That is how some would describe the Chorus of the Old Dominion. Without needing instrumentation, sound systems, or even a venue, the Chorus can break into a song that brings ear-pleasing harmonies and fun music anywhere they go.

Chorus of the Old Dominion repertoire is one reason they are a hit with audiences. They specialize in the doo-wop, barbershop, and pop standards that listeners can’t help but tap a foot to. “Under the Boardwalk,” “Silhouettes,” and even Beach Boys hits.

A performance by the Chorus features something for everyone, however. Other songs they offer the crowds include John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “O Shenandoah,” the Beatles’ “When I’m 64,” “Coney Island Baby,” Harry Conack Jr.’s “Recipe for Love,” and many others, including holiday hits and love songs.

The Chorus is an all-male group in its 8th year that brings 4-part a cappella harmony to community events, festivals and private functions like birthday and retirement parties. The chorus is perhaps best known for its singing telegrams, delivered each Valentine’s Day to unsuspecting “sweethearts.”

New happenings this year for these men of song include hosting a choral workshop for area high school students, with leadership from the nation’s Barbershop Harmony Society, and more frequent appearances at Leesburg First Friday events. The chorus frequently takes the stage for annual events such as Loudoun Earth Day, Martin Luther King Day, and sings for wounded veterans of the Izaak Walton League.

Harmonize with the Guys

What kind of a man does it take to sing in an all-male chorus? If you’re thinking about it, the Chorus is looking for you. “The group’s busy times of the year are nearing and now is the time to join in by starting with a “no pressure and no obligation” sing-along night,” said Timothy Wyant of western Loudoun, the chorus’s president.

Do you sing in the shower? Then you might qualify. Do you find yourself humming along to songs you hear? Do you love music and have you ever sung in a choir before?

Men of any age who enjoy music, like the feeling of pleasing a listening audience and can sing on pitch and memorize music are good candidates for the Chorus. The group meets weekly on Thursday evenings for rehearsal and provides listening tracks to continue learning the music throughout the week.

There’s more to the Chorus than the technical requirements, however. It’s members like Mike Jacks of Ashburn simply enjoys having a wholesome pastime that provides an diversion the work-a-day world.

Dale Bird of Herndon, president-elect for 2011, is in the Chorus because of the fun songs they sing and the extra special feeling of performing songs in close harmony and unadorned by musical instruments or sounds in a bar.

“I love watching the faces of the audience,” said Bird. “When they smile I know we’ve done our job and entertained them.”

Many of its singers were in choirs at young ages, loved it then, and find that returning to vocal music interests today is a fun way to participate in community life. Others have always sung in church choirs, but wanted to polish their vocal skills or wanted to venture into singing pop songs for a change.

When they come together, they take on the challenge to bring good, fun music to every audience for which they perform.

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For more information about the Chorus of the Old Dominion, or to get in on an upcoming rehearsal, visit http://www.odchorus.org or contact 703-975-5184 or info@odchorus.org. The Chorus can also be found on Facebook and MeetUp.com.

Upcoming public performances:

Saturday, Nov. 13 Sterling Public Library, 2 p.m., Sterling, Va. Free

Saturday, Dec. 11 Hillsboro Homes Tour, 1-6 p.m., Hillsboro, Va.