Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’


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, “Allen Pearson’s Photos


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: For more about Amy and her artistic journey visit the Gateway Gallery home page biography at:

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


Sculptor Jeff Hall and the Layers Between Hard and Soft

September 10, 2010

by Kimberly McCann-Pierce

The human figure has inspired artists for millennia.  From the statues in ancient Greece to the friezes at Washington National Cathedral, the body’s graceful form speaks to us as a representation of our march through time.  Local sculptor Jeff Hall* stands proudly on the shoulders of giants in his study of the human figure.  Hall graciously invited me into his studio to view his art and discuss his process.

Loudoun sculptor, Jeff Hall, with torso pieces from his showcase series "City of Angels" and "Monumental Men."

“I view myself as more of a craftsman as opposed to an artist,” said Hall, as he led me through his Lovettsville, Virginia studio.  Male and female forms in bronze and clay dotted the studio intermingled with an ephemeral Lucite mermaid named “Pearl Diver”. “It’s a matter of the surreal and of pushing the limits,” said Hall in describing the mermaid, directing my attention to the smooth fins and the oversized pearl she pressed against her bronze chest.  “It’s a matter of communicating with that other world and it has to be a mood or a feeling to inspire it.”

Hall identifies the concept of Time as a prominent theme throughout his work.  A piece outside his studio aptly named “Time Twister” trellises against the entryway, staring into the distance amid a whirlwind of bronze fossils and Doric columns.  Hall’s showcase series, “City of Angels” * and “Monumental Men”*, address Time as provocative torsoed ruins arranged with sculpted blocks of miniature brick, creating a suspended sense of ancient meets modern.  Hall discussed the juxtaposition of the torso series, identifying the abstracted layers at play as the brick meets the flesh.  “Breaking out the layers between hard and soft is like the layers of one’s personality or character,” said Hall.

When asked how works of such technical intricacy and grace are conceived, Hall points to his interest in fantasy.  Hall’s ideas are born through anything from comic books to feelings inspired by newspaper articles.  In describing the process of bringing the idea into the three dimensional world, the piece must guide him as he creates.  “Oftentimes I will give the piece a title and then it will lead me where it wants to go,” said Hall, pointing to a life size terracotta paleontologist* immersed in a fossilized mammalian discovery.  The terracotta paleontologist emerged during the Jurassic Park movie debut and the subsequent cultural saturation of dinosaur imagery.  “That’s what makes you a contemporary artist: the time period you live in and what you’re bombarded with,” said Hall.

Hall is an artist to the core, despite his self-applied title as craftsman.  As a child he was fascinated with shapes and colors, experimenting with paints and creating detailed airbrush work.   His interest evolved to woodworking where he enjoyed the challenge of molding pieces into different shapes.  From woodworking came a natural progression to clay, plaster, terracotta, ceramic, and bronze, still playing upon the challenge of forcing shapes from metals and other malleable materials.   Hall spent eleven years working with “The Three Soldiers Vietnam Memorial” sculptor, Frederick Hart.  Through his work with Hart, he learned the Lucite sculpting technique, a skill only a few sculptors have mastered.

Time Twister, Bronze - 55" x 20" x 14"

Hall’s work strives to bridge the gap of past with present and technical with ethereal.  When asked where his inspiration will take him next, he simply comments, “I think I want to go more abstract.”  For Hall, abstract means experimenting with a blend of materials and paints.  Tucked among the bronze and clay figures in his studio are two blue Lucite pieces that stand out from the shades of brown.  Hall suggests he may mix metals with Lucite to draw a keener distinction between the real and the otherworldly.  He talks about the qualities of Lucite and explains the lengthy and costly process of creating with those pieces.

Each material has its own nature, but Lucite, according to Hall, has an ethereal quality that lures the eye.  Hall’s work is a blend of fantasy with reality and ancient with modern and I look forward to seeing how abstract he will go.

*For more on Jeff Hall and his work visit; for a list of studios representing Jeff Hall visit


Family Friendly! Fun! Free! – This weekend only!

June 18, 2010

Dear Mom,

So, I was thinking about a fun way to spend Father’s Day Weekend. Something fun, and outdoors, and even a little bit artsy? (That part is a secret.)

You know we are always dragging Daddy to weird conferences, and concerts? And how he just likes the driving part? Or how we drag him shopping? And how he complains about having to carry all the bags?

So, here is my idea. The Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour. What? You think you can hear him groaning already? (Yeah, I might hear him groaning all the way from Texas.)

But look! Daddy loves power tools, right? We can go see wood turning, or glass blowing, or welding! Daddy cannot be separated from his camera, right? – there are photographers of everything – landscapes, people, animals… There are also painters, potters, jewelers, AND sculptors in many mediums. Heck, there are even weavers…

Huh. You think this is a hard sell? Did I mention the booklet? There is a map, with over 30 stops to hit over two days. And at those stops, over 50 artists. Do you not think that he will LOVE trying to fit it all in? (I tried last year, and just missed my goal)…. Don’t you think he will get a kick out of traveling all over western Loudoun County- scenic countryside… historical villages? It is gorgeous. There are good places to dine, and wineries to do a quick tasting. There are even bed and breakfasts sponsoring the tour-great places to stay.

Okay. And here is the cool part, Mom. There is stuff for everyone! There is artwork to buy in all price ranges. The artists are there to meet, and you can see demonstrations of their work. There will be door prizes.

Oh. Here is the best part. It is free. FREE!!!

You are welcome, Mom. Check out the website: There are also booklets out in local stores. (I will send you one.)

Your artsy daughter,




The Western Loudoun Artists Studio Tour

Saturday, June 19th, 10-5PM, Sunday, June 20, 12-5PM

Visit the studios of over 50 talented artists as you wind through the scenic countryside and historic villages of western Loudoun County. Enjoy paintings, pottery, jewelry, photography, fiber, sculpture and more!

Take this unique opportunity to talk personally with the artists, purchase artwork, view demonstrations and exhibits, or win a door prize!

FREE to public! For Tour Maps, lists of artists and more information please visit ur website at: or call 540.338.7973.


Opera in Loudoun County! Really!

June 2, 2010

Did you know there is an opera company right here in Loudoun County?

Me neither.

Okay, that’s not true. What kind of arts council chick would I be if I didn’t know that?

But it IS true that I’ve never been to see an opera. It’s kind of intimidating. What language will they sing in? What’s the dress code? Will there be popcorn?

Bryan Jackson as Don Giovanni and Alexandra Boule-Buckle as Donna Anna

The Loudoun Lyric Opera has an upcoming production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni – The Infamous Tale of Don Juan. I figure, what better intro to opera than the “romantic trail of the world’s greatest lover“?  I’m down with that.

And it’s close…right at Franklin Park Arts Center in Purcellville!

So I asked my friend, Pamela Butler, President and Founder of the Loudoun Lyric Opera for some help. And luckily for me, her husband, David Butler was just putting on the finishing touches to a Loudoun Lyric Opera FAQ, which humorously portrays the opera experience from the long-suffering-husband-point-of-view and is filled with lots of good pointers.

Here’s just a sample:

Q:  I don’t think I like opera!  Why should I go to this one?
A:  I used to think that too.  My wife, though, loves to perform opera so I’ve had no choice but to go.  I’ve been to way more than my life’s quota, but what I’ve found out is that it can actually be fun!  Operas are kind of like wine.  When you first start to drink wine, don’t drink a heavy, dry red.  You may never drink wine again!  Most folks start with something like a white zinfandel.  Hated by wine snobs, but loved by most folks, especially those that don’t drink much wine.
Click HERE to read the rest. Frankly, I don’t feel bad for David one bit.  Looks like fun to me! So come on out and check out some opera and support this unique group of artists in our midst! It’s coming up this weekend, so hurry up and get your tickets!


Friday, June 4, 8 pm
Saturday, June 5, 8 pm
Sunday, June 6, 3 pm

Franklin Park Performing Arts Center
36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville, VA

$25 Adults, $20 Seniors/Students

For more information, fun pictures and ticket purchase, please go to or call 540.338.7973.


Come Help Choose Loudoun's Most Talented Youth!

May 25, 2010

Join us at 2 pm on
Sunday, May 30th

 Now’s your chance! 

The Top 10 Finalists from the Loudoun’s Got Talent auditions will be performing and competing for $1750 in scholarships…and your vote counts!

The audience and a panel of judges, led by Loudoun Symphony Maestro Mark Allen McCoy, will vote to pick the top three performers, so come out and cast your ballot, and hear some of the finest young musicians in the county.

+ A Special Performance by Maddy Curtis!!!

Tickets: Advance/Door: Adult $10/$12, Senior (65+) $8/$10, Youth 18 and under FREE.

Order Advance Tickets online at 
or call 703-771-8287.

Franklin Park Arts Center
36441 Blueridge View Lane
Purcellville, VA 20132

Partner: Loudoun Arts Council

Sponsors:  Wegmans. Sandy Spring Bank, Loudoun Youth, Inc., RainedOut, and Loudoun Times Mirror.

Some serious talent here folks! See for yourself!


Loudoun County Summer Concerts – UPDATED

May 19, 2010

Didja all know that there are outdoor concerts every week this summer right here in Loudoun?  For all you staycationers this year, maybe you can incorporate a few concerts into your fun schedules. Prices range from FREE to about $17.00.

Loudoun Summer Music Fest
When: Saturdays & Sundays.
Where: Belmont Country Club, 19961 Belmont Manor Lane, Ashburn, VA 20147.
Cost: Tickets range from $17 – $12.50 General Admission.
Contact: or 877-743-5320

Saturday, May 22: Cheap Trick
Sunday, May 23: Dark Star Orchestra
Sunday, June 6: Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Saturday, June 12: The Machine & Zoso
Sunday, June 27: Blues Traveler
Sunday, July 11: Travis Tritt
Sunday, July 25: Charlie Daniels Band
Saturday, August 21: The Original Wailers

Acoustic on the Green Concert Series
When: Saturday, 7-9PM, June thru August
Where: Town Green (25 West Market Street), Leesburg
Cost: Concerts are FREE. 
*Lawn chairs and picnic blankets are advised. No smoking or alcoholic beverages allowed, and no pets, please. Picnics are encouraged.

June 12: Todd Wright
June 19: Chelsea Lee, with TrustFall opening
June 26: Naked Blue
July 10: Prescott Engle
July 17: Luke Brindley
July 24: Michael Sheppard
July 31: Robbie Limon
August 7: Gary Smallwood
August 14: Don Chapman
August 21: Jon Carroll
August 28: Jennifer Daniels

Lansdowne Sounds of Summer Concert Series
When: Fridays, 7 – 10PM
Where:  Lansdowne Resort, 44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg, Virginia 20176.
Cost: Concerts are FREE, but “Please do not bring food and drink into the concerts.”

*Enjoy specialty drinks, grilled foods, fresh salads, Loudoun County wines, featuring Lansdowne Reserve produced exclusively by Tarara Winery. Picnic basket snacks will also be available for purchase. 

*Some seating will be provided, but you are more than welcome and encouraged to bring a blanket and sit on the lawn.

June 18: The Jack Diamond-Jim Steed Band
June 25: JunkFood
July 2: Southern Excess
July 3: The Backseat Betties (Saturday night, including fireworks)
July 9: Sharon Thomas Experience
July 16: Esencia Tropical
July 23: The Jack Diamond-Jim Steed Band
July 30: The Reflex
August 6: AbbeyRoad
August 13: The Fabulous Dial Tones
August 20: The Monster Band
August 27: Gonzo’s Nose
September 3: Beach Bumz

Tarara’s Toast to the Tunes Summer Concert Series
When: Saturdays, June through October from 6 – 9:30PM!
Where: Tarara Winery, 13648 Tarara Lane, Leesburg, VA 20176
Cost:  $15 per person
Contact: (703) 771-7100

* Experience live music under the stars at Shadow Lake while sipping a cool glass of Chardonnay or savoring a bold Cabernet Franc. Whether it’s original rock, cover bands, jazz, country or blues, Tarara has a complete line up to fulfill your musical desires.

* Tarara Winery also offers Live Local Music on Sundays, June through October from 11AM – 6PM on their charming wood deck overlooking the Potomac River, set against the backdrop of Sugarloaf Mountain. Surrounded by a canopy of trees, the Winery Deck offers a relaxing, pleasant atmosphere. Free! Wines available for purchase.

A couple of area neighborhoods have jumped on the bandwagon and are offering summer concerts right in their communities!  If I’m missing your community’s concert schedule, please drop a link into the comment section here and I’ll be sure to update this list!

Brambleton Sizzlin’ Summer Sounds
When: Thursday nights from 7 – 9
Where: Brambleton Town Center

South Riding Summer Concert Series
When: Friday nights from 7 – 9:30
Where: South Riding Town Green

Seriously? That is a lot of music. Go see something!

* Correction: When I sent this out via Happenings! on the 15th, I accidentally posted 2009’s schedule for the Bluemont/Dodona Summer Concerts on Sunday. As of now, they are still finalizing their 2010 schedule. Please check back at their website for their upcoming schedule.