Local artist Joyce Myers, a Vienna resident and a physical therapist, pictured with one of her watercolors on display at Vienna Arts Society’s Jazz It Up show Saturday, Jan. 27.
Photo by Colin Stoecker/The Connection
Saturday evening was the opening of the Jazz It Up art show at the Vienna Arts Society in Vienna. On display were Dore Skidmore’s wood carvings of New Orleans street life and jazz.
The art show offered a mixture of styles from artists of all backgrounds, food and drinks, but the February Mardi Gras theme was central to the show.
Skidmore had a gallery in New Orleans and used to live just outside of the city. She does meticulous wood carvings with Bourbon Street life and music themes.
“On my first visit to New Orleans, I went to preservation hall with the musicians and for 45 minutes you listen to the jazz. They still do it to this day,” she said. Her original hand carvings are carved out of a block of solid wood. She paints over the exterior to add some color.
Recently, Skidmore received a commission by Street Scenes Gallery in New Orleans. They made 350 reproductions of her original Bourbon Street themed carving to sell in their galleries.
“I make a nice unexpected income off of the commission from the gallery,” she said.
Lu Cousins is the Art Center director. “Every two months we have a new theme and we meet in August and put our heads together and come up with themes for the whole year. February is Mardi Gras so we decided on Jazz It Up,” she said.
Although Cousins is in charge of organizing the shows, she tries to leave the theme open to interpretation by the viewers.
“We put the theme out there and we don’t ask for an explanation. We had a theme called music to my ears and when you came, you could find those things in the exhibit,” said Cousins.
Vienna Arts Society has more than 150 members and takes a modest commission from their sales to sponsor shows like Jazz it Up.
Local artist Joyce Myers, a Vienna resident and a physical therapist assistant, had several watercolors on display. She focused her paintings on dancers. “The medium of alcohol and ink just flows like the dancer’s dresses. It renders movement and you never know what you’re going to get. It surprises you!” she said.
The Vienna Arts Society has been in the 115 Pleasant St. NW location since 1969. The building used to be a dunkard church of the brethren dating back to 1898, where church members were known for dunking members in water.
They will be moving to the Windover building, next door, at 243 Church St. this summer.
Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) has a showcase of work from the Vienna Arts Society hanging in her office at North County Government Center in Reston until June 30.
Jazz It Up is going on until March 3. Call 703-319-3971 or visit www.ViennaArtsSociety.org for more information.