Business news from the Fredericksburg region.
Photographer finds new use for studio
BY CATHY JETT
FREDERICKSBURG portrait photographer David Weadon had a problem.
Customers had begun demanding casual shots using simple props instead of the elaborate sets inside his studio in the old Pepsi plant at 305 Hanson Ave.
What was he going to do with the entire 1,500-square-foot space if he no longer needed huge backdrops that looked like a scene in such places as Italy?
Fellow artists had a solution. He should turn the studio into a gallery that concentrates solely on modern art, something other area galleries don’t do.
Weadon took their advice and will open Weadon Studios and Fine Art today as part of the First Friday Art Walk.
The initial show, which will remain up for a month, features an assortment of pop, geometric and impressionist pieces by more than 20 local and national artists. Most of the works will be paintings, but there will also be photography, pottery and sculpture.
The grand opening will have a private viewing session from 6–7 p.m. and will be open to the public from 7–10 p.m. It will feature live entertainment and the première of “The Pugilist,” James Coleman’s film about a 1950s fight club’s boxing match. It was shot in the gallery before the work was hung, and it features some of the artists.
“We’re very excited about it,” Weadon said of tonight’s event.
“I’ve been on these artists’ websites for weeks and weeks. I’m looking forward to the whole evening and being part of First Friday and bringing in art from the big cities.”
Some of the artists participating in the initial show will be familiar to area residents. They include Gabriel and Scarlet Pons, who have a gallery of their own on Caroline Street, and Weadon, who plans on doing more fine art photography and fewer portraits. Others hail from New York, Chicago, Washington, Maryland, North Carolina and other parts of Virginia.
“The art from the bigger cities has a little bit different feel from [the art produced] here,” Weadon said. “It has a different edge to it. With all the local art hanging next to it, there will be a lot of different styles and interest.”
He said local artists are excited about the prospect of seeing their art displayed next to that of artists from other cities.
Weadon Studios and Fine Art will open a new exhibit every First Friday, and plans on holding special events every two weeks.
“It will give people in Fredericksburg a place to discuss art,” said Jen Reynolds, who helped Weadon get the initial show up and running.
Eventually, Weadon Studios and Fine Art will also have a space where people can watch artists as they work.
Despite the current economy, Weadon said he thinks there is a market for fine art. Two of his clients, for example, told him that they were driving either to Richmond or New York City to buy it.
“People who collect art,” Weadon said, “still collect art.”
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407