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Arts: Featured artists at Art First are looking up for inspiration
BY CRAIG SCHULIN
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Birds have invaded Art First Gallery.
The avian theme, though not intentional, worked well for the two artists featured in this month’s exhibit, “Altered Visions.”
Linda Warshaw used the morning rituals of tossing the ball to her dogs and feeding the birds to start paying closer attention to the feathered creatures inhabiting the yard.
“There is a story that goes with each bird,” said Warshaw.
For instance, a cardinal perched on an icy branch recovers after an in-flight collision.
In another is a mockingbird whose nest near Warshaw’s mailbox made getting the mail a harrowing experience.
Goldfinches, wrens, black-capped chickadees, hummingbirds and a bald eagle all have a story significant to the artist.
Warshaw’s work is acrylic on canvas.
The varying sizes offer their own challenges.
“With the smaller ones, there is less room for error with so much of the focus being on the subject,” said Warshaw.
Her largest piece is a testament to her determination.
“My first attempt with this was a failure. But I went back to it a year later,” she said.
Several of her smaller paintings are cleverly set in bird cages, items she happened upon at furniture store sales or from Salvation Army thrift stores.
But birds are not all Warshaw has on display.
“I cook with a lot of garlic, and one day I decided to find a use for the bottom part,” she said.
Using the part that the cloves are attached to—a part usually thrown away—Warshaw has created a unique collection of jewelry.
Hanging alongside Warshaw’s paintings are the works of painter and photographer Adam DeSio.
Using multiple camera images, he captures an osprey as it attacks a fish from the air.
“I wanted to show the speed that it has as it goes from hovering in the air down to the water,” said DeSio.
He is the owner of DeSio Studios, which provides graphic design along with in-house photography.
Photography also provides a creative outlet.
“Ultimately, I want to be creative and come up with new ideas and new ways of looking at things around us,” said DeSio.
Another photograph, “Flock in the Fog,” is a familiar scene.
The flock of birds taking flight from electrical wires is simple. Yet the darkness, the fog and a solitary farmhouse give the piece emotion.
He also takes brush to canvas to explore his creativity.
Included in the exhibit are three landscapes titled “Roots and Rocks.”
The scenes are reminiscent of tree-covered mountains and hills of Appalachia.
The opening reception for “Altered Visions” takes place Friday night.
WANT TO GO
What: “Altered Visions,” works by artists Linda Warshaw and Adam DeSio Where: Art First Gallery, 824 Caroline St., Fredericksburg
When:Through Oct. 1. First Friday reception, Sept. 7, 6–9 p.m.
Info: 540/371-7107; artfirstgallery.com
Craig Schulin: 540/374-5403