Carved Sculptural Works and Heatwole Retrospective Now on View

Winchester, VA 07/24/13…Contemporary works by three Shenandoah Valley artists are now on view in the Art in the Halls sections of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV).

Energy, Synergy, and Flux, featuring drawings, paintings, and photographs of large landscape illustrations by Martinsburg, West Virginia, artist David Frederick Heatwole, is on view in Glaize Hall through September 15. Shenandoodah, a collection of sculptural paintings by husband-and-wife art duo Neil and Kerry Stavely of Winchester, is on view in Lewis Hall through October 13. These displays are available for viewing free of charge; Museum admission is not required.

A working artist and arts advocate, David Frederick Heatwole has displayed his work in various galleries in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. The artist’s German ancestors settled in the Shenandoah Valley more than 230 years ago, and his family tree includes generations of Valley artisans and storytellers. Heatwole credits his father—renowned folklorist, historian, and sculptor John Heatwole (1948–2006)—for influencing and inspiring his artistic pursuits. Energy, Synergy, and Flux includes 21 works that he created between 1992 and 2013; he signed some with his given name and others with his pseudonyms, David Johnson and D. J. Priest.

In his early years as an artist, Heatwole’s work consisted primarily of meticulously detailed drawings. In the early 1990s, he painted vibrant works focused on the themes of eternity and synergy. Around 1998, using the pseudonym D. J. Priest, Heatwole produced a body of work that includes three-dimensional paintings he created while wearing 3-D glasses.

Energy, Synergy, and Flux also includes three photographs of large landscape installations that Heatwole designed and organized between 1996 and 2003. These projects sought to bring communities together by involving large groups of people in the creation of art.  

Artists Neil and Kerry Stavely of Winchester, Virginia, operate Horse and Hare, a creative business focusing on block-printing original art on paper, cards, t-shirts, and more. During First Friday events, the artists regularly display their artworks in the Winchester Art Market at Dharma Studio. Their work also is on permanent view in the Winchester Book Gallery in Old Town Winchester.  

For Shenandoodah, the couple carved, painted, and combined irregularly shaped, wooden panels. According to Corwyn Garman, MSV exhibitions manager and Art in the Halls program coordinator, the display is the first sculptural presentation featured in the MSV and the first Art in the Hallsdisplay to contain works created specifically for display in the Museum.

Neil and Kerry Stavely spent more than six months creating these new works to reflect the Shenandoah Valley region and their personal perspectives as Shenandoah Valley residents. Their creative process included researching Valley history to select their subjects and then freshly interpret them through a contemporary lens. The resulting works contain references to important events and figures in Valley history, including the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, Stonewall Jackson, George Washington, Willa Cather, the apple industry, the French and Indian War, Spottswood Poles, the area of Frederick County called Apple Pie Ridge, Patsy Cline, and more.

The first collaborative display organized by the couple, Shenandoodah features three pieces created by Kerry, seven made by Neil, and one work—Pick Yer Own—that they jointly created.  All works will be available for purchase at the conclusion of the MSV presentation, when Neil and Kerry Stavely will host a closing reception at the MSV from 5 until 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 13.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst Street in Winchester, Virginia. The MSV complex—which includes galleries, the Glen Burnie House, and six acres of gardens—is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Additional information is available or by calling 540-662-1473, ext. 235.

Julie B. Armel
540-662-1473, ext. 225