January 4, 2022 – April 17, 2022
This engaging display presents 30 vibrant artworks in a variety of styles and mediums by regional artists Carmen Crawford, Loretta Allison, and Ray Crawford. Organized by the MSV.
For 30 years Carmen Crawford worked as a system planning analyst in pipeline design for Washington Gas. After retiring, she decided to explore her lifelong fascination with visual art. She began experimenting with different art forms to find what she liked best, including mixed-media, photography, video, and even doll making. Through this process she discovered her love of clay sculpture. She further developed her skills as a sculptor and painter by attending classes at Opus Oaks Studio with Gale Bowman Harlow. Her Art in the Halls works include selections from a series of portraits depicting historically significant African Americans. In paying tribute to these figures, she attempted to convey their true feelings, expressions, and aspirations.
After retiring from a long career working in international trade for the U.S. Federal Government, Loretta Allison began taking art classes with Gale Bowman Harlow at Opus Oaks Studio, in her hometown of Berryville, Virginia. Her experiences traveling the world, both in service to her county and for leisure, have resulted in a body of work that explores a wide array of themes including culture, identity, and everyday life. The butterflies and flowers in her works pay homage to her love of gardening. In addition to works inspired by her travels and passion for gardening, several of her paintings in Art in the Halls depict cherished memories of family outings. She paints with the intent of sharing the joy of these happy moments with all who see her work.
Loretta Allison is a member of the Blandy Sketch Group and has exhibited artwork at the Barns of Rose Hill, Blandy Farm, Shenandoah Arts Council, and Franklin Park Arts Center. Her paintings can also be found in the MSV Museum Store.
Trucking was something Ray Crawford did professionally for most of his life. When severe illness forced him from the road, his wife, artist Carmen Crawford, convinced him to try something new by joining her for art classes at Opus Oaks. Soon after, he began to explore subjects for his paintings drawn from his many years on the road. Working in acrylic paint, on canvas and panel, he depicts scenes of life, work, leisure, and historical significance. He also began to explore mixed-media abstract themes that reflected his interpretation of the human spirit. Much to his surprise, the experience of shifting gears from being a truck driver to artist has been “uplifting and rewarding.”