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May 14, 2018

Piedmont Regional Art Show this weekend

Contributed Photos
The Piedmont Regional Art Show at Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains has averaged 335 entries each of the past five years.
Last year’s Best in Show winner, “Hound Study” by Dana Thompson of Midland.
The 71st annual Piedmont Regional Art Show & Sale will take place this weekend at Grace Episcopal Church in The Plains.

A major fundraiser for the church, the event continues to grow, averaging 335 entries over the last five years.

This year’s show and sale will kick off with the Opening Gala for artists and sponsors from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 18. Admission to the gala opening is complimentary to exhibiting artists and sponsors. There is a $15 admission charge for additional guests.

The show continues 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission fee, though donations are gratefully accepted.

“This is a nice local show,” says Dana Thompson, last year’s Best in Show winner for “Hound Study,” an oil painting on board. The Midland resident will enter three paintings in this year’s show, which is steeped in tradition.

The first art show at Grace Episcopal in 1947 was inspired by the Rev. Harold W.B. Peters, an artist himself. It began as a project of the Episcopal Church Women. Today, the show and sale has grown to involve volunteer efforts of the entire parish and is a favorite spring event in the region. Throughout its history the art show has featured the works of artists of all media, ages and levels of experience, including the work of established professionals.

Ms. Thompson has entered the Piedmont show the past 20 years. Her mother recently passed away, and the artist said she will dedicate her participation in this year’s show to her mom.

“My mom was a former member of Grace Church and always loved this show,” Ms. Thompson said. She strictly paints wildlife, a reflection on her own menagerie of three dogs, a cat, two chickens and two goats. “I’ve always loved animals so it was the natural thing for me to paint.”

This year’s jurists include David Williams and Cody Leeser. Mr. Williams has been a professional artist for 22 years. His paintings are immediately recognized for quiet composition and richly textured surfaces. His work has been exhibited nationally and is found in hundreds of collection throughout the United States and abroad. He lives and teaches oil and acrylic painting classes in The Plains.

Ms. Leeser, who lives in Orlean, started painting in 2010 when she began private lessons. Since then, her work is shown in most local shows and has garnered numerous awards, including Best in Show at the Piedmont Regional. Ms. Leeser has an international following with paintings in private collections throughout Europe.

Caroline Nash-Helmly also will be a show judge. Born in Indiana and raised in Michigan, she always loved the country and the animals found in barnyards and on farms. An intellectual property attorney by trade, she's been painting all her
life for relaxation. She loves watercolor, oils and acrylics. The Middleburg resident enjoys riding horses, hunting with the Piedmont Hunt, raising chickens and miniature horses.

Proceeds from the show benefit local ministries of Grace Church, and help ensure the continuation of the show. This year’s honorary co-chairs are Landon and Carol Butler.

For more details, visit, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), check out, or call 540-253-5177, Extension 104.

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