Mother, daughter exhibit illustrates shared interests

By Josette Keelor

Sharing the spotlight with mom might not work for all teenage artists, but Hannah Huddle, 19, was all smiles on a recent afternoon when she and her mother Holly, 48, talked about their art exhibit at 7 East Gallery in Woodstock.

After detecting their individual styles, it’s easy to determine whose art is whose. Hannah said her style is “a lot more gestural,” marked by sweeping strokes of color that add texture and lightheartedness to landscapes. Holly would tell you her own work is more straightforward and not as youthful or energetic as her daughter’s, but her paintings challenge her words with a personality all their own.

Her pencil and colored pencil drawing, “Tower Road Turn,” depicts a winding downhill curve that, even without the perspective of a car, makes the viewer feel the speed at which a someone might take that turn if unprepared for gravity’s advantage on a tightly wound course.

Style is not only what divides the Woodstock residents. Hannah, a rising sophomore at Virginia Commonwealth University, intends to make a career of art, while Holly does it for fun. But there’s no such wall between them and their artwork.

“With me,” Holly said, “art’s more of a pastime, because no matter what I do, I always come back to art.”

That’s exactly what she’s doing now, after having taken five years off from teaching art to home school her son.

With experience teaching in Spotsylvania County and then at Signal Knob Middle in Strasburg before landing at Central High School in Woodstock the year before Hannah started there in 2008, Holly plans to lead a drawing class at 7 East Gallery this fall, on Tuesdays from Sept. 24 to Oct. 29.

But during her time off from teaching, Hannah took her mother’s lead, co-teaching a photography camp in Haymarket for a few summers.

“I definitely drew a lot when I was younger, because of her,” Hannah said, but pursuing art was her own idea. Her interests have derived from mythology and Japanese anime, and in later years she attended performing and visual arts classes through the summer regional governor’s school in Winchester.

The Woodstock exhibit, which continues through the end of August, has been going well so far, the Huddles said, but this isn’t the first time the Virginia Educational Center for the Creative Arts has held a mother/daughter show at the Woodstock co-op.

Sally and Tori Veach, also of Woodstock, showed their work last year in August, and Holly said, as with her and her daughter, Tori is in art school while her mother Sally pursues art just for fun.

“I really enjoy that we both like art,” Holly said. Whether or not it pays the bills, it’s proven its worth to them.

“It’s a nice common interest to have.”

Holly and Hannah Huddle’s art show “Movement” is on display at 7 East Gallery, 123 S. Main St., Woodstock, through the end of August. For more information, call 540-459-7500 or visit www.vecca.org/7-East or hannahhuddle.com.

Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or jkeelor@nvdaily.com