By Josette Keelor
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester has partnered with The Art Group Gallery in Mount Jackson on a series of exhibits that will run through July.
The work of artists Kay Ely-Pierce and Thomas Chipley are on display in the museum's Art in the Halls show in Glaize Hall and Lewis Hall until April 6.
Corwyn "Cory" Garman, director of exhibitions at the museum, said he connected with TAGG after visiting the gallery and noticing the talent featured there.
"I was just blown away at what I had seen there," he said. "They had so many talented artists and so much great work in the gallery."
He was impressed by the cooperative's sense of community and recognized a "great energy" in the featured work.
Penelope Carroll, Vicky Germroth and Nancy Slye will be featured in the next part of the series.
Ely-Pierce of Maurertown, whose work includes portraits and still life, focuses mostly on large-scale acrylics with "big expressionist, bold, brash, bright colors," said that she and Chipley work well together because his work "is really all about line."
"He is an incredibly talented, amazingly bright human being. He's probably one of the more creative souls within the Art Group," she said.
Chipley of Warrenton said his artwork derives from his career as an industrial designer and he has "a lot of respect for the line and the simplicity of the line."
Being part of Art in the Halls will help bring recognition to TAGG, which Ely-Pierce said was founded in 2000 as the anchor organization within the nonprofit Bowman-Shannon Cultural Arts Center, 5998 Main St., Mount Jackson. TAGG currently averages 20 members with talents ranging in medium from painting and pottery to jewelry, stained glass and metal sculpture, and she said they take turns as gallery docents.
"We have so much talent here in the valley, it's amazing," said Ely-Pierce, and to partner with the museum, "it's just a dream come true for us."
Garman said the museum has featured other community artists, but this is its first collaboration with an art co-op.
"I don't know many that are like the Art Group," he said. "There's a great depth of talent. I think it showcases a real treasure trove of talented arts-minded people."
According to Chipley, the feeling is mutual.
"It's really a great feeling because that is a very significant museum. It's very important in the valley and it's a very reaffirming experience to have a group of that quality to want to see what I do," he said.
"This is a great chance for us to show off what we can do, and it's just going to get better."
The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is located at 901 Amherst St., Winchester. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit www.theMSV.org.
Contact Community Engagement Editor Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org