Displaying passion

Museum displays local family’s art

By Ryan Cornell

STRASBURG — As an author, Glenna Loving is familiar with bringing her characters to life.

A recent project has led her one step further, creating dolls modeled after the American Indians in her latest book.

Crafted out of clay and dressed in rabbit fur and leather, the dolls represent Changing Sky Woman, White Wolf and others from “White Wolf and Shenandoah,” a children’s book she wrote in 2009.

“So they’re all one of a kind,” she said. “Not one is the same or based on the same thing.”

Loving’s dolls, as well as her paintings, collages and painted gourd ornaments, are part of an exhibit displayed at the Strasburg Museum this month, along with artwork created by her husband, Ray, and sons, Monty and Mark.

Monty Loving, who works as an assistant principal at James Wood High School, has a collection of arrowheads, spearpoints and blades at the museum. These objects were handcrafted from obsidian, flint, glass and synthetic opal, according to Glenna Loving.

“He actually does it in the old-time way, and uses a deer antler and a stone,” she said.

She recalled a trip through Texas with her husband, stopping at various rock shops throughout the state and purchasing different stones to bring back home.

“For Monty I think it’s kind of a stress release,” she said. “When you’re an assistant principal of a school, you need a stress release.”

His younger brother works as a contractor for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

When he’s not too busy inspecting roads, Mark Loving paints folk art on game boards, picture frames and wooden candle boxes, a selection of which is displayed at the museum.

Decorated in bright colors and with cartoonish figures, the designs evoke midcentury Americana.

Their father, Ray Loving, is exhibiting an array of wooden furniture and other pieces, including a fern stand and desk made from walnut, a bench out of oak and a trunk crafted from yellow pine salvaged from an old barn.

“I do it for that reason, the enjoyment reason,” he said. “I’m an old craftsman and I do what I can and enjoy doing it, whatever that turns out to be.”

Glenna Loving agreed with the sentiment that they’re an art-oriented family.

“We like to think so,” she said. “If one can’t do something, another does it.”

Although the Lovings have displayed their artwork in the museum before, this is the first time an exhibit has combined works from all four of them.

The Loving family art exhibit will run through Sept. 27.

For more information, contact the Strasburg Museum at 540-465-3175 or visit strasburgmuseum.org. Admission is $3 for adults, $1 for teenagers and 50 cents for children.