Art show fundraiser reaches 25th year

Those in the market for some decorative pieces with flair and character can get a taste of local artwork beginning Saturday at the Clarke County Historical Association’s Art at the Mill show at the historic Burwell Morgan Mill.

The biannual show has connected patrons and artists in the area for 25 years and serves as the main fundraiser for operation costs of both the mill and the association’s museum.

A lot has changed since the show began as a three-day affair started by a few artists in 1990. The mill now displays more than 1,000 pieces that represent around 300 artists from South Carolina up to Ohio, although most artists are from Virginia or Maryland.

Artists can now submit their work digitally and the team of jurors can use an online database system to review pieces. Nathan Stalvey, director of the Clarke County Historical Association, said those changes have streamlined the process and even helped to attract new artists.

To commemorate 25 years of successful fundraising, Stalvey has gathered a collection of photos, programs and ads from years past to put on display during Art at the Mill. Contributing artist Lou Messa will be offering guests demonstrations of the oil painting process on Oct. 10 during free admission day.

An invite-only patron’s night tonight will give instrumental volunteers and regular patrons a chance to kick off the show in honor of their continued support.

Stalvey said that both floors of the Burwell Morgan Mill will be packed with art for guests to peruse – and even more work sits in reserve. He said the first pieces to come off the walls are typically paintings of tranquil vistas.

“The big things that sell for this show are landscapes, farm scenery…anything that connects with people on a personal level,” he said.

Art at the Mill will feature works that span a wide range of media like glasswork, pottery and woodwork. Stalvey noted an interesting series of sculptures from a French artist living in Middleburg that depict women with various weapons – all made from stiffened remnants of clothing.

Artists will receive 60 percent of the sales and the remaining 40 percent will go to the association. A portion of that 40 percent will go toward the Sarah P. Trumbower Memorial Scholarship fund for students pursuing the arts in higher education.

Regular admission to the show will be $5, senior admission will be $3 and children younger than 12 will be admitted free.

Stalvey said that the show will continue on its strong foundation in the distinctive works of passionate artists and the consistent support of volunteers.

“We’ve been going 25 years strong and we’re really happy with what we’ve got,” he said.

IF YOU GO: The Art at the Mill show is open 12 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays  Saturday through Oct. 18 at the Burwell Morgan Mill, 15 Tannery Lane in Millwood. Information: Clarke County Historical Association at 540-955-2600.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or

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