Grace Episcopal Church in Fauquier County’s The Plains announced the return this fall of the Piedmont Regional Art Show and Sale after the pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020.

Normally a spring event, this year’s art show featuring 250 artworks will be held Oct. 22-24 in the church hall at Grace Episcopal Church, located at 6507 Main St. in The Plains. This year’s show will be the 73rd since it was first held in 1947. It serves as a fundraiser for the church and as a showcase for area artists to exhibit their work. The success of the art show enables Grace to operate as a source of spiritual, social and cultural support for our community.

This year’s show opens with a Friday night gala on Oct. 22 (admission $15 per person, free to artists and sponsors) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23 and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 24 to view the entries. Admission to the show is free.

Over the years the art show has featured the works of regional artists of all media, ages and levels of experience, including the work of established professionals. In 2019 — the year the art show was last held before the pandemic — Dana Lee Thompson won the Best of Show award for her work, “After the Rain.” 

Awards are bestowed to winners in the categories of oil or acrylic, watercolor, graphics, photography and other media. The art may be purchased by guests. Judging the entries in this year’s show will be area professional artists Debbie Cadenas, Lilla Ohrstrom and Patricia McMahon Rice.

Cadenas studied art in college, but it wasn’t until she moved to Middleburg in 2004 that she began to paint in earnest. The scenic Virginia countryside and the sheep and horses in her pasture inspires her artwork. Her work has been displayed at Salamander Equestrian Center, Artists in Middleburg Gallery, Journeyman Saddlers, The Side Saddle Café, The Museum of Hounds and Hunting and The Byrne Gallery, and elsewhere. 

She has chaired the Middleburg Arts Council and was the founder of Foxes on the Fence, an art show in Middleburg. She enjoys painting pet portraits and works with a religious theme. Her oil painting of Pope Francis is on display at the “Exhibición de Arte Religioso” in Santiago, Cuba. A portrait of St Francis de Sales presides in the St. Francis De Sales Purcellville,

Ohrstrom resides in The Plains where she is the creative director of Youngblood Art Studio and is the primary art therapist. She studied at the Parsons School of Art, the Rhode Island School of Design and Skidmore College’s University Without Walls. She completed a master’s degree in art therapy and has an art therapy private practice in The Plains.

Ohrstrom's medium of choice is clay, but she experiments in metal, wire, plaster, paint and paper. She has completed commissions and had solo exhibits in the United States and France. She creates canine sculpture for pet owners.

As a teacher and art therapist, Ohrstrom works with people of all ages and abilities, teaching them how to access creativity and to find their own artistic style. In her own life, art making has always been a way toward self-expression, experimentation and a better understanding of the world.

Rice is an award-winning artist specializing in fine art oil paintings in the classical realist tradition. Her artistic approach combines a thoughtful blend of past and present, using time-honored techniques and materials of the great masters while adding her own contemporary flare, resulting in works of art that are aesthetically beautiful and unmistakably unique. 

Rice has been creating art since 1996. Between 2001 and 2003 she studied under the renowned portrait artist Daniel E. Greene, considered by many to be the foremost pastelist in the United States. Since 2004, she has studied under the award-winning American artist Robert Liberace, a prolific sculptor and painter honored as a “living master” by the Art Renewal Center in 2013. 

Rice is an active member of the Portrait Society of America, the International Guild of Realism and Oil Painters of America. In 2006, her portrait in oil, “Day Dreaming,” was a finalist in the Portrait Society of America’s Tri-State Portrait Competition. In 2009, 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2017 she won the National Recognition in Portrait Society’s Member’s Only competition, twice for pastel portraits, twice for portraits on copper, and twice for paintings on linen. In 2014, she received a certificate of excellence in the Portrait Society’s International Portrait Competition for her painting on copper titled “Lauren.”

More information about the art show and Grace Episcopal Church is available at www.piedmontartshow.org and www.facebook.com/artshowatgrace. Phone 540-253-5177 ext. 104. A gallery of the works of winners from the 2019 show can be viewed at https://www.gracetheplains.org/2019-art-show-winners-gallery/

The writer, while also a regular Rappahannock News freelancer, is publicity manager for the Piedmont Regional Art Show and Sale


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