Faraway Places at the Fire House

Faraway Places at Fire House Gallery

Sometimes it’s a bucketful of seashells gathered by a child. Or the photograph of extended family at a picnic that time when everyone took vacation together lakeside. Or the menu from a café. The photographs, the postcards bought but never sent, or that commemorative cocktail glass from a mountain lodge. These are the keepsakes of travels.

For many artists, travel sparks creation. The Fire House Gallery in Berryville will host a show of extraordinary travel-inspired art by local artists, April 26 through May 18, that brings the world back home. Faraway Places is a celebration of how artists transform travel into works of art.

Says gallery director Kate Petranech, in many cases the painting, watercolor, or ceramic will have been inspired by actual travel to places. Others will be the result of “virtual” travel, with the artist either using something—a weaving pattern from Ireland, for instance—or his or her own imagination to capture a place, a moment, or a mood from some far off land.

One such painting featured in Faraway Places is a new watercolor by Julie Read, The Jewish Quarter, inspired by a recent trip to Rome that coincided with the Catholic conclave in which cardinals assembled to chose a new Pope. “My daughter, Heather, wanted to go to Rome, so off we went with two other friends,” said Read. “We were walking through the Jewish Quarter with a group of new friends en route to a famous local restaurant for lunch. The people in the painting were our lunch partners.”

The show circles the globe, dropping exhibit-goers down into little and well-known spots in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Central America as well as places closer to home.  Visitors will watch storms gather over the tulip fields in Holland.  Tour Rome’s Jewish Quarter the week the new Pope was chosen.  Experience the grandeur of the Baobob tree in Botswana and the transcendent  stillness of the ocean in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Featured artists include: Anita Baarns, Christy Dunkle, Constance Fisher, Diane Artz Furlong, Bonnie Jacobs, Chet Lewandowski, Chantal Gabard, Marilyn Lister, Patricia Perry, Julie Read, Jo Russell, Josie Tilton and Carl Tribble.

According to Petranech, the idea for the show came from photographer and Fire House Gallery artist, Bonnie Jacobs. After she returned from a trip to Panama last year awed and inspired by the artworks she saw, Petranech challenged her to see where that inspiration might lead, sensing that travel-inspired art would make a great idea around which to build a show.

The Fire House Gallery, a program of Berryville Main Street, is at 23 East Main Street in Berryville. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 11am–3pm; and Fridays 11am–5pm.

Reggae Party at Factory B

Speaking of travel: There is still time to get tickets for the Reggae Party at Factory B Studio, a fundraiser for the Fire House Gallery and Berryville Main Street, May 3, from 6pm till 9pm.

Take a virtual flight to Jamaica to “jahm” to the sounds of reggae music at Factory B Studio upstairs of the Fire House Gallery. Plan to dress for an evening under Caribbean moonlight, show off your wildest cabana wear, get decked out in your favorite sundress in celebration of the sun. Do your hair in dreadlocks, your feet in flip flops, and come upstairs to Factory B.

Sponsored by Factory B Photography Studio and The Observer, proceeds from the event will benefit the important work of Berryville Main Street and Fire House Gallery.

Ticket price includes complimentary refreshments, including jerk chicken, and other tasty treats.

Tickets and details are available at vaOBSERVER.com. Let everyone know you’re coming at facebook.com/factorybstudio.