This month’s First Friday event will feature a special exhibit in the Up Front Gallery – a show centered around the concept of lost and found art, from contributors Ted Batt, Kevin Chadwick, Laura Morgan, Laura Sackett, Larry Bowden, Craig Wallwork, and George Dawson, among others.
“This show is different in that the real focus here is on the stories of these pieces,” said Ted Batt, Director of Visual Arts at the Academy Center of the Arts. “[The pieces] have all been created, purchased, and then forgotten or discarded. A new life to them continues the story.”
Craig Wallwork’s ‘Military Officer’ piece was purchased at the Potomac Auction House in 2008. “I was told this art piece was painted by none other than master forger Mr. Elmyr de Hory, a Hungarian. He forged paintings of Henri Matisse, Renoir et al. His artwork was so convincing he went undetected for years.” Some of his forgeries even hung in the many of the most impressive art museums and private galleries around the world before he was convicted of forgery and took his own life.
A piece from Kevin Chadwick’s collection, from artist Gneushev Konstantin Grigorevich, also embodies the ‘lost and found’ concept.
“What sparked my interest in this expressionistic piece was that it was for sale along with a book on the artist,” said Chadwick. “Even though it was entirely in Russian and I was unfamiliar with the artist, it did have the image of the work for sale on its cover. Being an artist myself, I knew I would put my own favorite piece on my cover so I knew this was important to the artist and the one to purchase. It even turned out that the artist had an impressive list of works that have been contained in museums and private collections in Russia, Japan, Italy, Sweden, UK, France, Denmark, USA.”
George Dawson’s contribution to the show includes a one-of-a-kind watercolor painting from Nicolas Simmons. George met Nicholas Simmons in 2014 when he came to Lynchburg as the Juror for the Virginia Watercolor Society Exhibition. In addition to selecting and judging the annual statewide juried show, Simmons taught a week-long workshop at the Academy Center of the Arts for some 25 students who enrolled from the eastern United States.
“Those of us in his workshop all knew we were learning from a rare talent who had distinguished himself at a relatively young age,” said Dawson. In 2007, Simmons won the top prize at the National Watercolor Society 87th Annual Exhibition, with “Fresh Sushi,” followed by a 2008 Gold Medal for his painting “Tokyo Express” in the 29th Annual Pennsylvania Watercolor Society International Juried Exhibition. At the Baltimore Watercolor Society 2008 Mid-Atlantic Show, his painting “Summer Sonata” won the Silver Medal. His paintings have also been featured in a variety of publications in this country and internationally such as L’Art de l’Aquarelle, Watercolor Artist, Watercolor, and a number of books. He has been featured on Maryland Public Television, and in 2008 his acclaimed DVD Innovative Watermedia was released by Creative Catalyst Productions.
As the workshop drew to a close, Simmons offered the chance to purchase some original paintings he had produced as demonstrations. “This painting spoke to me,” said Dawson.
Now, this painting sits in the ‘Lost and Found’ collection after being donated by Dawson. “I think [Simmons] would be pleased to see this painting in the collection of a private individual with a commission to support the Academy Center of the Arts here in Lynchburg.”
Additional pieces in this collection include paintings dating as far back as the 1600s.
Make sure to stop by First Fridays, this Friday, July 7, 2017, from 5:00pm – 8:00pm at the Academy to check out this unique Lost and Found art show, paired with oil paintings from Laura Reed Howell in the Ann White Academy Gallery.