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Shenandoah Valley Art Center Opening: BACKYARD by Gail Haile
May 7 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree
The Shenandoah Valley Art Center, during the month of May in the Cabell/Arehart Invitational Gallery, is exhibiting Backyard, a collection of artwork by Gail Haile. Creating has been constant throughout all of Haile’s life, expressed in many disparate ways. Photography was one of those ways; along with an urge to “some day” study it seriously. With degrees in Social Work and Counseling, she spent time in the helping professions. After overcoming a serious health challenge, she had a heightened appreciation for the precious fragility and beauty of life. The experience amplified her already keen awareness of the beauty in the details of the everyday. She was then inspired to change studying photography “some day” to “today.” She studied photography at the college level and continued to study at workshops and intensives and be granted the Master of Photography degree from Professional Photographers of America. She continues to test the boundaries and possibilities that photography offers to express her vision of our world. She now combines her photography with encaustics and continues to explore the marriage of the two media. Gail’s Backyard works began as a mindfulness exercise to elevate the often overlooked. In her own words: “The word “backyard” doesn’t usually evoke images of an exotic place. Backyard is often synonymous with mundane, ordinary, utilitarian, commonplace and consequently of little value. In the Fall of 2019 I had begun capturing and collecting images for the project. Little did I know that in 2020 the project would take on an additional layer of meaning with the pandemic. Suddenly I truly was limited to my backyard. It was no longer a self-imposed restriction. My immersion in my backyard has been equal parts, gift, revelation, and saving grace. I photographed each of these discoveries in the studio so that the items are isolated to create a portrait much the same way that a person is honored by having a formal portrait done. Those images will be presented as mixed media encaustic pieces which offer a more layered interpretation of the object that compels the viewer to look more closely and carefully and to hopefully have the same sense of discovery and wonder that I did. In turn, perhaps, it will cause viewers to take more careful notice of what’s in their backyard.” Opening reception will be May 7, 5:00-7:00 p.m. The exhibit is open to the public May 6 – 28, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday.