The Shenandoah Valley Art Center, during the month of May, in the Cabell/Arehart Invitational Gallery, is presenting the artwork of James Pannabecker. His unique form of art came about when, four years ago, a brother-in-law said, “James, you know those stamps we collected as kids aren’t worth much more than we paid for them,” I decided to discard my lifelong reverence for postage stamps and use them as a medium for art-making. My early attempts primarily focused on using whole stamps to create a scene, as I still wasn’t quite ready to completely surrender my respect for the potential value of old stamps. I gradually came to look at stamps as if they were paint and accepted the idea of cutting them into tiny pieces. I’ve also tried to find what stamps invite me to see, especially when my collection includes a large number of the same issue. For example, “American Circus” centers on the 1966 5-cent United States Circus stamp, which at the time was the only U.S. stamp to feature a living person (Johann Ludwig Jacob, the Ringling Brothers’ star clown) and seemed to clearly invite a playful interpretation. One of my goals is to catch viewers’ eyes with overall composition and then surprise them as the realization sinks in that these are postage stamps. I hope the work draws them in, encourages them to spot the obvious elements, and then teases them into hunting for more subtle details. For example, do you see the howling wolf in the artwork: “Frenchman Valley Co-op?” The exhibit opening is May 6, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Come and meet the artist! The exhibition is open to the public May 6 – 26, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday.