homepage logo

Holiday Art Show highlights local artists’ unique artwork

By Staff | Nov 16, 2018

Donna Varn, of Leesburg, Virginia, browses through the Holiday Art Show in the War Memorial Building on Friday afternoon. Photo by Tabitha Johnston.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Although the rain poured down outside of the War Memorial Building on Friday afternoon, those who walked inside of the building were immediately transported to a sunny world filled with colorful art, during the Potomac River Artists Guild’s annual Holiday Art Show.

The show, which was open over the weekend, drew a variety of visitors from around the region, including Donna Varn, of Leesburg, Virginia, who came to see the displayed work of one of her friends in the guild.

“This is my first time to the Holiday Art Show, although I’ve been to other art shows by this group before,” Varn said, as she admired some paintings on the wall.

According to PRAG member Sharon Nick, 14 of the guild’s 19 members participated in the Holiday Art Show. Three of Nick’s own bold watercolor and acrylic paintings were on display for holiday buyers, whom she hoped would come out more as the weekend progressed.

“It’s a fine art show, but it’s arranged a little differently than our regular fine art shows, because we wanted to fill the walls up. It makes it easier for people to find holiday gifts if more art is on display,” Nick said, mentioning the variety and amount of art featured in the show made it likely that anyone could find a piece they would want to purchase from the show. “It can be surprising to see the art some people bring in here.”

The show is one of many PRAG hosts throughout the year, but is only one of two held in Shepherdstown every year, according to PRAG member Carol Wilks.

“We do it twice a year here at the War Memorial Building,” Wilks said, mentioning all of her art in the show was made with pastels. “I can do other mediums, of course, but right now I’m doing more with pastels. It’s the product I can create with the pastels that make me prefer using them right now. I want to get a specific product through the medium I use.”

Wilks traveled to Montana recently, where she captured photographs of animals in the wild. After returning to her home in Boonsboro, Maryland, Wilks set to work in her art studio, turning those photographs of wolves and lynxes into pastel works of art for the Holiday Art Show.

“I like to do animals,” Wilks said, mentioning about 10 of her pieces were on display at the event. “Lately, I do wolves a lot. I also do horses and house pets, but I like the wild animals best, because they have more spirit to capture.”