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Suttenfield exhibit scheduled for September

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | Sep 4, 2020

This painting is one of many that will be on display during Diana Suttenfield's exhibit this month. Courtesy photo

CHARLES TOWN — The Jefferson Arts Council announced this week that a September exhibition will feature the paintings of Shepherdstown artist Diana Suttenfield. The paintings will be on exhibit the entire month, with public hours on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Suttenfield, a practicing artist for more than 50 years, was named Woman of the Year in Art by the West Virginia Women’s Commission in 1985 and has received multiple honors over the years since, including being named to Who’s Who in America in 2018.

Suttenfield’s paintings and drawings focus on the regional landscapes and architecture of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. Her work has been featured in local, regional, national and international exhibits.

“My May exhibit at the JAC gallery was canceled/postponed due to the coronavirus,” Suttenfield said. “So, I am pleased that we decided to go ahead and have this fall exhibit. For me, it is the first time in over 40 years of exhibit openings that there will be no opening reception at the Fire Hall Gallery.

“However, it is more important for the council and for the community that the exhibit is open,” Suttenfield said. “People need to have access to culture, and that is what JAC is providing.”

Jim Surkamp, friend and admirer or Suttenfield’s work, shared his enthusiasm for the opening of the new exhibit.

“Diana has been quiet for some time and, sure enough, she was on another of her incredible transformations and creation of wonderful new paintings,” Surkamp said.

Suttenfield attributes her success to her enthusiasm for her subjects and strong dedication to art.

“My paintings are about having conversations with myself as I am creating the painting, and with the viewer as they look at the painting,” Suttenfield said. “My own conversations change during the painting process — a new tune may influence a brushstroke or the news may provoke an area of bright or dark color.

“Viewers will make their own interpretations, but hopefully they will see the positive in my work,” Suttenfield said.

Suttenfield earned a Master of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute in 1971. In 1973, she co-founded the German Street Gallery in Shepherdstown and in 1982, she co-founded the Boarman Arts Center in Martinsburg.

Those planning to visit the Fire Hall Gallery Exhibit to view Suttenfield’s paintings are reminded that masks are required. The gallery is located at 108 N. George Street in Charles Town.