Art Appreciation

Valley Art Association members showcase talent at annual exhibit

Valley Art Association members showcase talent at annual exhibit

January 02, 2003|by KEVIN CLAPP

In 2002, Marguerite E. Cyr had the pleasure of displaying her artwork in five separate shows.

The Hagerstown woman is a veteran of the regional art scene, so you might think recognition of her talent - yawn! - becomes a ho-hum affair.

You might think it. But you'd be wrong.

"Oh, yes, it's always exciting, because you feel you're being appreciated, that your work is recognized and appreciated and it's accepted," she said. "You do put a lot of energy and time and a piece of yourself in each piece. You do it for yourself, but when someone else recognizes it it's a compliment."

No, the thrill never fades, and the New Year provides another opportunity for Cyr to feel good about her work.

Through Sunday, Feb. 2, members of Valley Art Association can puff their chests with pride at the works on display at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. The show opened Dec. 20.


The exhibition's landscapes, portraits, still lifes and other works in a variety of media represent another feather in the cap of an organization with deep community roots dedicated to stoking the passionate fire for arts in the Tri-State.

Museum Director Jean Woods enjoys seeing the diversity of projects displayed each year by Valley Art members, who are scattered from Pennsylvania to West Virginia.

Popular this year are bird carvings by Aubrey Wright and a watercolor of the Bowman House kitchen, decorated for the holidays.

And since many of the artists on display are featured from year to year, Woods said the show is an opportunity to see their growth.

"I love looking at art and it's interesting for me to see the development of an artist over the years ... how they innovate and go in new directions," Woods said via e-mail. "Because of the space and the lighting the Museum has in the galleries, many of the artists comment to me how well their paintings look. They are seeing them for the first time spread out and in a room where there are no other distractions, such as furniture. The eye focuses solely on the art."

A member of Valley Art Association for 10 years, Peter Worhacz has a recent portrait on display during this show.

Hooked on art since retiring 12 years ago, the 74-year-old enjoys seeing his work up for all to see, whether through Valley Art or his affiliations with Waynesboro (Pa.) Studio Club or Franklin County (Pa.) Art Alliance.

"That's why I do it," he said. "If you do work you think is pretty good you feel proud to show it to other people."

Cyr, a Valley Art member for 25 years, has an even more extensive resume than Worhacz. She taught art at St. Maria Goretti High School, and is a member of The Spectrum Seven, a group of artists whose work has appeared in shows from Bethesda, Md., to Gettysburg, Pa.

Yet no matter how often she shows work, the wonder and excitement never dissipates.

"No, no," she said. "You're always trying to achieve that feeling."

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