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Exhibit salutes 'There's No Place Like Home'

December 04, 2005|By ALICIA NOTARIANNI

alician@herald-mail.com

Home is where the art is this month for the Valley Art Association.

That's not to say members of the group have packed up their works and headed home. Rather, throughout the month of December, they are exhibiting pieces at the Mansion House Art Gallery in City Park with a theme of "There's No Place Like Home."

Art enthusiasts have had an opportunity to view and purchase these works and others throughout the weekend at the Valley Art Association's Holiday Open House.

Elaine Schleigh, treasurer of Valley Art Association, said the group dedicates a portion of the mansion's North Gallery to monthly thematic exhibits.

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Schleigh, of Hagerstown, contributed to the "There's No Place Like Home" exhibit with her watercolor titled "Going Home." Schleigh said she was inspired to do the painting by a photograph her father had taken at Monocacy Battlefield in Frederick County, Md.

"I grabbed it off the table and said, 'Dad, I want that one!'" Schleigh said. "It had an 'Over the river and through the woods' kind of feel to it and I thought it fit the theme."

Lucy Ecker of Hagerstown, exhibited a still life called "Home Holiday Party." Her painting featured a table set with a vase of white tulips and a bowl full of ornaments, along with goblets and a slice of pumpkin cake.

"It was a Christmas idea with a table set up and ready for the guests," Ecker said.

Clyde Roberts of Hagerstown, who said he taught art in Washington County Public Schools for more than 30 years and has been with the art association since 1956, had a roundabout way of relating to the "There's No Place Like Home" theme.

Roberts said when the weather is nice, he goes out painting every Thursday. One week, he said he came upon an abandoned house in the southern part of Washington County and decided to paint it.

"It looks like a haunted house," Roberts said. "I painted it to give a feeling of desertion. It's not a real nice house now, but it's still a home."

Despite the painting's eerie feel, Roberts named it "No Place Like Home."

"I didn't want to call it 'Rundown House,'" Roberts joked.

Bruce Atfield of Falling Waters, W.Va., a member of the 114-member Valley Art Association, said he doesn't currently have art on exhibit at the mansion, but that he and his wife, Diana, went to support their friends and "check out the gallery."

"There are really wonderful, talented people here," Diana Atfield said.

Katherine Grams of Greencastle, Pa., said she learned about the open house when she recently purchased a painting from a member of Valley Art Association.

"I decided to take a look and get some Christmas presents," Grams said.

More than 200 visitors attended the open house this weekend, Schleigh said.

Roberts said the Valley Art Association meets the fourth Wednesday of each month from September through June for business meetings and demonstrations at the Mansion House Art Gallery.

The Holiday Open House kicked off Friday night with musical entertainment, raffle ticket sales, clowns, and cookies and punch. Raffle tickets will be drawn today at 3 p.m., with winners receiving paintings.




If you go



What: Valley Art Association's Holiday Open House

When: Today, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: Mansion House Art Gallery, City Park, Hagerstown.

For more information, call 301-797-6813.

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