Arts

Fred LangAs a boy, Dr. Fred Lang grew up in Vallejo, Calif., next to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard where they built submarines. The submarines fascinated him as did the many wartime stories their commanders told. The stories he heard and his interest in politics were shaped by his early experiences and influenced his career choices later in life; from getting his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara to a master’s degree in public administration to his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

Lang became a professor for the University of Phoenix in its online doctorate program in the ‘90s. He had difficulty transitioning from the brick and mortar classroom to a virtual one, he said. His doctoral dissertation focused upon distance learning and how to teach in a virtual classroom. Today he teaches leadership seminars online for Bellevue University.

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Henna body art. For hundreds of years, face painting has been used across cultures, from the Picts of Scotland to the Lakota Tribes of North America, the Zulu in Africa, the Maori in New Zealand, and the Aborigines in Australia, India and other areas of Asia and South America. Wherever early peoples formed tribal groups, they would adorn themselves with symbols or color, communicating to others their religious and spiritual beliefs.

Face painting has evolved over the centuries from being largely symbolic with special meanings to being used as camouflage by the military or as theatrical makeup. The opera was the first theatrical venue for face painting to enhance the character. Later clowns became a specialty in the circus. Nowadays women will not leave the house without putting on “their face.”

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Maria CarterHer canvases explode with wild color and she abandons the standard forms of painting in favor of painting what is in her soul. She is a maverick when it comes to her art. What Maria Carter sees first is color, then form, when it comes to her paintings.

“You have to find your voice. Inspiration comes from what you see – patterns of colors and imagery from what is around you. I have found my voice,” she said. Carter exudes energy when speaking about her work and it’s contagious when other artists are in her presence.

Carter’s art would be classified as abstract impressionism, rich with color and form. She is continually motivated by the natural beauty that surrounds her and it’s evident through her translation onto the canvas.

“I am always amazed at the ever-changing landscape that displays different colors and shapes from one day to the next,” she said. She recalled watching the seasons evolve from shimmering water reflections on the lake in summer to the snow encrusted tree limbs of winter. Those images have influenced much of her work.

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Father Mefodii with an icon of Christ and the apostles.To the uninitiated, the icon is beautiful artwork. The colors are rich and verdant – vivid yet transparent – illuminated. Burnished gilding reflects the light back on itself; night-dark indigo and deep vermilion gently glow.

Yet these depictions of saints and holy figures – these icons – are not painted; they are written.  They are not meant to be admired for their beauty – although they certainly are beautiful, they are meant to be engaged with. They are created for dialogue, conversation, and introspection.  According to the Eastern Orthodox faith, these icons are not just the images of saints, angels and holy figures, but their very presence.

Just outside of the village of Palmyra is the Skete of Saint Maximos the Confessor – an Eastern Orthodox monastery and chapel. Two monks – Father Kyril and Father Mefodii – live at the skete and lead services in the chapel there. The chapel is filled with light; sunshine from without pours in through large windows; inside, candles flicker and the gilded icons gently glow. In the company of saints, congregants sing the liturgy in conversation with the cantor and the priest; myriad tiny bells on the censer chatter as perfume fills the air. Icons line the walls; a screen of icons on tall stands divides the chapel.   Add a comment

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Tom EllisMany Lake Monticello residents have looked out across from the marina and seen a little village with a working train on a dock. Some may wonder at the unique idea, some think it’s clever, but others know it’s Tom and Kay Ellis who live there.

A civil engineer in his past life – designing water and sewer systems, treatment plants and other municipal facilities – Ellis currently loves to tinker and create. He is self-taught in the craft of woodworking and carving. Recently Ellis won second place in the intermediate category of the annual Fluvanna Art Association’s People’s Choice Award Show for his wooden sculpture Rivanna Food Chain.

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