Arts

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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Nancy ShafferThere is a distinction between fine art and decorative art, although recently that delineation has become somewhat outdated. While fine art focuses on drawing skills, decorative arts focus more on technique.

This is the only thing that separates the Painters at the Lake (PATL) from the Fluvanna Art Association (FAA). The groups have far more in common than one would suspect, however. Many members have crossed over and are learning different skills.

Art elites would look down their noses at decorative artists, dismissing their work as cultural folk art. Nowadays, the precise meaning of decorative art is less significant given that the confines of an elitist concept of fine art have been outmoded by the all-inclusive classification of visual art.

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Painting by Linda Bethke, First place winnerUnlike the annual judged show in the spring where one person judges the entire show, the Fluvanna Art Association has its People’s Choice Award Show in the fall, where the public decides the three best in each category.

This year the reception and judging took place on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Fluvanna County Library. There were 54 entries and a variety of mediums. New this year was a category called the small wall, which featured works smaller than five by seven inches.

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Artist Susan Lang in her studioArtists master their skills not only by learning techniques but practicing them. Artist Susan Lang believes in principle. Her inquisitiveness and drive has helped her to become a stronger artist. Lang, president of the Fluvanna Art Association (FAA), is one of those rare people who has become successful in life because of her voracious curiosity.  It has served her well throughout her life in her work and in her painting.

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Hollett-Bazouzi demonstrates painting technique.Fluvanna Art Association (FAA) members couldn’t have asked for a more perfect fall day at the Thistle Gate Vineyard on Oct.14 to learn from successful landscape and plein air artist, Linda Hollett-Bazouzi.

Hollett-Bazouzi discussed her approach to painting outdoors, demonstrating what she sees and how she translates it to her canvas. Hollett-Bazouzi has been painting for 11 years. In that time she learned what it takes to be successful at what she does. Rather than resting on past accomplishments, she continues to explore and seek out challenges to make her a stronger artist.

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