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Courtesy of Nancy Stark
“Thoroughbred Power,” by Nancy Stark
Courtesy of Blue Ridge Potters Guild
Doris Patton, who made this piece, is participating in “Earth, Fire and Art,” the potters guild’s 14th annual show and sale.
Courtesy of Blue Ridge Potters Guild
Work by Lyn Jordan can be seen in “Earth, Fire and Art,” the potters guild’s 14th annual show and sale.
Courtesy of Taubman Museum of Art
“The A’maize’ing Roanoke Star,” created by a team from SFCS to honor the Farmers Market downtown, won the people’s choice award in Roanoke’s inaugural Canstruction.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Not all success stories are flashy and dramatic.
The Blue Ridge Potters Guild has held a show and sale since 2000, and each show gets bigger.
When the group's 14th annual show, themed "Earth, Fire and Art," opens Friday inside Patrick Henry High School, there'll be about 70 potters showing their clay creations, cementing the event's reputation as the largest all-pottery show in Virginia.
The show and sale moved from Cave Spring High School to Patrick Henry in 2010 after years of steady growth, and organizers are wondering if they'll have to find an even bigger venue in the coming years as more members join and want to be part of the show.
"We've grown to the point where we have some decisions to make," said event promoter Barbara Wise .
Admission to the show is free and sales benefit the guild's scholarship fund. Sales have been increasing, too, from 2,100 pieces in 2008 to 3,500 in 2012, said show chairwoman Gwynne Myers .
"It's genuinely a very professional show," Wise said. "We've gotten a reputation for being pretty talented potters over the years."
Based in Roanoke, the guild has about 100 members. Clay-spinning enthusiasts have joined from as far away as Richmond, in part because of the workshops offered by masters of the craft, such as North Carolina potter Nick Joerling and members of the 16 Hands pottery studio group in Floyd County.
But be careful calling pottery a craft. The members will be quick to tell you it's an art - not that anyone's likely to need much convincing.
The group takes part in a number of outreach programs, offering classes in schools and making bowls for the annual Souper Bowl charity benefit at the Taubman Museum of Art and the Empty Bowls benefit for the Floyd County Back Pack Program in Floyd County.
Membership in the guild is $20.
The show takes place Friday, 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Oct. 20, noon to 5 p.m. There'll be kids activities and a special gallery related to the show's theme. For more information, visit blueridgepotters.com.
Roanoke County artist Nancy Stark paints on doors. And those paintings often involve close-ups of the bolts, chains and rust found on train cars.
"This is why I paint. I zoom," she said. "It's the shape, texture, pattern, that makes me want to paint it."
Though she's been painting for 30 years, she wasn't originally interested in becoming an artist. She earned a master's degree in special education at the University of Virginia before marrying her husband, Doug Stark, in 1975. The couple moved to Roanoke in 2000.
Just as her husband developed a passion for building wooden boats over the years, she found one for painting, sparked by a class she took after having their third child. At first, she painted more typical scenes from nature, but an art instructor pointed out her enthusiasm for textures, inspiring her to change her focus.
Her watercolors have been winning awards since 2003.
Lately she's begun a new direction, creating assemblies from found objects, often ones she's inherited, such as her great-great aunt's autograph book from the 1800s, or nails and screws that belonged to her late father-in-law. Incorporating them into her art has been a way to find a use for the items, which otherwise might eventually be thrown away.
"It gives me a new reason to be a pack rat," she joked.
Stark is a founding member of Signature 9 Gallery at Kirk Avenue and Jefferson Street, and she's the featured artist through Oct. 30.
For more information, call 342-0703 or visit signature9gallery.com.
Roanoke's first Canstruction event, which ended Saturday, involved nine teams creating statues out of food cans.
According to organizers, the teams used a total of 27,000 cans, which are being donated to Feeding America Southwest Virginia.
The judges for the event chose winners in the following categories:
On the Arts blog
Roanoke all-woman a cappella group Star City Sounds Chorus wants to recruit more singers, and to that purpose members are holding an open rehearsal 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke at 2015 Grandin Road S.W.
To learn more check out blogs.roanoke.com/arts.
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