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Surprise connections lead to Roanoke painter’s portrait of a star stallion
Courtesy of Virginia Tech
"Lucid Possession," a multimedia theater production, can be seen March 16 and 17 at Virginia Tech.
Courtesy of Carrie McNutt
Artist Carrie McNutt works on her poppies mural at The Rescue Mission of Roanoke.
Courtesy Carrie McNutt
Carrie McNutt’s portrait of Preakness winner Shackleford was commissioned as a gift for a co-owner of the stallion.
Sunday, March 10, 2013
Carrie McNutt has a penchant for painting horses.
You can see some of her equine portraiture at the 2nd Helpings Gallery in Roanoke this month, along with paintings of Peaks of Otter, poppies and Roanoke landmarks .
Her talent for portraying horses le d to her being asked to create a portrait of a champion stallion, Shackleford, winner of the 2011 Preakness Stakes. How that came about is, as she puts it, "a story all its own."
The 2nd Helpings Gallery is run by the Roanoke Rescue Mission. McNutt was one of the winners of the nonprofit's Permanent Art Collection competition in 2012, and her painting "Poppies Express" brightens the cover of the mission's just-released brochure calling for 2013 entries.
"She is one of our more popular painters," said Bud Shaw, assistant manager at 2nd Helpings. She's had work for sale in the gallery since it opened three years ago, and before then at Art on a Mission in Tanglewood Mall. "She's a very hands-on artist. She's very involved in the gallery and what we do here."
Shaw noted that McNutt's paintings of animals sell well. "She does commission work. She will do a pet for you," or livestock, or other animals.
Her commission to paint Shackleford came about through surprise connections. Originally from Kansas, she and her family lived in Lexington, Ky., and later Knoxville, Tenn. McNutt, 59, moved to Roanoke about 3 1⁄2 years ago.
Last year, in Paintsville, Ky., her daughter Jennifer Ratliff had a wedding shower organized by her high school golf teammate and friend Clara Lauffer. McNutt gave Lauffer notecards with her art on them as a thank-you gift, not knowing that Lauffer's father, Michael, was Shackleford's co-owner. Lauffer commissioned the portrait of the champion horse for her father as a Christmas gift.
McNutt will have prints of her portrait of the Preakness winner for sale at 2nd Helpings.
She's also working on a mural at the Rescue Mission, a field of poppies, which she says are a popular subject these days. Her work can also be found at LinDor Arts and Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke and at the Little Gallery on Smith Mountain Lake . One of her paintings can run from $55 to $1,700, depending on the amount of work involved.
"I'm not afraid to put a higher price on them if they're time consuming and a good painting," she said.
She doesn't have a website, but hasn't had any trouble getting commissions . She said she thanks God for the opportunities she's had as an artist.
Shaw said 2nd Helpings Gallery holds a new reception on the second Saturday of every month. In April, the gallery will host a show by the Painters of the Blue Ridge artist group, with a photography show in May and pottery in June. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 491-9405 or visit 2ndhelpings.org.
Rescue Mission art competition
The Rescue Mission is calling for entries for the aforementioned Permanent Art Collection Competition 2013.
This year, the mission has added a youth competition for grades 9 through 12. Paintings, sculpture and photography are among the art forms that will be considered.
Mary LaGue , registrar for the Art Museum of Western Virginia - now the Taubman Museum of Art - since 1990, will judge the adult category, and Salem artist Annie Waldrop will judge the youth category.
The deadline to enter is April 1. Entry fee $20, youth $10. For more information, call Gail Strickler at 777-7687 or email her at email@example.com.
The still-under-construction Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech continues its 2012-13 season with "Lucid Possession."
A multimedia theater production by New York digital artist and experimental theater pioneer Toni Dove, "Lucid Possession" combines live action and robotics with video projections.
Musicians, a video DJ and lighted costumes all figure in the mix. Center executive director Ruth Waalkes describes the show as a "contemporary ghost story about a young woman whose head becomes clogged with tweets and video streams, and the mysterious journey she takes with her avatar," and suggested it will come across as a cross between the films "The Sixth Sense" and "The Matrix." The show provides a preview, as "Lucid Possession" officially opens in Brooklyn, N.Y., in April.
The show is co-presented with Tech's Department of Theatre and School of Performing Arts and Cinema. Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 17 in Theatre 101 on College Avenue in Blacksburg. Admission is $20, senior citizens and faculty and staff $16, students and children $10.
Dove will also give a free ArtsFusion talk at 5 p.m. March 18 in Theatre 101, presented by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology.
For more information, call 231-5615 or visit www.studentcenters.vt.edu/tickets/events.php.
Grandin Theatre conversion campaign
The Grandin Theatre Foundation has announced a campaign to raise $28,000 to purchase digital projection equipment - a challenge faced by all the independent movie theatres in the region. The movie industry will stop distributing 35 mm film after this year.
The nonprofit theater estimated the conversion will cost $210,000. The Grandin has already been able to raise $182,000 so far, including $95,000 from the Roanoke Valley Woman's Foundation, a $50,000 Taubman Foundation Sustainability Grant and $37,000 from theater members.
According to theater officials, the conversion won't affect ticket prices. In hopes of completing the conversion by mid-April, the theater is calling for public donations, which can be sent to Grandin Theatre Foundation, 1310 Grandin Road, Roanoke, VA 24015 or donated directly through the theater's website, grandintheatre.com.
For more information, call 345-6377 or email executive director Kathy Chittum at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Arts blog
The Grandin Theatre is calling for entries from regional filmmakers for it first-ever film festival. The deadline is April 15. The festival is April 19-21. Read more about it on the Arts & Extras blog, blogs.roanoke.com/arts.
Weather JournalWet weekend here; chasers' big days