Roanoke will celebrate a local art dynasty when the Alexander/Heath Contemporary Gallery opens The Burtch Family Art Show — a showcase of works by several family members whose artistic contributions span generations.
It opens at 6 p.m. Friday, in conjunction with the monthly Art by Night downtown gallery crawl.
Included in the show will be selections by Mary Jane Burtch, Bill Burtch, Jim Burtch, Joe Burtch, and a premiere of works by Madelyn Burtch.
“The pieces in this exhibit are from my own personal hanging collection, and most have never been seen before now,” wrote Jim Burtch, of Burtch Art and Photography, on a Facebook page for the show. “I feel very proud to be a part of this artistic family and I think you will be very surprised at the styles which this exhibit holds in store.”
Alexander/Heath Contemporary Gallery opened in 2015 and specialized in solo shows as the space was getting established, according to its website. In fact, Jim Burtch was one of those early solo exhibitors.
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In his Facebook post, Jim describes how his parents met in the 1960s as students at Ringling College of Art and Design. His mother, Mary Jane, who died in 2016, was a fine arts major who became an acclaimed and widely exhibited artist. His father, Bill, had majored in advertising and worked in that field, later opening Marizels Flowers in Salem. Jim calls his brother, Joe, the “art prodigy,” while he says he himself inherited his father’s knack for illustration. Jim’s daughter Madelyn, he writes, demonstrated early on that she shared the family’s gift.
“We often forget how loved ones influence our course in life,” said gallery owner Ed Hettig via Facebook message. “This is especially true with creative families. We are proud to provide a venue for the remarkable achievements of the Burtch family.”
For anyone unable to attend on Friday, the gallery will also hold a special Christmas week reception at 7 p.m. Dec. 27. The show closes on Dec. 31.
Keep in mind that Friday promises to be a busy night in downtown Roanoke, with the return of the annual Dickens of a Christmas event. Friday’s activities include the City of Roanoke Christmas Tree lighting in Wells Fargo Plaza, with ceremonies from 5:30 to 6:20 p.m. Be aware of possible traffic and parking changes.