February 2017• Art First Turns 25
All Members Exhibit
Opening Reception • Friday, February 3, 6-9 pm.
Show Runs Through February 27, 2017
Opening Reception: First Friday, February 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm
Exhibit on View: February 1 -27 • 11 am to 5 pm
Longevity is rare for any organization that depends on voluntary effort. But the oldest art cooperative in Fredericksburg owes its start, and continued success, to members and their families, who willingly contribute time and elbow grease to encourage each other’s creativity.
Artist Jane Woodworth assembled Art First Gallery’s original members. In just one month, the long-vacant former restaurant at 108 Hanover Street, “around the corner from Sammy T’s”, was scrubbed of grease and smoke, painted and open to the public. Many of the gallery’s former members continue to exhibit in the local area and beyond. Widely recognized are: Jane Woodworth, Johnny P. Johnson, Paula Rose, Helen Butler, Dee McCleskey, Alba King (her son, Ed King, is a current member), Elsie Hagenlocher, Anita Holle and Ruth Loving. Two founding members remain: Cathy Herndon and Linda Warshaw. Both paint, create assemblages and teach. Members are juried by an elected board that values professionalism and a unique portfolio. Today, just as in the beginning, members ages span five decades.
All are welcome to join the First Friday celebration from 6 to 9 pm on February 3rd at 824 Caroline Street. A month long silent auction of more than 25 representative works, by current and some emeritus members, will be featured in a show called “This is Us”. Proceeds will benefit the Youth Art Program, which brings art to local underserved children through an initiative of the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts.