Arts Depot Announces People's Choice Award12.16.2005
ABINGDON, VA — There was lots of merriment at The Arts Depot during the Depot Artists Association's Sixteenth Annual Members Show and Holiday Open House. Approximately 300 people gathered to view over 110 pieces of the region's artists' work displayed in the gallery and to enjoy the day of music provided by harpist Sandra Parker and the harmony of the Virginia Highlands Community College Madrigal Singers, along with sumptuous refreshments, and warm camaraderie.
Everyone present during the first few weeks of the show was encouraged to vote for their favorite piece of artwork to receive the eighth annual "Arts Depot People's Choice Award." This award is presented to the artist whose artwork was selected by those who cast their vote from the show's opening through the week after the Holiday Open House.
This year the award is a memorial to Ann Fisher Richman who passed away in November of this year. Born in Memphis, Richman received a B.A. from Memphis State and an M.A. from Duke. She taught at North Carolina College and Georgia Tech before moving to Bristol in 1969. A longtime resident of Abingdon, she taught writing and literature at Virginia Highlands Community College and Emory & Henry College. After retiring from teaching, she volunteered as staff with the Appalachian Peace Education Center (APEC) and served for many years as editor and publisher of The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, a national poetry quarterly, and The Sow's Ear Press, a publisher of poetry books from the region. She also edited The Plow Reader, an anthology selected from The Plow, an alternative newspaper published in Abingdon in the late 1970s. Richman was an enthusiastic supporter of The Depot Artists Association and will be sorely missed. In 2005 she wrote Playing for Keeps, a book of poems which was presented to the winner of this award. She is survived by her husband, Larry, and her daughter, Karen Maxon, both of Essex Junction, VT.
The Arts Depot is delighted to announce that Nancy Garretson, a longtime Emory, VA artist, is the recipient of this year's award. Her winning artwork, an overwhelming favorite, is a woven tapestry entitled "Frozen Falls," a stunning three-dimensional tapestry rendition of a frozen waterfall, very appropriate for this time of year.
Garretson has been a professional artist/weaver since 1972 when she moved to Southwest Virginia after receiving her master's degree in crafts from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Over the years, Garretson has woven many commissioned works and has shown her pieces in numerous galleries and museums throughout Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. She also was honored to be the Signature Artist for the 2003 Virginia Highlands Festival.
Garretson says, "For me, weaving has it all, the color and design of painting and the form and texture of sculpture. I weave tapestries mostly, some flat tapestries but others have textures and layers of cloth that are stuffed and shaped. Sometimes sticks, feathers and other found objects are incorporated into the designs. Most of my pieces are autobiographical, created out of my life's experiences, landscapes, people and emotions."
Visitors can view Garretson's winning weaving during the continuation of the Annual Members Show through January 7, 2006. Garretson will also be available in her studio to fascinate visitors with her weaving techniques.
Most of the artwork is for sale. The viewing hours for this exhibit are Thursday through Saturday: 11 am ? 3 pm, or by appointment. The gallery will be closed Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, but will be open the preceding Thursdays and Fridays. This exhibit is free to the public.