Thank you Rachel Herr (see pg 30 on link!) for capturing these candid moments last evening at Art Lotto’s artists/judges/sponsors Private Party. What a fun evening of looking and admiring and chatting and fun. It was a great sight to see all eyes glued to the walls of the Artful Dodger in admiration of the diverse talent that surrounds us. Portraits will be up through the month of August.
I’ve known Renee Somers for nearly 15 years. She is an artist in every sense of the word. She lives it, preaches it, breathes it, studies it, does it, loves it and just can’t get away from it. It bleeds from her. It is her. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee but is no stranger to the Valley. Renee’s son, Paul, is a go-to for artful adventures in Harrisonburg, carrying on her passions and giving her ample reasons to visit: film festivals, poetry readings, art shows and…oh yeah, her amazingly sweet grandchildren. This is Renee’s second Art Lotto go-round. Last year she took home the prize for Best Hair with her painting of Matt Sedeen. This year, she’ll be all tangled up in the locks of Matt Hall. Fellow art educator/artist John Bell will be portraying Renee. After meeting with Matt for the first time, Renee sent me the following quick-sketch and thoughts:
“I wondered who was the artist I would paint for Art Lotto. I came, I looked, I wondered. I was plopped down on a stool at the Artful Dodger thinking each person I saw might be him. I asked first one and then another. I looked for someone looking for someone. Then about the time I settled in and just decided to relax, I ordered a coffee and told the bartender I was “just waiting for Matt Hall” and he said, “Why he’s right there,” and called him over. He resembled the images I had seen painted through the centuries of the Christ. I was thrilled at the fun hair I would get to paint and my immediate response was to do a Christ look-alike. But who knows where the spirit will take me as I handle this young artists face with my paintbrush and follow the contours of a well-chiseled firm face and curly feathery hair.
You know, when it comes to Art Lotto, it is about surprise, anticipation, and visual resurrections of our perceptions coupled with the images of the artists we have selected to portray. I took some pictures of Matt and my son, Paul, took some pictures for me. If you want to find out the outcome of this fabulous opportunity, meet me at the Art Lotto opening at the Artful Dodger. Last year and to-date, it was the best art show I had seen in years. The diversity, the talent, and the ambiance of the whole concept, of artists painting artists, was just inspiring. Top that off with the Super Gr8 Film Festival and you have music, passion and art all wrapped up in a artful heartful community.” ~Renee
Rebecca Rust, signed up for Art Lotto in person at one of our sign up events held at the Blue Nile. There’s just something about her that draws you in and makes you think twice about what’s going on behind those merlot colored glasses. This year, Matt Hall has been assigned the task of showing us his Rebecca as he will be creating a portrait of her for our August opening. Aside from getting involved in the arts and chatting about life at weekly girls night, Becca is also a derby girl. Mmm hmm. Pretty b.a. huh? Watch her in action at a Rocktown Roller event near you.
This year, Becca will be doing a portrait of Jon Gehman
“I had seen Matt’s show at the Nile when it opened, and saw one image in particular that I had to have! His work reminds me of Miyazaki films, in the way that houses turning into beings, multiple faces appear from different perspectives.
Nothing is as it seems.
I was prompted a week or so later, by Brandy, to go visit again for some photos. This time I had a fellow roller derby lady with me (who happens to be our go-to for Merchandise… and a fellow Art Lotto contributor), Ruthie Hogan, and she liked Matt’s work as much as I did, so she bought his Queen of Hearts image right on the spot! Her and Matt and I all figured out a plan to sell some shirts with Matt’s image on it! Locals helping locals helping non-profits. What more could you ask for?!” ~Becca