Arts council calendar brings local art into local homes

sbirkenmeyer@vagazette.com

Works of art adorning the walls of your home can inspire creativity, generate dialogue and make space feel more alive. The Williamsburg Art Council hopes to offer that while commemorating local artists with its 2018 calendar, featuring a collection of paintings, photographs and other works crafted throughout the area.

“We wish that people would buy more Williamsburg art because we’ve got some wonderful artists,” said Diane Carr, the council’s founder and president.

She formed the council in an effort to spark collaboration between the various visual and performing arts organizations throughout the Williamsburg area and further strengthen the local arts scene. Carr said the groups often host overlapping events across the College of William and Mary, the Kimball Theatre, churches and other venues, limiting the potential audience for all involved.

“Our thought was to be able to help coordinate these types of cultural events. We’re working on that,” she said, acknowledging that it can be hard planning for events approaching the end of the year.

The council launched the calendar in 2015, selling 300 units. This year, Carr hopes to move more than 500. The calendars are filled with information about arts events hosted by the Williamsburg Players, the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, the college and others. The council encourages such organizations to check with them for potential conflicts.

The calendar approach also offers a good opportunity to highlight the paintings, sculptures and other efforts of local artists.

“The first year we did it, the artists were so enthusiastic,” Carr said. “This was quite encouraging to us, to give a platform for local artists.”

Carr hopes to balance more established talent — such as Moonshadow Art and Design’s Connie Desaulniers and Williamsburg Art Gallery owner Gulay Berryman — with lesser-known creative minds.

“Diane Carr has done a lot to promote art in the Williamsburg area,” Berryman said. “She gives local artists the opportunity to get known for their art. I think that is very, very important.”

The latest edition of the calendar includes 16-year-old Micaela Franklin, an intern at Berryman’s gallery.

“I think it advertises the wonderful selection of people that we have here in Williamsburg. I don’t know any other place that does this,” said Rice Trolan, 90, a veteran and retired nuclear physicist featured in the latest calendar. “It’s just appealing to show in the home.”

About 30 artists submitted works for consideration in the 2018 calendar. The council’s board members, also artists themselves, selected their favorites before seeing the names of the artists behind them.

Carr hopes to continue expanding the calendar in coming years. A new addition this year, the council is also using money raised through current and previous calendars to foster the next generation of artists. It’s offering a $3,000 scholarship to a visual or performing arts student at Thomas Nelson Community College, graduating in 2018, to continue their art education.

“I think those sorts of things are just superb,” Trolan said.

For more information

The 2018 Williamsburg Arts Council calendar is available at Williamsburg Art Gallery, 440A W. Duke of Gloucester St.; Parlett’s Paper Expressions, 4300 New Town Road; Kingsmill Jewelers, 5223 Monticello Road; Colonial Folk Art Gallery, 110 Bacon Ave.; Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center, 110 Westover Ave.; and Prince George Art and Frame, 1303 Jamestown Road.

Calendars are also available by mailing a check to the Williamsburg Arts Council, 316 Yorkshire Drive, Williamsburg.

Calendars are $6 in stores or $7 by mail.

Birkenmeyer can be reached by phone at 757-790-3029.

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