Spring Co-Op show overflows with variety


One wall has a painting of a cat that looks as if it could leap off the canvas. On another, viewers are invited to imagine the smell of salt water along a beach.

Variety is one theme of the Spring Co-op Show, which has filled the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center with artwork in a variety of styles and mediums.

“It’s always an interesting challenge to see them all come in, because we don’t know ahead of time what the artists are bringing in,” said Annika Blake-Howland, a board member for the Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center.

“It always has this magical way of coming together and looking just beautifully cohesive.”

Blake-Howland said the exhibition allows members to show a wider breadth of their artwork because, in other art shows, they can only display one or two pieces.

“In the co-op shows, members are able to purchase a section of wall and fill it up as much as they like,” she said.

Blake-Howland said visiting the Co-op Show is a nice way to welcome spring.

“It’s so festive in it feels like spring in (the gallery) — and that was one of my personal favorite things about hanging this show, was it wasn’t great weather on Saturday but I was surrounded by all these beautiful, incredibly colorful works,” she said.

This exhibition has some newer artists, along with longtime artists in its mix as well. One of the newer artists is Michele LeBlanc-Piche, who started painting in 2017 and joined WCAC in 2018.

LeBlanc-Piche said when she first joined she was extremely intimidated about showing her paintings to the other members.

“I almost left because I was terrified, and it was like ‘oh my god, what am I doing here? I don’t belong here, these people are way more talented, have way more experience,’ ” LeBlanc-Piche said.

“I seriously almost ran out the door because I was so scared.”

However, she said despite her concerns, she was welcomed to the group with open arms.

“Everybody was so friendly and welcoming and supportive, about being here and being a member,” LeBlanc-Piche said. “The past year for me has just been incredible. The other artists I have met — the way they embraced me and encouraged me to keep going, I never expected that.”

Today, her work is on display and for sale at the gallery. She encouraged other emerging artists to come out and join the center.

“If they want somebody to walk through the door with them call me,” LeBlanc-Piche said.

Want to go?

The show is on display through May 24, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, Noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center, 110 Westover Ave.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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