Posted on October 14, 2017
It all started 5 years ago. Artists in Cahoots celebrated its 30th anniversary by throwing a block party in Downtown Lexington. Weather was great. Fun was had by all.
In fact so much fun, that we all said: Let’s do this every year and celebrate “Arts of Lexington”.
Then it proceeded to rain for 3 years in a row. But that didn’t deter many folks, and we partied on!
Come 2017, weather is great. Artists and art abound.
Enjoy our pictorial journey – Celebrating the Arts – over the past 5 years. The first pics below are from our most recent September 29, 2017 event.
First the Man with the Plan: Greg Sandage, the person who expertly herds cats and makes the event happen.
2017 Arts of Lexington Block Party
The Rainy Years: 2014, 2015, 2016
The kick starter: Artists in Cahoots 30th Anniversary Block Party – 2013
Posted on August 15, 2017
Pop quiz time! What do the items in the following photos have in common?
Why, they all sprang from the fertile imagination of Artists in Cahoots’ very own Sarah Gayle Carter, of course!
Back in the day (late 80’s – 2007 to be exact) Sarah ran a successful design studio in Richmond where she trained her eye and honed her skills in line, color and form. The primary business was her line of custom rugs, which she marketed to the design trade via nationally run ads, and a showroom in High Point, NC. Later, Sarah expanded into designing products for high-end home furnishing manufacturers: mirrors, lamps, plates, furniture, and even scarves.
Some designs were so popular that they’re still being manufactured today. www.friedmanmirrors.com
Her life and art has moved on since then. She stepped on a path that led her through a rural organic farm, to a farmhouse in Maine and, finally, a lovely painting studio in Lexington. But that’s another story for another time…
Posted on July 14, 2017
Oh MY, What a Creative Bunch You All Are!
Folks were challenged to create a back story for “Pier” images by photographer Gail MacLeod. 25 stories were submitted.
As promised, the stories are published below. We’ve picked 2 stories as the BEST. And several others for Honorable Mention.
The stories are heart-felt, funny, complex, insightful and perplexing. They simply wowed us!
First are the pics, then the two BEST & then the rest of the other stories.
Thank you all for participating.
Leave comments – let me know what you think.
TWO BEST STORIES
Pier & egret
Story by Lydia S.
Title: On the Timelessness of An Old Pier
Tied for best- Her writing evokes feelings & memories.
There are some times in our lives that really are magical, I believe. It was a hot, sweltering summer – after the weatherman and the National News said it was one of the hottest on record. The wind when it came, was like the hot breath of God, rolling in on the afternoon tide. The water was the coolest place, of course. The sea spray was a deliverance from the heat and when a storm found its way in from the sea the locals called the blessed rain angel tears. “When the dry earth cries out” my father used to say, “someone above weeps out of pity”.
We spent the whole summer at that old pier, I think. Cooling our ankles in the water, shouting into the great vastness – we did all. I do not think we recognize magical times until they are passed – that is part of their charm – but upon reflection the times at the pier were among the most magical of my youth. Even today whenever I see a pure white egret, I am brought back there, and I am lost again in the strange liminal times on the pier.
Blurry People on Pier
Story by: Winnie S.
Tied for Best, her writing captures the sense of isolation and searching that most have experienced.
She is new in this city. Last month she came to this city by herself for a better job opportunity. The fast lifestyle and the busy work make her feel lost. One time she went to the seashore, the sun was hidden behind clouds and a chilly wind made her face itchy. Everything looks just for her sad and lost mood. Suddenly she dropped her bag and ran onto the bridge to the middle of the sea. At that moment she couldn’t hear anything but wind. No one knows where she is running to and why she is running but they know she must be chasing something. To her dream, maybe. Life is like running, the easiest but difficult.
Now for the Rest of the Stories
Kids on Pier
Caleb S. Story Title: Gone Fishing. Need Help.
Honorable Mention because: Been There Done That
Two brothers were told that if they got good grades in school their dad would take them to the pier to go fishing. Unfortunately neither were very good in school, but there were resourceful. The older brother knew the way to the pier and the younger brother saw where dad kept all the fishing gear. In the morning they left a note on the table “gone fishing” and left. Only when they got there neither had bait!
Cindi J. Story Title: Fishing for Finds with a Friend
“You know what’s gross?” Crusty fish bait in the evening!” Kids can find treasures, too, where adults won’t probe. New hooks, lures, lengths of strong fishing line and the occasional abandoned pole. Put that stuff together, you’ve got a great fishing trip! If you don’t mind the scent and getting your hands dirty, the pier can land you the best seat in the house for a sight of a shark, skate, flounder or…….just a perfect view of the edge of earth.
Richard P. Story Title: I’m Hungry!
What kind of a pier is this? Fishing- Fishing – Fishing! I thought there would be a restaurant at the end of the pier. I’m hungry!
Woman with Phone
Teresa S. Story Title: Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder
Honorable Mention because it’s way too relevant to me
Trying to take the perfect selfie, she tried multiple poses. Finally she exclaimed, “You can’t see my double-chin now!”
Susan W. Story Title: A Sign of Activity
Honorable Mention because it is the most perplexing; after much pondering I think it means people have always done dumb things to pass the time – whether it’s lopping poppies or taking selfies.
It was said that the final king of Rome, Lucius Taquinius Superbus (535-495 BC) used to ride around on horseback lopping of the heads of poppies with his whip as a sign of activity.
Michael Anne L. Story Title: Are We Having Fun Yet?
Honorable Mention because sadly it’s all too true.
The guy on the right (in the white bucket hat) has just about had it with young beach-goers and their cell phones. He has turned to another friend near his left shoulder to comment “Doesn’t anyone just enjoy the ocean anymore? I guess they don’t know they have had fun until they take a picture.”
Marcia F. Story Title: Oops
“Oh wow! Look at that! Can I get it in the frame? Le me just back up a little/ Almost got it. Just one step further back….. Splash!! Oh F@*#
I think she is looking up at a fly by advertising plane with a funny message on it that caught her eye. Just be careful not to take a step backward off the pier!
Tired of watching all those guys fish….and fish….and fish….. Then the pelicans came! Swooping, & diving & hoping for fish. Finally one dove & came up with a HUGE fish – how would he swallow it? I had to get a photo….out came my phone and he flew right for my head – SNAP – Got It. “The Pell-i-can, the Pel-i-can, his beak can hold more than his belly can”.
Maria C. Story Title: Proposal by Plane.
What we can’t see out of the frame – a propeller plane with the banner: “Marry Me?” Both woman with phone and man looking skyward observe the proposal taking place below the plane. Woman is covering her mouth obviously surprised, man is kneeling holding her hand.
Claire C. Story Title: The Balloon Raising.
In a beautiful sunny half past noon a woman rushed by. These was a balloon raising today. It happened every 10 years. This one was special because her husband Robert and her twins, Karo & Lela were riding on it, but Robert convinced her it was safe. Now she thought as she rushed past the people, now as time to take one photo.
Deborah V. Story Title: It Takes an Artist’s Eye Sometimes
The day was too warm for Bob and the woman with the phone too loud. He grumbled and frowned but no one noticed. The loud woman was finally leaving the pier when she slowly approached Bob and showed him the shot she had taken of him from the back looking at the ocean and he finally saw the beauty she had seen.
Mary Laura K. Story Title: Eyes to the Skies
She went to the sea. He’d always loved the sea. She’d never been fond of the water herself. The waves made her nauseous and the fish smell made her think of death. But his last wish was to be buried at sea. So she braved the waves and the smell of death to honor him. Now her task was done and she was safe on land once more. She turned her back to the sea and lifted her eyes to the clouds knowing he was smiling back and home at last.
Pier & Egret
Janet L. Story Title: Watching You.
It’s a beautiful end of the day at the pier. The egret has been keeping on an ayes on all the visitors. “OH” he says, “I think one of them sees me”. He decides to stay still until they leave. There’s always an interesting group of people who come to the pier and the egret loves to people watch.
Blurry People on The Pier
Connie C. Story Title: Running Water
Can’t wait to……Fish
………………….finish the argument
Kiernan B. Story Title: Summer Rush
As a summer storm comes into the bay the photographer captures the rush of the couple as they prepare to head in. The photographer captures the drop in air and power of the storm.
Michael L. Story Title: Do You Come Here Often?
I am wondering what a good pick-up line for a pelican is? “Are you new to the pier? Do you come here often?
Nancy S. Story Title: Waiting for That Special Morsel
These darling birds are patiently waiting at the pier for a small morsel to make them happy – before a storm arrives at the pier.
Mr Pelican has just returned from his annual fishing trip with the guys. His first words to his waiting wife are about the one that got away. “Honey, it was THIS big!!
Kim S. Story Title: What’s for Dinner?
The one pelican is on the beach, his buddy “Bill” comes flying in – “What’s for inner Will”
Ashley C Story Title: Honey I’m Home
Wife pelican returns to husband after a long journey over distant seas. Tells him of flying over giant birds with great white wings floating on the sea. Poor things were covered with scurrying mites crawling busily over the giant birds (humans).
Ellen M. Story Title: Come On – Happy Hour Time.
“Hey Larry – look at that sign – it says they have Devil’s Backbone beer – Let’s Go!
Mike S. Story Title: “Wondrous Pelicans”
After her monthly Mackerel book-club breakfast, Debbie rendezvous with her beau, “Hey Alan! I just previewed next month’s book; it’s ‘The Captain’s Tiger’, a book of sea-faring poems by Captain Roy Sorge, and one of the poems is about us called ‘Have You Ever Watched a Pelican Fly?” We’re famous! “Well”, says Alan, “Always nice when humans share beautiful insights; I’d like to read that one!”
“Have you ever watched a Pelican Fly?
On a sunny morn, near island White
A favorite place of mine
I drop the hook at fathoms four
And watch the pelicans fly.
Stoically standing upon the rocks
Two by two, in dirty brown frocks
These fellows are not swans
But tighten his shrouds and taken to wing
This fellow’s a prince, king of kings.
He may silently glide o’er the crest of a wave
Turn, rise into the breeze
Roll, furl, and with bullet-like speed
Plunge into the depth of the sea.
Now if you’re with the one you love
Under the azure sky,
Sit quietly, press hand to hand
And watch the pelicans fly
Then they’ll dance in precision flight
A ballet just for you.
Of twists and turns and climbs and dives
Up o’er the ocean blue.
May I never lack for wonder
At the majesty of life
May I sometimes fly with pelicans
To the music of their fifes.
May I never think in lowly terms
Of that bird upon the rock
For he flies with elegant beauty
Among the angel’s flock.
Posted on June 19, 2017
The Worth mom & daughter team is well known for their Historic Virginia Brick Collection jewelry designs.
Lesser known is Rebecca Worth Warner’s national and international leadership in charitable causes – creating special jewelry designs as symbols of unity and awareness.
Rebecca believes the language of art is a powerful communication tool. This belief is evident in her creation of unique jewelry designs to raise awareness of more than 20 humanitarian and charitable causes.
A founding member of the Virginia branch of Decoding Dyslexia, Rebecca is an advocate for not just awareness, but also institutional change. In both 2016 and 2017 she and fellow DDVA members passed new legislation for students with dyslexia in Virginia schools. The pqbd jewelry collection started as a talisman for parents, but developed into a campaign to start conversations about dyslexia.
Here’s the international bit: Last month Rebecca represented Decoding Dyslexia in England for the launch of Richard Branson’s organization Made by Dyslexia, a non-profit aimed to improve dyslexia awareness and teacher training on a global level. Rebecca will continue the conversation in Japan this October.
Below are just a few more of the causes for which Rebecca has designed awareness jewelry:
Pinwheels – Prevent Child Abuse America, Sterling Pinwheel Collection.–They had been using a blue ribbon for 20 years but wanted to change to a pinwheel. The pieces could be seen on Good Morning America in 2015 during a broadcast about Prevent Child Abuse.
Seeds of Hope, Cure By Design – The Seeds of Hope collection was created for cancer awareness in a runway show where all the models were cancer survivors.
Knotted Ribbon – AIDS Foundation (which became AIDS United).– Since the original “ribbon” concept started with the AIDS red ribbon, the AIDS campaign wanted to hold onto the ribbon. We added a knot to the center to represent unity and strength. We worked with Caressa Cameron, the reigning Miss Virginia in 2009.
I Have a Dream — This line was introduced at the MLK monument gift shop in DC. The words “I Have A Dream” are read on a horizontal plane to depict the striations in the rock of the monument.
Posted on May 15, 2017
Form is his thing: Take something raw and transform it into beauty. Conform nature to his aesthetic taste.
Forging iron captures the creative energy of fire and iron.
Peter similarly transforms soil, seeds, bulbs and sun into a colorful palette of nature in his flower gardens. He forms his gardens like he forms his iron, with creative deliberation.
Very colorful dahlias and day lilies thrive in the South River bottom land.
He simply loves the color, the beauty and the creative expression. [Probably also another way to get his hands dirty!]
Posted on April 14, 2017
Emotions + Images = Memories.
Or is it Memories + Images = Emotions?
Images can strike a chord, capture a memory or evoke emotion. Throughout the years, many return to Artists in Cahoots to share stories about what Gail MacLeod’s images mean to them. Here are a few stories that stand out.
In December 2009, the town & freeways were shut down by a snow storm. Traveling was impossible. One man shared that his grandson was born that day and he couldn’t be there because of the snow. Seeing this snowy image, he smiled ear to ear and said he would keep this for himself but would ultimately give it to his grandson to memorialize the day of his birth.
I captured this image of a beautiful horse in Collierstown. Many years later, a woman saw the photo and told me the horse has now passed but she knew the owner. The owner was thrilled to have this delightful image of her horse.
Charlie the cow (front left) already had a press packet when his owner came to the shop and saw this pic. He shared that a picture of his grandfather bottle feeding Charlie was front page news many years ago. Charlie was special to this family and was being well taken care of in his old age.
Many times people purchase my Rockbridge county scenes for an out-of-state loved one. One man wanted one for his mom who was in a nursing home in Kentucky. Another wanted one for her daughter stationed overseas. One young woman smiled upon buying a small framed landscape, remarking how it would bring the beauty of Rockbridge County to her small New York apartment.
One favorite is this 2013 composite of everyday life in downtown Lexington. Parts of more than 20 images were seamlessly merged. One day we’ll laugh at this remembering the fashions and styles of the time. Consider for example the young woman in shorts with cowboy boots.
Their smiles make me smile and help motivate me to get up at dawn to capture the beauty of this area.
Do you have a MacLeod photo that captures a memory of yours? Please share in the Reply section below, and we’ll share it on our Facebook page.
Posted on March 1, 2017
Goshen Pass has fossils of sea creatures?? Ocean loving sea creatures? And this has WHAT to do with art & pottery?
We turn to the pottery by Jan Jarrard to answer that.
Eons ago, when Rockbridge County looked like the Bahamas, sea creature skeletons were trapped in ooze that turned to rock over time. This rock and its hidden treasures appear on House and Poor House Mountain and in Goshen Pass among numerous other nearby places.
Finding these fossils combined Jan’s love of both science and art, and fueled her creative energy. She created stamps of these fossils and imprinted her pottery.
Geologists and other friends have contributed to the variety of gastropods, bivalves and brachiopods Jan uses in making the unique free-form cups that once again bring together, science and art.
Jan’s pottery has always captured the juxtaposition of science & art: the chemistry in the mixing of glazes, experimentation in the layering of glazes, engineering in pottery design, and always the art in having the creative vision and portraying it in clay.
Her fossil stamped pottery goes one step further by artistically capturing and sharing hidden geological features of Rockbridge County with all of us.
Posted on February 1, 2017
I was named after my grandmother, Genevieve Wheelwright. She was so talented and creative, I spent my early childhood in her company, watching as she delicately assembled her beautiful Christmas ornaments. They were covered with flower arrangements made of sequins held together with straight pins, the heads of which she had painted with nail polish to match her color scheme.
Some of my earliest memories are of the time spent watching her work. I credit her with my talent and my interest in design, color, and pattern. She would show me how to use perspective when drawing houses, gently correcting me when my chimney would emerge from the roof at the wrong angle. She worked in various mediums, not restricting herself to just one, something I find myself doing as well.
My grandmother passed away when I was young. I wanted to honor her memory and her gifts to me by naming my artistic pursuits “Studio Wheelwright” because without her influence I wouldn’t see and explore the world as I do.
She would sign her work with a pictogram of her last name, a wheel and an arrow pointing right. I can’t take credit for the idea, but I use it when identifying my body of work. So that is the story behind my work. – Genevieve Neice, 2017
Posted on January 2, 2017
How does a Rockbridge County blacksmith become a highly regarded colleague of archaeologists around the world?
It started in the 1990’s, when Lee Sauder and a colleague in England were among the few trying to replicate a forgotten smelting process to create usable iron.
Turns out this smelting process enables academics/archaeologists to extrapolate previously unknown details about ancient civilizations. And our very own Lee Sauder thus became an integral part of other nations’ efforts to uncover ancient history.
Lee spent months in Sudan, on the banks of the Nile, working with the University College of London archeologists to figure out how the ancient Meroe civilization made iron way back in 400bc.
He’s been to the Italian island of Elba, one source of the Roman Empire’s iron ore, where he made an iron bloom which archaeometallurgists are using as a template to check the origin of their archeological finds.
But usually he’s at home, in his smelting yard, making iron from scratch…
that he forges into lyrical sculptures.
And occasionally you can find him at his forge hammering out the bowls, bottle openers and cheese knives that we carry at Artists in Cahoots.
Posted on December 1, 2016
The first week of every month we will feature little known back stories of the artists you’ll find at Artists in Cahoots. This is our first – look for more to come. Between these features, we’ll throw in a some breaking news. Stay tuned.
Elizabeth Sauder is always plotting a creative adventure.
Wanting to paint where the horizon is visible in all directions, Elizabeth hopped a train to Nebraska. She’d never been there before; she knew no one there. She just felt it was something she needed to do. A total change of scenery and inspiration, the antithesis of the Shenandoah Valley.
She headed to Great Britain where she sought a place for creative inspiration. She chose Cornwall, where she struggled to find her muse, but then it happened: a whole new style and a whole new feel. Amazing.
Elizabeth as a carny? Not expected, but the inspiration hit. She traveled with carnivals around Southwest Virginia. Camping where they camp and spending time capturing their sense of place.