Sometimes all that budding artists need to inspire them to carry on is simply somewhere convenient to display their work, so people can see and enjoy it.
And for those of us who do enjoy art — in its many forms — it’s nice to have convenient venues to find and even purchase some of it for our homes and offices.
That’s why we should always welcome and support events such as this Saturday’s Art Expo at the Community Center of Abingdon.
Organizers say it’s the first such event for the center, and that some of the area’s best artists are expected to exhibit their works.
The expo will run from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. in conjunction with the Abingdon Town Wide Yard Sale, which will stretch out along an 8.2-mile route populated with yard-sale vendors.
Artists participating in the expo will set up their works for viewing and for sale in the Virginia Ballroom at the community center, while yard-sale vendors will also set up outside — just one stop along the route.
Sandy Massicotte, chairwoman for the arts event, told the Washington County News that several local artists had committed to participating, including members of the Wednesday Morning Painters group that meets each week at The Arts Depot in Abingdon.
Among them are Emily Anderson of Emory, who does pastel portraits; Greg Lilly and Rose Seemuth, of Abingdon, and Mary Lou Bevins of Glade Spring, who all work in acrylics; and Joyce Samuel, of Bristol, Tennessee, with her handmade jewelry and multimedia artwork.
Massicotte will show some her own acrylic paintings, which include scenes of Appalachia.
“We hope the Arts Expo will become an annual event,” she said. “It’s a great way to support our local artists as well as our valued community center.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Ernie Daniels, executive director of the community center, who said the Art Expo is among new initiatives by the center designed to attract a variety of participants.
“We want to bring together people of all ages,” Daniels told the newspaper. “We’re stepping outside the box and trying new things, just like with this Art Expo. We want to make everyone feel welcome by trying new avenues.”
While artists participating in the expo won’t have to pay to show their works, they are being asked to donate 10% of any proceeds from sales of their art to the community center, which will use the money for its Meals on Wheels program. It provides meals for people who are sick, elderly or unable to get food from other sources.
The Community Center of Abingdon, at 300 Senior Drive, was previously known as the Abingdon Senior Center, but has broadened its scope to include programs and services for people of all ages and backgrounds. The center also is the Washington County base for the Area Agency on Aging, American Association of Retired Persons, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and state Department of Visually Handicapped.
As for Saturday’s Art Expo at the community center, we hope people will turn out to support our local artists and see how talented they are.
Remember, even world-renowned art masters such as Rembrandt, Picasso and Van Gogh all started out as struggling young artists from small towns.
While we might not have the next Picasso showing off his art at the community center this weekend, we will have some of your friends and neighbors displaying their own creations that should be worthy of your attention and support.