Jan Hurt

Jan Hurt's art collection is for sale as a benefit for the Barter Theatre and the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator.

ABINGDON, Va. — Jan Hurt took off to Paris and lots of places around the world.

Yeah, she got T-shirts.

But, you know what? She wanted more.

So Hurt, who’s in her 70s, and her late husband, Sam, collected art pieces — paintings, posters, maps.

“All the years that we traveled anywhere, we would bring home a piece of art as a souvenir,” Hurt said.

Before long, Hurt found she had a private art collection of more than 300 pieces. And, after Sam passed away last year, she began trying to figure out what she wanted to do with all of it.

Her answer: Sell a few pieces and donate the proceeds to a couple of causes.

That’s how Hurt came up with the “Can’t Take It With You” art sale.

You’ll find this in August at the Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon. Then, for September, the show moves to Rain, a restaurant on Main Street.

The show has a couple of beneficiaries.

One is the Barter Theatre.

The second is a challenge grant competition run by the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator to help establish a late-night entertainment venue in downtown Abingdon through the Washington County Business Challenge. That challenge, by the way, starts on Jan. 21 at the Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator.

Hurt said she wanted to “lighten up by a few tons of art but also wanted to do something to honor Sam’s memory.”

With a smile, she talked about how much Sam loved Abingdon — a town where his ancestors had business interests.

The Hurts became advocates for Abingdon when they relocated from Texas in 1999. The pair ultimately won, in 2014, the Arthur Campbell Community Service award, the highest citizen award bestowed by the town.

Visitors to the art sale can find regional, national and international works, such as framed antique prints and maps, acrylics, oil paintings, modern woodblock prints, watercolors, wood burnings, vintage museum posters and photography.

“We hope the public will be encouraged to come and view a life’s collection and hope they find a treasure for themselves,” said the show’s curator, Sabrina Land.

Still smiling, Hurt said, “It is to honor how much Sam loved Abingdon and to help one of the things that makes Abingdon unique, which is the Barter Theatre, but to also expand the offerings that Abingdon has for those who live here and for tourists.”

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jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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