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May 12, 2016

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FEATURE: The Lives We Lead



Local artist’s work will be featured at library


oochland resident Glenda Shulleeta recently moved to Goochland with her husband, leaving her job as an art teacher to focus on her new full-time career as an artist. This July, her work will be featured at the Goochland Library. A former interior designer and award-winning art teacher, Shulleeta describes her work as whimsical, energetic and calming. “I love art, and I often try to create art that really enlivens folks’ senses,” Shulleeta said. “The best art can reach deep into a person’s spirit and appeal to a person’s wildest imagination or deepest feelings of joy. That’s the type of art that someShulleeta one can hang on a wall, examine a thousand times and gain positive energy from the art everytime.” Shulleeta uses spirited, vivid colors in her paintings, many of which portray flowers, angels, local barns and churches. “When successful, my art is capable of calling up intense feelings,” Shulleeta said, “because nature has an organic ability to affect people’s emotions. And I always use colors that provoke happiness, energy and relaxation.” Shulleeta has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University and earned nationally accredited teaching qualifications from the University of Richmond. For more on her work, visit www.glendashulleeta.com. Contributed photos

Glenda Shulleeta’s work, often depicting barns and flowers, features vivid colors and whimsical shapes.

continued from >6 family, and remembered my father with his many relatives who lived there. Now, it may seem completely normal for a young mother to travel long distances with children these days, but in the 1960s it was unusual. That began a long line of road trips with my mother. Trips to the New York World’s Fair, Long Island, Rock City and a list of other destinations too numerous to mention followed. Somewhere along the line I got to know a strong, inde-

pendent woman who asked for nothing more than a fair shot at life. She made her own breaks, carved her own path, and achieved her own goals. My mother finally retired from her job in 1981. She ended her career with a final road trip in a brand new Oldsmobile purchased shortly before her retirement. My sister had moved to New Orleans and was having her second baby. I never suspected that 1,500 miles could ever separate my mother from one of her grandchildren’s births, and I was right. She made the trip alone, stayed a month and helped

with my niece Lauren, and then drove the return trip non-stop. I carried my mother out of the front door of her house for her final trip, an ambulance ride to the hospital. As I placed her on the stretcher and backed away so the attendants could care for her, she reached for my arm and motioned me back. “Another road trip,” she smiled. I’d like to think that’s what it was. One thing is for sure: What I know, what I accomplish or anything I achieve is probably due to some bit of information I gained from my

mother. Much of it came on long trips in an old Chevrolet, and some of the wisdom was accompanied with a swift kick in the pants. On this Mother’s Day, those road trips are special memories and remind me how lucky I was to be raised by such a dynamic, loving, compassionate individual. Her sacrifices were great but not unappreciated, and, somehow, I think she’d be pleased with the results witnessed in the lives of the children and grandchildren she loved unconditionally. Happy Mother’s Day, and peace be the journey.

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