The Journal’s Potomac River Festival, May 2013, 27
Stratford Hall to offer rare glimpse into colonial manufacturing Richard Leggitt Visitors to Stratford Hall, the Westmoreland County home of the Lees of Virginia and the birthplace of Robert E. Lee, will get a rare glimpse this Saturday at the way products were manufactured in colonial times. “It’s difficult to imagine a time when all manufactured goods were done by hand or with the aid of falling water, animal or human muscle,” said Jon Bachman, Stratford Hall’s Public Events Manager. “However, this was the state of manufacturing in the pre-industrial age.” On Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., “As a way of recognizing National Preservation Month, Stratford Hall will present an annual event that will highlight the artistry, ingenuity and craftsmanship that was once the norm throughout the American colonies,” Bachman said. The event, called “Ore to Ax,” will celebrate the birth of the industrial age at self-sustained plantations like Stratford Hall. “The sights, sounds and smells of colonial ironworking and applications will be on view all day,” said Bachman. Things to do and see will include: In the Stratford Hall Visitor Center – An exhibit of archaeological artifacts recovered from excavations at the Lee plantation. Items on display will represent materials that would have been made on farms and plantations during colonial times. Near the Coach House – Lee Sauder and Steve Mankowski will demonstrate smelting, Jeff Dunkelberger, Caitlin Garvey and Lucas and Liam Dunkelberger will demonstrate hand forging and Steve Walthall will demonstrate the work of a craftsman who trims and shoes horses. On the Oval – The Richmond-based Falling Creek Ironworks will exhibit and discuss archaeologically significant observations and research from the oldest ironworks in Virginia. On the Grounds – Participants can walk Stratford Hall’s nature trails and visit the gardens. The Plantation Dining Room will open for lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. and the gift shop will be open all day. The cost of the May 25 program is $10 for adults, $5 for children and free for children under five. Groups of five or more are $5 per person. Admission includes a tour of the guest house. For more information, visit www.stratfordhall.org or call (804) 493-8038.
Ore to Ax celebrates the birth of the industrial age in the American colonies.
Colonial Beach Artists Guild: Ten Years of Service The Colonial Beach Artists Guild (CBAG) is celebrating its tenth anniversary during 2013. It was founded in 2003 by five dedicated local women to improve their painting skills. It has now grown to approximately 90 members and has added substantial, effective community service to its member skill development objective. CBAG is best known for hosting the Second Friday Art Walk in Colonial Beach but it has also created the Potomac River Regional Art Show every July, conducted boardwalk improvement projects, provided scholarships and other support to the local school art program, and found additional ways of supporting their members’ personal improvement. The Second Friday Art Walk is conducted year-round. Each month, 6-8 local venues open from 6-9PM on the second Friday night of the month and display the works of multiple artists while providing free refreshments and a place to meet friends and neighbors. Visitors to Colonial Beach usually participate actively during summer months and are universally pleased at the quality and variety of the works displayed. But even in the winter months, the turnout is usually large (weather permitting) as locals and others avoid “cabin fever” and come out for the evening. The artists whose work is shown are often CBAG members, but that is not necessary. The galleries also like to bring in artists from Maryland, Northern Virginia and Fredericksburg so the town gets to see a wide
variety of painting and photography styles and subject matter. For example, JarrettThor Fine Arts will typically exhibit about 30 works of one “featured artist” who is usually from somewhere else and 3-4 works each of its 20 “permanent artists”, several of which are from the Colonial Beach area. The subject matter always includes a fair share of boats and waterscapes to reflect the interest of its customers, but there are always still lifes, flowers, cityscapes and abstracts in various media. The Potomac River Regional Art Show, co-sponsored by the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce, is held in the Town Center Building during July. The show has the capacity to hang about 90 works provided by artists on a first-come-first-served basis with a limit of two per artist. The 2013 show works will be about 2/3 from CBAG members and the remainder from the region. The opening reception will be July 12 as part of the Art Walk and the Awards Reception will be Sunday, August 4 at 3PM. The show will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM-5PM and admission is free of charge. Alert boardwalk strollers in Colonial Beach will have noticed that 25 trash-canholders along the boardwalk have been decorated with original art portraying birds, fish, beach scenes, golf carts, and frolicking people. This “Trash Art” is the result of a cooperative project between CBAG’s artists and Colonial Beach Town. In previous years, two of the town’s support buildings
have been decorated with elaborate murals painted by CBAG members. Each year, CBAG also provides a scholarship for further study in art to a local High School graduate and provides funds to the school art program to cover additional supplies and materials. Last year’s scholarship winner was Katherine Walworth. This year’s winner will be announced in early June. CBAG also offers to its members occasional field trips, workshops and specialty shows. For example, there is a Members Photography Show during May at the Fisheries Building. These activities are announced and described on its website, www. colonialbeachartistsguild.org, and some are available to non-members. CBAG produces note cards and Christmas cards using designs from members. The group meets monthly, with eight of the meetings being social/instructional and the other four covering the inevitable “business” topics. About 40% of the CBAG members do not have a Colonial Beach address. They have found it is worth a little extra effort to join the Colonial Beach art renaissance. There are also several examples of regional artists who have moved to Colonial Beach either full- or part-time mainly as a result of there being a vibrant artist community available. For example, Stafford artist Tarver Harris will open a design studio within JarrettThor Fine Arts starting in June. CBAG was founded by local artists looking for a place to hang their works. The late Cecelia Mc Dowell, with the cooperation
of the Chamber of Commerce, arranged a meeting in the Klotz Building with several local artists she knew. Among the founding members who are still members were Doris Barbee, Connie Canby, Becky Hunt, Ebbie Hynson, Sara Looney, Judi Morris and Kathy Waltermire. (Apologies if anyone was left off the list). Membership grew to 37 in the first year. The first art show was held that year and the first set of Christmas cards was created. The local focus was quickly extended to the region and members were attracted from further away and the activities were broadened. Local potter Sherry Sundburg organized the first Art Walk. The current Board Members of CBAG are Dr. Judi Morris (President), Elcy Leshley (Vice President), Margaret McMullen (Secretary), Carl Thor (Treasurer), Connie Canby, Shirley Rush, and Karna Sparks. Questions about CBAG can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org