NSA art show opens

Published 9:25 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

Cindy Baker admires the work of Mary Lynn Yaeger. Baker is an art student and came to the Nansemond Suffolk Academy Art Show and Sale opening to show to find inspiration.

Visitors to Saturday’s Nansemond-Suffolk Academy art show opening could enjoy refreshments and music throughout the day — not to mention oil and acrylic paintings, jewelry, decorative birdhouses, pottery, photography and more.

The show and sale is held annually to raise money for the school’s fine arts and endowment program. For the 25th anniversary of the event, the school honored the art show’s first featured artist and chairman, J. Robert Burnell, by selecting him again as their chairman.

“It’s the best show in all of Tidewater,” said Brenda Norton, longtime volunteer with the show. “It has involved a variety of artwork and local artists.”

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Patrons stopped and admired Burnell as he worked on a painting at the show’s front entrance.

Visitors also could admire the work of former featured artists and visit a room designated for jewelry, decorative mirrors and plaques, as well as Stuart Shearin’s decorative birdhouses fashioned out of PVC and lumber.

Shearin explained to patrons that he was diagnosed with kidney cancer at 50 years old and was led by God to begin building birdhouses. Now, he builds 1,000 to 1,200 birdhouses a year.

“He’s blessed me, and I try to remain faithful to Him,” Shearin said.

As patrons left the jewelry room, they viewed the work of Mary Lynn Yaeger, Charles Kello and Dorothy Fagan. Many patrons stopped to socialize with past featured artist, James Warwick Jones, and enjoy light refreshments before visiting the paintings of Nancy F. Midgette and the work of Wayne Potrafka, Ron Jensen and more.

Many visitors come every year to find inspiration and perhaps purchase some artwork.

“When you come here, you want to go paint,” said Nancy Simmons, patron and art student at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.

Patrons had the opportunity to meet the artists and discuss their techniques. The artists could be found standing beside their work or, in many cases, admiring the work of other artists.

As artist Wayne Potrafka explained, “This is one of the best run shows of any of the shows here.”

If you missed Saturday’s opening, there are still opportunities to view the show. The show will be on display daily until Feb. 6. The school will host other special events such as the Grandparents’ Reception on Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon; and Kids’ Days on Feb. 5 and 6 from 1 to 4 p.m.