Friday for the Arts, March 10th, 2017

Friday for the Arts! at the Petersburg Area Art League will feature a unique mix of local artistry.  The Main Gallery will highlight a display of the unique work of Mehtzun Tedla Asgede.  In the Members’ Gallery, we will again display the artwork of members of the Side Street Gallery.  This exciting show will open on Friday, March 10th.

In the Main Gallery, "A Senior African Artist’s Collection of Water Color and Other Media Art Works, Since The 60’s" will feature more than 20 pieces in watercolor, color pencil, ink and charcoal Tedla Asgede, a retired Architectural Engineer, with over forty years of teaching experience in higher educational institutions. He has had the opportunity to arrange water color painting exhibits, both portrait and landscape, which were shown in prestigious places, such as the then called “Officers’ Club” in Eritrea in 1960, the College of Building Technology, in Ethiopia, in 1961 and the Faculty of Engineering at Addis Ababa University, in 1973.


The Members’ Gallery will feature the work of members of the Side Street Gallery located at 127 Pickwick Avenue in Colonial Heights.  This show, "All Things Bright and Beautiful" is a sample of the work by their 50 local artists.  There will be examples of portraits, landscapes and abstracts in mediums ranging from oils, pastels, watercolors, acrylics, photography and mixed media. This colorful, eclectic show is sure to have something to please every eye!

Friday for the Arts, January 13, 2017

This month's shows at PAAL brings together three talented local artists, with more than 50 of their works on display in the Main and Member's Galleries.

Come see 25 years worth of watercolors from Dr. Ivan Perkinson, often called "the artist from Matoaca".  His show, titled "25 Years of Watercolors", will have on display 17 of Ivan's works, from his first watercolor (February 1991) to his most recent effort (October 2016). Come see some of his best known works mixed in with some of his earliest efforts.

Paul Penrod has combined the two overriding passions of his life: art and history.  His show will blend his love of teaching and art by creating stories fro history with his art. Paul will have almost 20 of his incredibly detailed works that focus on the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Spanish American War. Viewers will notice a lifelong fascination with the sea, the heroic age of wood and sail and the transformation from the age of sail to the modern era of steel and steam.

Sharon Denmark's show, entitled "Wavelengths", presents about 20 of her works in acrylic on canvas which emphasis on the natural world and the interplay of light and color. One of her goals as an artist is to examine the world with an intensity that reveals an object's, or landscape's, true shape, color, texture, and way of being.

Friday for the Arts, November 11, 2016

Opening on Friday, November 11 for Friday for the Arts!, the Petersburg Area Art League will feature fiber art by Kristin Polich in the Main Gallery.  In the Members’ Gallery, feature artist Josette will display her pastels.

Main Gallery:

Kristin Polich has characterized her work through this statement: "I often refer to my work as floating, suspended drawings.  While resembling netting or a web, to me these pieces symbolize both fragility and strength.  Through them, I explore the connectedness and separation of these essential elements in the human experience.  Suspended away from the wall, the pieces cast shadows that are also important parts of the work.  I am interested in how each piece will respond to the unique light and space of a given environment."


Members' Gallery:

 The Members’ Gallery will feature artist Josette Reboul Brogan.  She was born in Auvergne, France and educated in France as well.  Josette currently resides in Petersburg, VA.  She works with pastels quietly catching the beauty of familiar scenes and vistas.  This exhibit will consist of a dozen original pastels plus 5 copies of "The Masters".  Josette says the masters are her guides.

Included in this exhibit are 4 works painted by her sister, Colette Reboul (1937-1999).  Her sister was the widow of the painter Paul Guyot. She later married Audre Greard, the artist's benefactor and friend.  In oil or pastel, her choice of colors reflect the simplicity and conviction of her work.   Josette included these four works in her sister's memory.




Petersburg Area Art League June Exhibits

Main Gallery - Rediscovered WPA Watercolors of Bessie Niemeyer Marshall

 Members’ Gallery - Works of Southside Virginia Emergency Crew


Opening on Friday, June 10 for Friday for the Arts!, the Main Gallery of the Petersburg Area Art League will feature the once lost and now rediscovered works of local watercolorist Bessie Niemeyer Marshall.  The Members’ Gallery will exhibit a collaborate show of several artists in the Southside Virginia Emergency Crew members.

In the Main Gallery, the exhibit “Rediscovering the Forgotten Garden” features selected botanical watercolors by a local artist, Bessie Niemeyer Marshall, that were painted in the late 1930s … and then misplaced and forgotten about.  At the time, the Depression-era work relief program, funded through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), sought to document the variety of plant species being preserved in Lee Memorial Park, a wildflower and bird sanctuary in Petersburg.  Bessie Niemeyer Marshall – a self-taught artist with no formal training, but incredible artistic talent – was hired to paint watercolors of the dried and pressed plant specimens, since the dried pressings were fading, but a watercolor painting would be permanent.

“Rediscovering the Forgotten Garden” features 20 framed digital watercolors painted by Bessie Marshall.  Upon discovering the collection of dried plant specimens and accompanying watercolors, the Petersburg Garden Club has since learned such a dual collection is rare in herbarium art.  Limited editions of the prints, stationery, and a book about the project, With Paintbrush & Shovel, will be for sale as part of the exhibit.


The Members’ Gallery will exhibit “Southside Virginia Emergency Crew:  Artwork by Those who Save Lives,” a glimpse into the hidden talents of local emergency medical service (EMS) providers.  The Southside Virginia Emergency Crew has provided continuous emergency medial care for the City of Petersburg since 1945, and many people might not know that these 911 responders are very talented artists.

The idea for this exhibit began when Maria Crafton – who has always has a passion for art – was talking with other emergency technicians on the crew and discovered their common interest in art.  This is the SVEC’s first collaborative show.

FRIDAY FOR THE ARTS! April 8, 2016 at 6 p.m.

Opening on Friday, April 8 for Friday for the Arts!, the Petersburg Area Art League will feature the works of Jasmine Mills in the Main Gallery.  The Members’ Gallery will exhibit Elizabeth Longstreet-Titmus’ paintings.

"Fragments" by Jasmine Mills

Jasmine was born in Petersburg, Virginia. She works predominantly in the medium of paint but also film, computer graphics, large installations and various multi-media. She is mostly self-taught and took advantage of the art program at Petersburg High School. Jasmine was accepted to the Art Institute of Washington, DC, but elected instead to start her own business.  Since 2006, she has owned and operated ArtHouse7 Designs (formerly X Customs).  She produces work for clients and sells original pieces through her studio website, and enjoys showing her work at local galleries.  Jasmine spends her time creating her original work, commissions and illustrations at her home studio and her studio at The Ward Center.


"Currents" by Elizabeth Longstreet-Titmus

Elizabeth says she had no idea that she would ever be a painter.  Then, one summer, she and her sisters visited the Petersburg Area Art League (PAAL). Art classes were being offered, and her sister encouraged her to give it a try. Since, she has taken many classes and won numerous awards. Her favorite subjects are drawn from life:  places that she loves, landscapes, wildlife, birds, her koi, and people she loves as well. One great example is based on a photo of her grandparents taken in the early 1900’s, brought to life in colors she imagined from that time period. “I was always inspired by my father because he was so talented in so many ways… music, drawing, building … doing almost anything with his hands. I always wished I could be like him,” says Elizabeth.  She concludes about finding her way into art: “My dad inspired me and my sister encouraged me.”

March Friday for the Arts

Joseph Craig English pulled his first serigraph in ninth grade art class more than 50 years ago. Today he continues to experiment with silkscreen process, pushing the limits of the media to create vibrantly colorful images portraying the urban landscape of the Mid-Atlantic region from Baltimore to the Outer Banks.

Starting with a pencil pattern from a photo he has taken, the artist meticulously hand cuts a lacquer stencil for each color in his design. Using a squeegee, he pulls the oil-based ink through the stencil onto the paper below the screen. Stencils for each additional color are then printed in order from the lightest to the darkest color. Original prints or “serigraphs” are often the product of more than 30 separate stencils. The artist takes great pride in handcrafting all of his work; from the cutting of the stencils to pulling each print personally.

Comments from Joseph Craig English about works in the upcoming show for March:

"Village Cafe"  A VCU student hangout at the corner of Harrison and Grace Streets in the Fan.  This building has been through some changes since I attended art school at VCU.  I remember it as a laundromat, a women's clothing store and finally this terrific sandwich shop/ restaurant.
"Italian Garden" This all season garden is one of the highlights of a trip to Maymont Park in Richmond.  I first photographed the gardens in late summer and the colors were stunning.
"Catalina Sailboat" I had the good fortune of visiting Catalina Island, 26 miles off the coast at Long Beach, California.  The color and excitement there is stimulating I wish my trip could have been longer.

December Friday for the Arts: Trees of Christmas!

In a tradition of thirty-six years, the Petersburg Area Art League (PAAL) is hosting one of its most popular exhibits:  The Trees of Christmas.  For this event, PAALinvites area schools, businesses and organizations to design, decorate and display a tree in the gallery space.  While some trees are decorated in a traditional style, other trees are designed to creatively reflect the sponsoring business or organization.   Some of the favorite trees from previous years already slated to return this year include Houchin’s Pest Control, the Petersburg Sheriff’s Department and Tantrum Tattoos.

The Trees of Christmas exhibit officially opens to the public at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 11 during Friday for the Arts.  During the opening, Petersburg’s Little Theatre – under the direction of Una Harrison – will perform Santa’s Parlor Show at 6:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. in the PAAL gallery.

Main Gallery

Trees of Christmas

by Various Organizations

“We are thrilled to welcome the businesses and organizations from the community to join in this exhibit, and I’m especially excited to see some of the new organizations’ trees:  American Needlepoint Guild, Patrick Antkowiak’s Steampunk tree, Battersea Foundation, Richard Bland College and Ciao Bella,” said Garry Curtis, coordinator of the Trees of Christmas exhibit.  “Not only is it a beautiful exhibit, but it’s a great opportunity to showcase all the creative talent in our community,” added Curtis.  There will be more than 40 trees in the exhibit this year.

In addition to displaying the trees, PAAL will also be a part of the Historic Petersburg Foundation Christmas Tour on Saturday, December 12 and Sunday, December 13from 2 to 6 p.m.  PAAL is one 13 historic buildings included in the tour.

The Trees of Christmas exhibit is free to the public and runs through Monday, January 4, 2016.

This year, more than 40 trees will be displayed in the downstairs gallery and the upstairs Education Center.  The trees are designed by: Patrick Antkowiak, Costen Floors, American Needlepoint Guild, Cockade City Camera Club, Heretick Feed & Seed, Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Petersburg Sheriff’s Office,

GFWC, Swift Creek Womans Club, Tantrum Tattoos, The Battersea Foundation, PAWS, Richard Bland College, Gallery 5, Virginia Commonwealth Bank, JG Wentworth Home Lending, Annette Rose, Houchins Pest Control, Colonial Honda, Owen Printing Company, Petersburg Cultural Affairs Office, Petersburg Lofts, Petersburg Breakfast Rotary Club, Boulevard Flower Gardens, Ciao Bella, The Art Room, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Enteros Design, Side Street Gallery, Walnut Hill Elementary School, PAAL Home School Art Classes, PAAL, Westview Early Childhood Education Center, Abe’s Auto, Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Tangee Jones, Petersburg High School, Southside Virginia Association of Realtors, Historic Petersburg Foundation, Lundie Insurance Company, Links, Inc., and Marcel Zitscar.

Trees of Christmas photos by John A. Rooney, Jr.

Addtional Shows:

Santa's Parlor

by Theatre with Children for Children

Children of all ages are invited to meet Santa, Mrs. Claus and the North Pole Elves at "Santa's Parlor," with free shows on Friday, December 11 at PAAL at 6:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.  The show is presented by the actors of "Theatre with Children for Children."   Free cookies and soda will be provided by Southside Virginia Council for the Arts and each child will receive a treat.   

The November exhibit runs through January 4, 2016.

November Friday for the Arts!

Main Gallery


by Daniel Calder

Daniel Calder 6.jpg

The Main Gallery exhibit is entitled “Blackboards” and features a handful of large scale pieces of paint and chalk.  "Blackboards are not typically a vehicle for personal expression,” explained artist Daniel Calder. “More commonly, they are used to disseminate knowledge to a broader audience. The blackboards in this series feature elements from our civic memory and act as a receptacle for the thoughts, feelings, or perhaps even indiscretions of viewers. I am providing the first half of an equation and inviting the visitors to finish the experience – blurring the line between artist, art, and audience.”

Calder, who lives in Glen Allen, Va., is a painter, installation, and conceptual artist.  He earned his MFA in 1990 from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is a recipient of grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the VMFA, where his next show will be exhibited. He has accepted commissions by the City of Richmond and the Washington Project for the Arts. Calder’s work appears in numerous private and corporate collections and has been featured in various publications including ArtpapersThe WashingtonianStyle WeeklyRichmond Magazine, and The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Calder explains the interactive nature of his work and the exhibit:  “My images are intended to use some humor and discord to encourage the viewer to reconsider… everything. Though the preexisting images are permanent, chalk and erasers are be provided for viewers to add or take away from the information – rewriting history or providing their own. In the end, even in the gallery setting – not even the artist’s voice will have the last say."

Virginia Linen Service Members' Gallery:

Beguiled By

Bead Embroidery

by Dr. Cynthia Richardson

The Virginia Linen Service’s Members’ Gallery will exhibit the bead embroidery art work of Dr. Cynthia Richardson in a show entitled "Beguiled By Bead Embroidery."  A long time jewelry designer, Dr. Richardson just recently turned to bead embroidery.  Described as bold, her pieces take on themes from nature, animals and Native American art.  “Designing bead embroidery is like painting a picture,” explains Dr. Richardson.  “Each piece takes on a life of its own and I need to force myself to stop, or else I could keep going forever with each piece.”

There will be 8 – 10 pieces in the exhibit, and all pieces will be for sale.

A native of Ohio, Dr. Richardson followed a career and academic path in psychology, regional planning and social work.  She has always been interested in art, and while finishing her doctorate at VCU, she discovered jewelry making as a way to relax and apply her critical thinking skills to artistic and inspirational ways.

 Education Gallery:

PAAL Homeschool Art Class 

The upstairs Education Gallery will exhibit the artwork of the PAAL Middle School Homeschool Art class students.   The following students are displaying their owl paintings:

Lily Lundie

Eli Lundie

Jarred Barr

Wyatt Barr

Liza McKain

Victoria Bragg 

Loren Matthews

The November exhibit runs through 

November 29, 2015.

36th Annual Trees of Christmas: Call for Entries

Dear Friends:

As usual, just when the Petersburg Area Art League is busy planning fall events, I am already thinking about Christmas!  Indeed, the holiday season will soon be upon us, and PAAL is very excited to present the 36th Annual Trees of Christmas in December.

First, I’d like to thank those of you who participated in last year’s event.  We had so many participants and the exhibit was beautiful.  Our attendance grew even more last year, and we welcomed record numbers of people to our gallery to enjoy the display.  Without your creativity, enthusiasm and time, the exhibition would not have been the success it was.

I would like to invite all of PAAL’s friends to participate again in this year’s Trees of Christmas.  Displaying a tree from your organization is not only a fun way to showcase your company with the public, but it is also a wonderful way to support PAAL in our mission to showcase the visual arts in Petersburg, to provide educational programming, and to engage everyone in the arts.  This is our most popular event of the entire year, and we would be delighted to include you in it.

For those who have not displayed a tree in previous years, we require that the decorated trees be artificial, as fire codes do not allow living trees.  The decorations can be any theme you desire.  Locations in the galleries will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis.  Since we have high ceilings, trees can be up to 10 feet in height.  We do have a limited number of pedestals available for smaller trees, so call ahead to reserve one.  Please provide your own extension cords and power strips marked with your name.

Trees can be loaded into PAAL’s gallery on the following dates:  December 1 – 7, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  If those times and dates are not convenient or possible in your schedule, call for an appointment.

We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s 36th Annual Trees of Christmas exhibit.  Please call us by Friday, November 13 at 804-861-4611 or email to confirm your participation.  If you have any questions about the Trees of Christmas, please contact us.

Thank you,

Garry Curtis

Friday for the Arts in October!

Petersburg Area Art League October Exhibit Features: 

Art Work from Upcoming Auction

Education Gallery Displays Elementary School Art

Petersburg, VA (September 28, 2015) – Opening on Friday, October 9 for Friday for the Arts!, the Petersburg Area Art League will feature art work that is part of an art auction in support of a brand new program:  the Mental Health Art Therapy Program.  The Education Gallery will feature the art work of students from North Elementary School in Prince George County.

The exhibit of art auction pieces will be in the Main Gallery and the Virginia Linen Services’ Members’ Gallery.  The exhibit consists of the work of various local artists – Tri-City, surrounding counties and Richmond area – including:  Bobby Lynch, Sherrie Bowman, Elizabeth Titmus, Garry Curtis, Susan Brown, and Millie Horner.  More than 30 artists have donated a variety of works including paintings, collages, drawings, photography, prints and more, in support of this new program.

“PAAL is extremely excited to help launch this new mental health art therapy program, but we need funds to purchase the supplies and set the space,” said Russell Kvasnicka, President of the Board of PAAL“We were thrilled when so many artists supported us in our auction, and we look forward to the public getting involved and purchasing some amazing pieces.”

The auction will take place on Friday, October 23 at 6:00 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.

The upstairs Education Gallery will exhibit the artwork of 12 students from North Elementary School in Prince George County.  The kindergarten artists created a lion, second graders created bark paintings and third graders created a silhouette tree.  Angela Tudor is their art teacher.

Kindergarteners:  Zoe White, Violette Arms, Hannah Fierro, Dwayne Jackson       

Second graders:  Ava Sirles, Zorian Crewe, Tamia Roots, Lola Hale        

Third graders: Aniyah McDaniel, Kayla Brown, Anna Tate, Jakayla Brown 

The October exhibition runs through Sunday, November 8.

The Friday for the Arts! gallery shows start at 6 p.m. with light refreshments.  Call 804-861-4611 for more information or visit  PAAL is located at 7 East Old Street in Petersburg.

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Nutcracker Art

Nutcracker Art! 

Saturday December 12


K-5th grades

$20 per child

Need time to wrap up some of those holiday details? Need time to START knocking off those items on your holiday to-do list? Drop the kids off at PAAL for a fun morning while you take care of business. We'll use oil pastels and colored pencils to create adorable nutcrackers, enjoy a treat from Buttermilk Bake Shop and play some holiday themed games from around the world. Supplies & treats are included in the cost of this class.

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