October’s Friday for the Arts: Eddie Woodmancy

In October in the Main Gallery of the Petersburg Area Art League, PAAL, Mr. Eddie Woodmancy will be exhibiting. Mr. Woodmancy was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He is the owner of Cruisers Collision and Restoration Inc. in Petersburg, Virginia, and has lived in the Tri-Cities area for 48 years. Eddie is a graduate of Colonial Heights High School. He competed one year of study at Virginia State University, Chesterfield, VA, with a Major in Music. 

With the knowledge acquired to do auto body work (sanding, sculpting filler, and painting) it was easy for him to learn replica prop making and costume design. This experience led to his membership in the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion Star Wars costuming and prop building club. Building and collecting movie prop replicas and screen used props became a passion of his for the past 20 years.  We at the PAAL are very excited about his exhibition this month.

September Friday for the Arts: The Cockade City Camera Club

This month PAAL is hosting a Photographic Contest and Exhibit by the Cockade City Camera Club. Founded by John A. Rooney, Jr. in July 2009, the first meetings took place "At The Globe” in Petersburg. The Club met there for several months and then began meeting at PAAL. The Camera Club meets every month on the fourth Thursday at the art league with an estimated 28–29 people attending. The format of the meetings generally begins with announcements, a presentation, break and voting for the monthly Photo Challenge Contest, showing members’ photos at the meetings, and breaking into three classes. The classes are free and are Beginner/Novice, Intermediate, and D/SLR. The Club occasionally conducts photographic events such as tours of Old Towne Petersburg or a walk along the Petersburg section of the Appomattox River. At the end of the July meeting John Rooney retired as President and is now the Immediate Past President after completing ten years of service to the Club. John is still working hard behind the scenes. The Cockade City Camera Club heartily thanks the Petersburg Area Art League for all their support.

And in the Members Gallery…Popotillo Straw Art

Martin Gonzalez, owner of La Milpa, is an artist who produces the pre-Columbian art of popotillo. It is an art form produced with colored straw from Mexico.

Generally, art straw dates back to the Han Dynasty in China. In Mexico, however, it is believed that this type of art originated with the Aztecs, who used decorative feathers to adorn their shields, resorting to an earlier form when the birds that they used became extinct. During the mid-twentieth century Popotillo art became very popular in Mexico, and today you can find workshops that offer instruction and sales in several places in the Western world.

Popotillo artisans build a mosaic from millet straw color individually pressing down on a special form of beeswax known as Cera de Campeche, that has been applied to a board of some sort. During the creation of the artwork, the temperature of the wax must remain between 143 and 149 degrees Fahrenheit, to ensure that the board is easily covered. The technique used to dye the straw used in Popotillo is unique. The straw, which has been collected from the plains, should be given an acid bath after having been cleaned, in order to improve the quality and vitality of the color and dye once applied. Popoteros, or artisans, dye a great amount of straw for their project using vegetables or aniline dyes.

August’s Friday for the Arts: Henry Kidd

Opening August 9 in the Main Gallery, will be art by Henry Kidd.

A nationally known historical artist, Kidd is a lifelong resident of Colonial Heights. He graduated from Virginia State University with a BS in Art Education. His artwork has appeared in documentaries and on the covers of books and magazines. He has previously displayed in museums such as West Point, the Virginia Historical Society, and the Museum of the Confederacy.

Some of his awards and accomplishments are as follows: he received a National Red Cross Award in 1991 from Elizabeth Dole, President of the American Red Cross, for Desert Storm artwork which raised thousands of dollars for our fighting forces and their families. He also raised $25,000 for September 11th victims through the sale of his artwork, ‘America’s Heroes,’ and was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly with a Joint House and Senate Resolution for artwork and efforts aiding September 11th victims. He was nominated for the Michael Shaara Award for his novel ‘Petersburg, War on the Doorsteps,’ and is the official artist for the 150th anniversary of the battles of Gettysburg and Cloyd’s Mountain.

An avid Civil War and Revolutionary War reenactor, Kidd portrays Confederate General Lewis Armistead at the Gettysburg Reenactments. He has also been an extra in several movies, such as Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, and Lincoln.

While continuing to create historical artwork, Kidd works part time as a historical tour guide in Richmond and Petersburg. He is also the co-owner of Side Street Gallery in Colonial Heights, Va.

July’s Friday for the Arts!

The July PAAL Art Exhibit in the Main Gallery will feature members of the Central Virginia Art League, including work by Susan Buzzee, Cynthia Profitt Cornett, Marie Crites, Judy Harris, Jerry Harvey, Pat Harvey, Faye Henderson, Milly Youngblood Horner, Julie Northcott, and Carole Santa Maria.

The  Central Virginia Art League (CVAL) is an inclusive, energizing, welcoming, and teaching art group in Central Virginia that encourages artists of all mediums and genres to make and display their art through art shows, workshops, and fellowship.  The Art League meets at Sidestreet Gallery in Colonial Heights, at 11:00 a.m. on the 4th Friday of every month.  Those interested in learning more about CVAL can do so by emailing Pat Harvey at har8vey@verizon.net.

The Members Galley will feature Johanna Stoneking. Her roots in creative endeavors go back to childhood, when she took art classes and ultimately became interested in photography. Johanna has incorporated a general environmental theme in her sculpture pieces, landscape and creative photography.

One 8-foot high piece, Oceans’ Plastic, symbolizes the problems caused by pollution. Johanna is pictured here with that piece, made of discarded plastic items. It’s an example of the aquatic life in the floating plastic islands.  

Stoneking has exhibited and won awards at Fairmont State University, Wheeling Jesuit University, Morgantown WV’s Last Night/First Night, Clarksburg WV’s Art League Gallery, Stonewall Jackson Festival, Petersburg Area Art League Gallery and Regional Arts Center, Richmond’s ArtWorks Gallery, JCC Weinstein’s Center, Crossroads’ Gallery and its online gallery. Also she was juried into and won in the Photography Society of America and the International Epson Panoramic photography contests.

Johanna Stoneking.jpeg

Cabaret Theater at PAAL

Last Friday and Saturday, the PAAL main gallery was transformed into a mini-cabaret theater. Fund Development Committee Members Rose Mary Alais and Will Russell helped Victoria of The Jury's Inn Catering to sell the soft drinks and snacks. Everyone enjoyed the homemade brownies and fresh-popped popcorn. Thanks to Matt & Maria MacLaughlin, Founders/Directors of Limelight Talent for bringing in the Murder Mystery show!

And upstairs, in the Members Gallery, Svetlana Sevostyanchik Exhibits Work For First Time in the USA

Svetlana Sevostyanchik was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1964. Her path has covered many roads. It began in science and business, but later in life she chose to follow her passion and dreams from childhood - to paint! Svetlana is also an art instructor. She has successfully completed 8 International Exhibitions in both Kiev, and Lviv, Ukraine. 

Einstein and Dali Sublimation, by Svetlana Sevostyanchik

Einstein and Dali Sublimation, by Svetlana Sevostyanchik

Sevostyanchik loves displaying her work to her friends in the comfort of her own home. She invites those who acquire her work to experience the joy she feels in creating art. To Sevostyanchik, it is very important to keep the inner child at hand. She believes that one should always attack life with the exuberance and excitement of a child by not placing limitations on their dreams. Her ultimate goal is for her work to inspire motion in those who have the opportunity to experience it. 

Sevostyanchik’s painting style, according to the Academy of Arts of Ukraine, is defined as emotional expressionism. This is sometimes achieved at the expense of sharpened, grotesque, and deliberate deformation of the typical architypal forms. Her creations apply intensive saturation, combined with chaotic placement of objects, and tell an emotional story of vision. The subjects are derived from everyday life, folklore, mythology, history, religion, and imagination.

June Friday for the Arts!

This month we have a lot going on!

In the Main Gallery, Three Faces of Art: Cynthia Profitt Cornett with Jerry and Pat Harvey

Jerry and Pat live in Chester with four cats, two Mini Coopers, a 100-year old gold harp, and a desire to “Unleash their creative Kraakens.” After 30 years as an Army dentist, Jerry transferred his skills at the dental chair into building useful, affordable art and furniture from exotic woods.  He has won several awards for his furniture and wood turnings, which are warm and touchable. After 30 years as a college administrator and instructor, Pat has fully embraced her eccentricity by creating abstract and fantasy art in her home studio.

Cynthia Cornett is an award winning artist from the Richmond area. Her colorful paintings show a distinctive personal style which expresses the vibrant spirit of her world through ink and photography. Cynthia is self taught and believes you can do and create anything if you put in time and practice. Her artwork can be found at Artworks and has been accepted into shows at Crossroads Gallery, Artworks Gallery, For Art Sake Gallery and the JCC of Greater Richmond.

All three artists are members of the Central Virginia Art League, and share Studio #106 at Art Works in Richmond.

Above the Clouds, by Pat Harvey

Above the Clouds, by Pat Harvey

by Cynthia Cornett

by Cynthia Cornett

Deco Table, by Jerry Harvey

Deco Table, by Jerry Harvey

The Ladies Luncheon is coming up!

The 11th Annual Ladies Luncheon will be next Wednesday, May 22, at 12:30pm at Union Train Station, 103 River Street, in Petersburg. The presenters for the event will be:

  • The Retreat Salon & Spa

  • Therapeutic Massage Center & Boutique

  • Salon Blis

  • Petersburg Skin Coach

  • Cyn’s Rich Jewelry Designs

There are still tickets available. You can buy them HERE, or at The Jury’s Inn, 216 N. Sycamore Street, 804 586-5742.


Gold Sponsors ($250):

Beth Cuthbert
GE Matthews
Old Dominion Title & Escrow 
Annette Rose
Ann Taylor 
Suzanne Vaughan 
Weichert Realtors Brockwell & Portwood

SilverSponsors ($100):

Col. David Buck 
Alison Cougill, Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation 
Credit Union of Richmond 
Ellen Ende
The Law office of Dale W. Pitmann, P.C. 
Diane Wiley, Weichert Realtors Brockwell & Portwood


This May, PAAL presents the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology 14th Annual Spring Show. The opening reception is Friday, May 10, 5–8pm. The show will feature the students’ ceramics, drawing, fashion, graphic design, painting, photography, and sculpture. The works will present a variety of styles that range from figurative to abstract, and will represent traditional and innovative uses of materials. We hope to see you there!


April’s Friday for the Arts!

For April we will be showing the work of Steve Harris. The exhibit features sculptures and drawings. The elements of everyday life inspire Harris in his artwork. He is influenced by the works of Michelangelo, Rodin and Da Vinci. A story, sometimes generated by current events, revolves around each piece. The drawings on exhibit include mixed media of pencil, watercolor, ink pen, and tempera. His latest sculpture centers around his young grandsons' favorite puppets coming to life.

Harris uses the subtractive method in creating the sculptures, carving from a solid block of plaster and tempera. Using a variety of tools, including dental tools for fine details, the works take from 50 to 700 hours to complete. As many as 30 figures are represented in some sculptures.

Harris has been featured in one man shows at The Last Stop Gallery, Richmond; Meredith Gallery, VSU; Petersburg Area Art League Gallery; Hampton University and local public libraries. He has also exhibited in juried shows in Richmond, the Tidewater Area, Tri-City Area and in Northern Virginia where he won numerous Best -in-Show and First Place Awards.

Harris taught middle school art in Chesterfield County for 35 years and was awarded Art Teacher of the Year. During his teaching career, he also coached track and volleyball. Following retirement, he taught design at VSU for two years. A native of Williamsburg, Harris received a BS in Fine Arts at Virginia State University and a Masters in Education degree also from VSU.