Home Art Hive to showcase the works of Wes Freed; A Richmond artist, born in Augusta County
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Art Hive to showcase the works of Wes Freed; A Richmond artist, born in Augusta County

Crystal Graham
Wes Freed

A collection of works by Crimora artist Wes Freed will be on display at the Art Hive in Staunton for the month of March.

An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 1, from 5-7 p.m. Light refreshments will be offered.

Freed died on Sept. 4, 2022, from colorectal cancer. While he was born in Augusta County, he made Richmond his home contributing to the art, music and acting scene.

Described by Rolling Stone as ‘surreal southern-gothic’, Freed’s artistry shone in his album covers for The Drive-By Truckers.

His signature art style blended markers, watercolor and acrylic, earned comparisons to Hipgnosis and Pink Floyd. His creations included a blend of moonlit landscapes, mystical creatures like one-eyed owls and whimsical skeletons. His work was included in the 2019 book The Art of Wes Freed: Paintings, Posters, Pin-ups and Possums.

In Richmond, Freed performed with several bands including Dirt Ball, The Shiners, Mudd Helmut, Mutant Drones and The Mag Bats.

He also acted in works including Jim Stramel’s The Thrillbillys (2001) and Degenerates Ink (2010). He also participated in a humorous commercial series for Chesterfield Auto Parts.

The collection of works on loan from the Friends of Wes Freed includes t-shirts and a collection of art prints for sale benefitting a memorial scholarship fund at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The memorial fund with VCUarts seeks to help the next generation of artists from the Shenandoah Valley and other rural communities. The fund has raised $18,000 of a $50,000 goal. Once the full endowment is reached, scholarships will be awarded to students looking to pursue their artistic passions.

Freed was a 1987 graduate of VCU.

This showcase highlighting Freed’s work will be one of the first in the Shenandoah Valley.

Art Hive is located at 835 Spring Hill Road in Staunton.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.