Shenandoah Valley Art Center plans busy December

Leslie Banta, award-winning artist from Staunton, will be the featured artist in the Invitational Gallery at the Art Center during the month of December.

Banta feels that her paintings explore landscape as an archetypal image. The goal of this exploration is not to render a photorealistic replica of a Shenandoah Valley vista, but rather to experiment with an emotional response to the scenes that local residents are treated to everyday. Collaged items interrupt the pattern of earth and sky to further invite the viewer to experience landscapes in a fresh way, to enjoy the surface of the painting , to delight in the playful interaction between fields of color and texture and finally to refocus on the hill or the ski. In these pieces the skies are also intentionally large and wide. Here the artist seeks relaxation and “head space” from an often hectic daily life in the peaceful expanses of open air.

Among her numerous awards are a First Place in Oil/Acrylic at the 2011 Fall Foliage Festival Art Show and a Best in Show, 2009. To her credit are awards at the Stockley Gardens Fall Art Festival, the Roanoke Sidewalk Art Show, and the Staunton/Augusta Art Center’s Art in the Park. She was the featured artist in The Hook and The Daily Progress.

Also this month

In the Hallways and Member’s Gallery, SVAC invites you to shop for the holidays! Small artworks, gift options for everyone on your list, will be exhibited to fulfill your shopping needs. The Paletteers, a local group of women painters, have covered the SVAC Christmas tree with small hand painted canvases suitable for framing or hanging.  All proceeds are generously donated to support the art center.

The final member’s exhibit features Artist Trading Cards – tiny, wonderful, original creations!  Artwork will be available for purchase Dec. 1-30.

Coming Dec. 8, noon-4 p.m., is “Beginning Monotypes” taught by Piper Groves which will teach basic monotype printing using texture, design, and color theory. Pre-registration is required.  Open studio opportunities in the Virginia Ross Education Studio are available to printmakers and ceramic artists.  Apply online at

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