Monday, October 3, 2016

WAM! da duh duh, da duh duh. Let the markets begin.

Holiday Art Market WAM! Saturday, November 12th Winchester, Virginia

Get your WAM! on and buy cool art from local and regional artists and artisans.

The Winchester Art Market is gearing up for another holiday art market to be held Saturday, November 12th at the Dharma yoga studio in Winchester, Virginia. Please stay tuned for details on time and vendors.

To be a participating artist, please contact Kim Johnston 407-353-9074.

Friday, May 27, 2016

G. Richard Anderson, featured artist, talks about his photographic style.

So you are a photographer and artist. What is it you particularly like to photograph? I enjoy exploring the unusual colors, texture and abstract elements in found objects. In part, I try to capture things as they are in detail as sort of a documentation, capturing it as it is but also leaving as much in focus as possible. I try to get as much depth as possible while keeping all the elements in focus in order to have more room to manipulate the image later.

Do you have a goal as a photographer? To share what I see. I want others to see old things with new eyes. Things they may have seen but not examined closely.

Where do you draw inspiration? My art largely has been inspired by the landscape of the rural South, where I grew up and have lived much of my life. The people I meet along the way also inspire me as I enjoy hearing about their stories and history of the area.

Do you feel art is about the process or the end result, be it a final product or the sell of the final product? For me, art is about the process as well as the end result. I don't often seek out subjects to photograph but rather they seem to find me! Often, it is not until I sit down to process them, that I truly see what they are about. It really becomes something unique in its final form.

Where does this magic happen? Do you have a studio office? My home is my studio. It is where I am most comfortable working on my images.
You have an artistic eye and not just with photography. Tell us more about what else you do. In my daily life, I am an artist... in everything I do! If I'm not taking photographs, I'm working for the company owned and operated for over 25 years, G. Richard Anderson Elegant Painting. I create art in my client's homes with traditional painting, by applying faux finishes and using painting techniques to create various looks and textures.
I am self-taught and continuously push myself to learn more.

 If you could do anything, what would you like to do? My dream project is to travel throughout the Shenandoah Valley photographing old barns, houses and rural landscapes that I've seen over the years and to find new ones. I love meeting and talking with people who have lived in these places and have family roots there.

So, you'd like to be a traveling photographic journalist of sorts? I think you are already living that dream!

Any other thoughts? Art is all around us. It takes on many forms and is uniquely beautiful based on each individual's perception.

Where can we see more of your work? My artwork can be seen in various locations around Winchester. I currently have work at WAM!'s gallery space located in the Bright Buzz cowork in downtown Winchester. A couple of my photos will also be featured on the brochure of the Top of Virginia Artisan Trail that will be coming out later this year.

How can we get in touch with you for commissioned work or to view your portfolio? Mostly, I enjoy when people contact me about capturing artistic images of the things and places they have special memories of. I create fine art and photographic prints for individuals that want to capture memories or an image of something that has meaning to them.

I can be found on Facebook at and on My email is

WAM!s First Friday Event, June 3rd

WAM! presents a 2-D abstract experience. Works by G. Richard Anderson and Abigail Gomez.

image on Left: photographic art by G. Richard Anderson; image on Right: abstract painting by Abigail Gomez showing at WAM! gallery space inside Bright Buzz cowork, Winchester, Virginia

a First Fridays art event held at WAM! gallery space inside the Bright Buzz cowork in the Bright Center, 9 N. Loudoun Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601. 

Friday, June 3rd

Join the Facebook sharing event here

For more information or for a private tour, please contact WAM! owner Kim Johnston at 407-353-9074 or

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

aMuse Art Fair coming to downtown Winchester, Virginia.

That's right folks! A really cool event specifically for the arts will be held on the Loudoun Street walking mall in Old Town Winchester, Virginia. Saturday, May 21st, 2016 from 11am to 6pm.

So many interesting artists, artisans, crafters and art demonstrators this year. Check out the vendor lineup here, or go to to read more. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Abigail Gomez, featured artist, talks about art, her Latina heritage and her newest body of work.

Abigail Gomez in her studio.
Tell us a little about yourself and your work. I am a Latina visual artist, working primarily within the realm of painting. My work tends to incorporate recycled elements and natural materials. I love combining different mediums such as printmaking processes, found objects, sculpture, and painting. I paint in an abstracted, expressionistic style, with some subjects more representational than others. I have always explored as many artistic forms and mediums as possible, from plaster casting and installation art to black and white photography and murals. 

So you have been creating art a long time? My entire life. There has never been a time when I have stopped creating art. It is almost a compulsion for me. It is part of my natural state of being, and I feel my purpose. I do it for myself, to feed my passion, to express my thoughts, to process my emotions. I also teach and create art to inspire others, to elicit a reaction. 

Do you have a formal education in art then? Yes, I am a classically trained artist. I went to Virginia Tech for undergrad on an art scholarship, and graduated with a BFA in studio art, with a concentration in mixed media and recycled art. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy, where I studied black and white photography, drawing and jewelry making. In 2011, I decided I wanted to continue learning, and to further my art education, I enrolled at the academy of Art University in San Francisco. In December 2015, I graduated from the Academy's rigorous program with an MFA in painting. 

That's great Abi! Congratulations! Where do you do most of your creating? I have taken over the basement of our home to use as my art studio. I actually have three different areas set up to make art, including areas for printmaking processes, as well as wet media and dry media. I prefer to work at night, when I have hours to continuous creative consciousness, uninterrupted by the distractions of daily life. 

Who or what inspires you most? I am inspired by many of the modern masters of painting, including Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh and Monet. Truthfully, there aren't many artists, historical or modern, that don't inspire me in some way. Anselm Kiefer and Richard Diebenkorn influence my current "Roots" series, along with contemporary painters Mark English and Regina Valluzzi.  

Yes, "Roots"! This is the interesting series currently on display at the WAM! gallery. Please tell us more about that. Discovering my cultural and ethnic roots and identity has always been important to me. My cultural heritage offers great inspiration for creating very personal and expressive art. I am Cuban, and my current series of paintings, Roots: La Cuba de Mi Bisabuelo is a visual exploration of my experiences traveling to the cities in Cuba where my Great Grandfather resided before immigrating to the United States. I have drawn on both atmosphere and location as sources for subject matter, along with my emotional responses to these times, locations, elements and spaces. 

I have created the paintings in this series using a combination of structural elements inspired by the intricate Spanish styled iron-work evident on Cuban homes, along with abstracted imagery of more natural scenes found in the countryside of the Pinar del Rio and Havana provinces. 

Donde el Sale del Malecón by Abigail Gomez on display at the WAM gallery.
Edificios en el Malecón by Abigail Gomez on display at the WAM gallery.
Madrugada en la Habana by Abigail Gomez on display at the WAM gallery.

I understand this body of work is accessible in a different way. How is that? My goal with this collection of artwork is to present paintings that are universally accessible even to those people who don't usually engage with visual art in the traditional sense. People who are visually impaired or blind aren't able to enjoy visual artwork the way you or I are. Since this body of work has a dimensional layer replicating ironwork found in Cuba, I saw the opportunity to offer every person a chance to engage with and experience my artistic impressions of Cuba, whether through sight or touch. I am hoping to engage a myriad of different people with this art project, as I present the fine art in a way that isn't usually done- with a universally accessible approach.  
On every support, under the painting, there is structure, texture and dimension. I use a masking method to create the patterns found on the wrought-iron gates adorning almost every doorway in both urban and rural Cuba. The intricate ironwork that still stands today shows the longevity of the Spanish influence on the island. I use modeling paste to create this dimensional effect on cradled panels. This establishes a structural starting point for the compositions, and creates an underlying unity among the pieces. The following layers are created with acrylic paints, gels, mediums, and found objects, and represent my interpretation of the landscapes I experienced in Cuba. The vibrantly colored, naturally inspired layers contrast and balance with the more rigid and geometrical "man-made" underlying structure.

Most of the paintings inspired by Cuba have a tangible element from the island worked into the mixed media layers. I used natural materials including sand, rocks and shells. I also used printed material including Cuban pesos, old Cuban books, the national newspaper and an antique 1937 Carteles magazine.

Belleza de la Tierra by Abigail Gomez on display at the WAM gallery.
Tell us about Belleza de la Tierra. What does it mean? It translates to Beauty of the Earth and is the first completed painting in my "Roots" series. Its underlying structure is based on a wrought iron valance above a boarded up doorway on a pale blue, decaying building in Habana Vieja (Old Havana). The arcing pattern established underneath accentuates the idea of a sunrise on the horizontal panel, while the vibrant colors layered on the bottom bring the viewers focus to the texture rich ground, representing the beauty of the Cuban land. Rolling hills are indicated by arcing patterns of tiny shells, found on the beaches of Playas del Este, outside Havana. 

In addition to the WAM! gallery and the Winchester Art Market, where can we see more of your work? My work has been displayed at Tin Top Art and Handmade, Pebble in a Pond, the Virginia National Bank all in Old Town Winchester, Virginia and recently on display at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley's Art in the Halls. I always have art on display in the Member's Gallery at the Shenandoah Arts Council in Winchester, Virginia and one of my pieces has been selected to be part of the 2016 Artscape Banner program in Old Town Winchester. In addition to the Winchester Art Market gallery show from February thru March, I will be showing my work in June this year at the Virginia Eye Institute in Richmond, Virginia. In August, I have a solo show at the Cannery Gallery in San Francisco, California, and from September thru November 2016, I will be participating in the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum for their Artist in Residence (AIR) program. 

I know you have other projects lined up for the next two years. Can you give us a sneak peak? I have facilitated community mural projects in the Dominican Republic for the past few years and will be taking the project to Cuba late February and the Dominican Republic again in March. I also plan to work with Kim Johnston of the Winchester Art Market and with my business Pretty Girl Painting on a community mural initiative in the Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia areas and for a collaborative, installation multi-media project with a friend to be complete in 2017. I have recently joined the Top of Virginia Artisans Trail and will continue teaching art in the area, privately through my small business Pretty Girl Painting, in classes at Mountain View Christian Academy and through the Classical Cottage School and the Shenandoah Arts Council where I show work, am a Board Member and sit as Committee Chair. 

Whew! Sounds like you're a busy lady. What's the best piece of advice you want to share. Art is this wonderfully universal practice, and everyone can be an artist. I love helping people see and achieve this for themselves. 

Best piece of advice- make art every damn day! Even if it's a doodle or a sketch, in your medium of choice or not, create something. All artists get stuck; go through periods where we're just not inspired to create. By making a habit of creating or drawing every day, we can combat prolonged unproductive periods. Another (similar) piece of great advice is to do something in your studio every day. Whether it's creating, painting, cleaning brushes or just organizing and ordering supplies, get yourself into your studio every day. This will again turn into a habit, and it will become an environment you want to be in.  

Ahh, YES! Initiate daily practices and become more creative in the process. Thank you Abi! I look forward to hosting your Roots: La Cuba de Mi Bisabuelo series at the WAM! gallery, located inside Bright Buzz creative cowork in the Bright Center, 9 N. Loudoun Street, Winchester, Virginia 22601. Opening Friday, February 5th 6pm-8pm. 

Note: this special art series gives viewers a different way of interacting with visual art. They can touch it too! Kim Johnston of the Winchester Art Market is booking private tours to experience this wonderful collection by Abigail Gomez. Please call 407-353-9074 or email for more information or to schedule an appointment. 

Madre Tierra triptych by Abigail Gomez on display at the WAM gallery in Winchester, Virginia.

Stay connected with this talented artist, Abigail Gomez via