Offering a bit of spring after a long winter, more than 40 artists exhibit their art at the two Berkley Galleries on Main Street in Warrenton’s historic district. Walking into the galleries is like stepping into the beauty of spring. Similar to the yellow butterfly in Barbara Kiwak’s Spring Arrivals painting, visitors meander through the galleries attracted to the sights of the season.
Artist Anda J. Styler enjoys painting outdoors. Sundays Wash, acrylic on canvas, captures a breezy day of wash hung on a line next to a charming house overseen by a towering tree. Accented with green shutters and a red brick chimney, the cozy home is landscaped by flowers of many hues.
From the open-air scene depicted in Juli Kirk’s Saddling Stalls, it is evident that she is both a horsewoman and artist. The horses and jockeys on a 28 x 35-inch canvas are timeless. It is a favorite among equestrians.
A walk-through of nature is found in the galleries, including the famous carvings of Virginia artist Jeff Rechin. His full-size pieces and miniatures are life-like, and include bluebirds and warblers. He began carving and sculpting as a child and has earned many prestigious awards.
Spring is a season of both discovery and renewal. Discovering a beautiful painting or sculpture compares with the excitement of seeing the first blooming daffodils and crocuses of the season. Especially refreshing is seeing the work of an artist for the first time and noting unique techniques.
The style of Maggie Siner’s art is instantly captivating. Woman in Red Gown “greets” guests at the doorway of Berkley Gallery II. Then while approaching the softly lit alcove, the series of the Woman in White. Siner’s work is alluring at all distances, from the soft graceful draping afar to the surprise of defined brush strokes in almost geometric shapes seen up close.
The painting of local artist Becky Parrish, Thrones, depicts three chairs with a vase of blue and white hydrangeas, bringing a burst of springtime beauty that contrasts with the well-worn furniture. The 36 x 37-inch oil on canvas graciously hangs over the fireplace at Berkley Gallery I.
Especially on weekends, people love to visit the galleries. Arriving after church, Sophie Coy from Haymarket exclaimed, “beautiful pieces and landscapes! I especially like the imaginative ones by the Russian artist,” referring to the work of Victor Nizovtsov. His colorful mermaids are certainly brighter than the rays of the sun that they bask in.
Sophie’s mother Thereza observes that the selection of the art is made, “with very good taste here.” Owner of both galleries and a local dentist, Tom Sentz, is the one who makes those choices. He remarked that since opening Gallery 1 in 2002, “I choose what I think will stand the test of time: ones that the purchaser and his or her heirs will appreciate for the long-term.”
Both Berkley Galleries are located in downtown Warrenton -- Berkley Gallery I at 40 Main St. and Berkley Gallery II across the street at 31 Main St. At least one of the galleries, and sometimes both, are open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.
Gallery assistants Nanette Litz and Lorri Brown provide in-depth information about the art for sale as well as biographies of the artists. For more information, visit: www.berkleygallery.com or call 540-341-7367.
Step into the season of spring and see the world through the brush strokes of artists at the Berkley Galleries.
“The Arts Lady” monthly column highlights local visual and performing arts. Debra Smyers works in the arts as: an actress, consultant, co-executive director and professor at George Mason. Reach her at email@example.com or 800-754-4507.