Pallets of paint canvases immortalizing the 19th century home of the late Lynchburg brothers provide a colorful display. Bright young artists were invited March 3-4 to participate in the first art festival, contest, and auction held in the historic home of Avoca Museum in Altavista.
Caleb Lafoon, Executive Director of Avoca Museum, states, “We wanted to do something outside the box, something different. The idea was patterned after an art festival in New Orleans. We reached out to local schools throughout Central Virginia and attracted 40 contestants!”
March 3 was inspiring to observe as the young artists, in particular a group from Liberty Christian Academy, graced the elegant home bringing the flow of young artists like living statues strategically placed throughout the home painting with passion in hopes their work would gain notoriety as well as be responsible for educational programs that through their auctioned paintings would be made possible.
Much thanks to Joy Quarmount who has her Masters in Fine Art, and is the art instructor at Liberty Christian Academy. She is extremely dedicated to her students and introduces each along with their artwork with pride in their future. Looking not much older than her students and beaming with as much enthusiasm as they, she excitedly shows her painting in the works, a mirror she found irresistible to paint, and that she titled, “Reflections of the Past Through the Glass.”
As she imparts her art expertise she also imparts the objective for the young artists in the historic home as they follow her lead in trying to capture the feel of yesterday through their art. Quarmount says, “I love this home so much, and while I am painting all day I feel like I live here!” By the way, she won 1st place in Adult Acrylic! Congratulations!
Lafoon emphasizes, “One of our main goals this year is to reach more people, make it more accessible to the community, free to the public, and fundraisers to make the events possible. We are trying to strike a balance between the two.”
On Saturday, March 4, Gail Puckette, Events Coordinator, flowed through the rooms showing off the amazing art on display that exceeded her expectations, as ribbons were placed on the paintings following the competition, showing the winners. However, all were winners in that all were given the opportunity to donate their art for the cause at the auction, or sell their art to the public before the auction. They were invited to display their art at the YMCA where art work hangs on the walls for sale.
Jenna Fetheroth, 1st place winner in the Youth Acrylic category, a 17 year old student at Liberty Christian Academy states, “Art is my passion. I take it seriously, and I want to support this fundraiser.”
A wonderful upcoming event on October 13th and 14th called “Night at the Museum” is an interactive historical event, free to the public!
Avoca serves a wide range in the community, in fact Puckette shares, “For this art festival letters were sent to every high school and college in a 100 mile radius to enter the contest.”
Among the many sponsors, the top two are Gold Sponsor Altavista Arts Council and Secondary Sponsor Clean Footprint. Avoca is grateful for their support and for the response to the schools that responded with the many talented and enthusiastic art students who not only responded for their own personal art aspirations, but for the opportunity to participate in providing more programs and events for the Town of Altavista.
Everyone looks forward to more events to come!
Thanks to all of the amazing artwork that was made possible for our viewing and the dedication and generosity the students gave in donating their talents to a worthy cause!
Winners in their respective categories are as follows:
1st Joshlyn Likin
2nd Eliza Copes
3rd Sarah Cassada
1st Joy Quarmount,
2nd Rachel Peters
3rd Dixie Calhoun
1st Emma Dunmire
2nd Gabe McGehee
3rd Kira Vertian
1st Jenna Fetheroth
2nd Izabella Pantana
3rd Julia Joo.
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