February 2015 Featured Artists







Visit the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative and Gallery during the month of February to experience the beautiful SONY DSCphotography of Rip Smith and stunning glass work by Carol Scheydt.

Meet the Artists
Saturday, February 7 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM
108 North George Street, Charles Town
(Inside the Charles Town Visitor’s Center)

Posted in Co-op News

WSAC Holidays

Where did this year go? The Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative is again preparing for its annual Holiday Show and Sale, November 14th through December 29th. Seems like we just did this!

IMG_0617If you’ve been reading our newsletters each month, you’ll know our members have been very active in the arts community this year. Our annual holiday show is the time when we come together to celebrate the accomplishments of another year and exhibit our latest work for the season. Our members work in a variety of media including watercolor, oil and acrylic painting, photography, pastel, and mixed media/collage! You’ll find functional and decorative objects such as hand-carved wooden animals, functional glass and pottery, turned wood bowls, vintage and glass jewelry, furniture, fabric wall hangings, wooden jewelry boxes, cards and even books of poetry and prose!

If you’re familiar with the Co-op, we hope you’ve included us in your plans for the season. Potts Still LifeIf you’ve never been to the Co-op, we invite you to come discover our gallery. We’ll be open Black Friday, November 28th and Small Business Saturday, November 29th. Join us at our Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 6th from 1-3pm during the Charles Town Christmas Parade. For friends and family or for yourself, art from the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative makes gift-giving FUN!

Regular hours: Thursday, Friday and Sunday 12-5pm; Saturday 10-3pm.            Located at 108 N. George Street, Charles Town, WV. Visit our Web site: http://www.washingtonstreetartistscooperative.org and Like us on Facebook at WStreetArtists.photo1

Posted in Co-op News, Coming Events, Special Exhibits | Tagged

Mud, Water, Bling

October 4

“Mud, Water & Bling” features the work of potter Martha LeRoi, watercolorist Jewell Hellems, and painted furniture/fabric artist Suzanne Ravgialla of the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative. Reception from 5pm – 7pm in the Fire Hall Gallery, 108 N. George Street, Charles Town. Show runs through November 16.mud water wood copy1-2

Posted in Artist Information, Coming Events, Special Exhibits

Member Profile – Carol Parrish Slovikosky

carol demo at shopIn her art she has been honest to herself. Painting started early at the age of 11 and ceramics. Then taking a series of classes in stained glass with her mother and father in 1984, she found herself reacting to something true about herself as a child: a love for wooden puzzles. She allowed this fascination to lead her more and more deeply into the world and artistry of working with glass until now she works in stained glass, glass painting and repairing of art projects.

Carol has also sought to be an authentic part of the communities in which she finds herself. A brief look at her resume shows that over the years she has studied with the leaders of her field and made many contributions to the arts. Education is a commitment she made early on, to grow as an artist and contribute those skills learned, to others willing to devote the time and patience. The prior work experience in accounting and auditing in the Insurance industry for 20 years, (some overlapping of time – Stained glass and Accounting) set her up to wear many hats for many different organizations. Active with Lost River Artisan Co-op (past President and Treasurer) since the late 1980’s and still SAMSUNG DIGIMAX D530a member, Heritage Craft Center of the Eastern Panhandle, Inc. (past President, Treasurer and many other hats), Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative (past board member and bookkeeper) and still a member, and a juried Tamarack artisan and past Advisory Board member (voted by peers). She has taught for several organizations – Community Colleges, Heritage Craft Center, Boys and Girls Club, the Beehive, and 4-H.

Her focus in glass has changed a bit with the traditional glass painting taking a big part of her time. Combining the stained glass art and glass painting is a great challenge and gratifying. Partnering with other artisans to complete larger projects has been rewarding and the process in figuring out how to do each new project is stimulating great ideas for future projects. In fact, she will work anywhere and with anyone in any capacity as long as SAMSUNG DIGIMAX D530it continues the art of stained glass. Carol is a true adventurer this way. Her prior career in accounting and prior hand work prepared her for the accuracy, patience and doggedness needed to work in glass. Follow through, from design to completion, are essential to the finished artwork.

From small stained glass and slumping jobs like pendants to painting a window, she finds
them all fascinating to work on. Each piece of artwork brings challenges and rewards. Carol enjoys the whole stained glass process. Finally, combining the painting skills to glass that had been a lifetime goal, she is expressing inner self.

Carol also displays her artwork on the Trails and Trees Studio Tour of Berkeley County, WV.

Posted in Artist Information, Co-op News, Special Exhibits | Tagged

“A Walk in the Wood”

Works in wood are the focus of a group exhibit by three members of the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative in August.  Joe Bourgeois, Greg McNabb, and Nancy Streeter bring different approaches, philosophies, influences, and creative spirit to wood, shown in a range of sculpture, furniture, and functional objects.

Nancy Streeter has been carving wildlife sculpture since 1989.  She wanted “something interesting to do”.  After a career in the environmental field and a lifetime of love of the natural world, she translates these experiences in wood.  She is happy when her tools are sharp and she enjoys most the creating and carving processes (painting and finishing come in second).  She loves to capture nature in action and you can see the familiarity she has with her subjects in the keen detail she puts into her work.  Each piece shows shows how much she enjoys her process. You’ve seen Nancy’s work in the Over the Mountain Studio Tour and as a member of the Heritage Craft Center of the Eastern Panhandle.

Greg McNabb is known for his wooden boxes, but makes furniture and other functional and decorative objects.  He has been working for more than 35 years and speaks fondly of working alongside his grandfather.  His work is about the wood’s source and how it came about.  He draws interesting parallels between trees and people: “A tree is a living thing. It suffers stresses just like we do; tough times of drought, stress from being pushed by wind, and attacks by other creatures. These stresses are reflected in the grain of the wood.”  Greg says his job is to reveal the personality and beauty.  “Wood’s beauty is a lot like that of people, the true character is often hidden deep inside and what looks like a scar or a defect on the outside is often the most amazing feature.”  His work is also about simplicity – clean lines that don’t interfere with the wood’s personality.  But simple isn’t always simple, “It is often difficult to execute a visually simplistic design, because it requires such precision in workmanship.”

Joe Bourgeois has been working with wood for 55 years.  He knows his medium well from working in the construction industry.  For Joe, wood is an interactive medium which demands give and take in every aspect.  He has recently been thinking about the identities of trees and how they are shaped by forces beyond their origin and control.  “Trees are a marvel of creation,” says Joe.  “I have reclaimed some wood recently, which was neglected and abused.  As I’ve been working with it, I find a cooperation and dialog needs to take place in trying to make items that call attention to the wonder and beauty of it.”  When a tree is removed from its natural environment, it loses its growing and regenerative powers yet still interacts with humidity and other forces.  In bringing a design to fruition, Joe has to make a series of “yes” and “no” decisions, which affect the design as well as the maker.

Just as they are different, all three artists share the enjoyment of the sensory aspects of their medium.  The smell of the wood is intoxicating and it is a very tactile medium.  The feel of each piece is different and has its own personality.  Nancy particularly enjoys the feeling of the carving process, working with the grain of a particular piece. “I use more than just my eyes when I’m working on a piece. I use my hands to tell me when things are true and smooth,” says Greg.  Joe says, “My favorite part is putting my hands on it; my least favorite part is letting go.”

Working with wood has taught them all life lessons.  Over the years, these artists have learned patience from their medium, as they steadily put in the hours it takes with their unique processes.  Another interesting parallel between wood and life: “It is the stresses or problems you encounter in life that build the character of your heart. It creates strength and a beauty deep inside of you.”

Exhibit featuring the work of Greg McNabb, Nancy Streeter, and Joe Bourgeois.

August 1 through August 29

Opening reception: Saturday, August 2 from 5:30 – 7:00 PM                                                       Firehall Gallery – 108 n. George Street in Charles Town

Copy (1) of IMG_0004_1il_570xN.47397697Bourgeois_nest-of-tables2

Posted in Co-op News

Member Profile – Earl Mills

“Photographs that look like paintings,” this is the visual clue that informs most of us that we are looking at an Earl Mills photo.  His distinctive style has been nurtured and developed over a life-long love affair with photography and for a time the chance to work at National Geographic magazine. This development has three components, each of which adds something to the viewer’s experience of his camera work. The first is artistry.  Earl developed his style when he found that painting was beyond his skills.  This drove him to develop the technique which gives his photographs a painterly look.  In fact, anyone who has sat at the desk in the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative gallery has probably had to explain to at least one person that these are photographs and not paintings.  Using this technique and a strong selective sense as to what is and what is not the focus of each picture, Earl’s artistry climbs another rung to envelop the viewer in a moment, place or time.  This leads to the second component of his work: history.  Earl has taken the old adage, “grow where you’re planted”, to another level.  Living in an area where the historical currents of our culture crisscross one another, he has chosen to highlight them in one or another of their facets.  Whether scenes evoking the Civil War, or the subtle interplay of 19th century architecture, or the natural characteristics which made Harpers Ferry Washington’s choice as the site for America’s early government-supported armory, Earl instinctively combines the land, people and early technology which make history come alive for so many. One of his photographs, Burnside Bridge over Antietam Creek is shown in an idyllic light, which serves as a counterpoint to the horrendous battle which took place there in 1862.  The contrast between the calm of the photo and what we know of the event strikes a chord with us and leads us to the third component of Earl’s work:  his hunger for personal growth.  He describes himself as self-taught.  His desire to learn is eclectic and probing.  Earl’s eye is one which allows life to come to it and have its say – even to the point of revealing more than was intended.  In a gentility which shows artistic strength, Earl receives what the image gives him and welcomes the viewer to hold it in the same esteem.  Come to our gallery and be enlivened by the artistry, history and hunger for going farther which you will find in the work of Earl Mills.  You can also visit his web site http://www.pathwayphoto.com.

Posted in Artist Information, Co-op News

Member Profile – Virginia Winston

100_1736 old shed new green WinstonOn a visit to the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative gallery on George Street in Charles Town, WV you will find among other things several lovely pastels and watercolors by Virginia Winston. Although she has not worked in pastels for long, you will find a deft hand with a well-established vocabulary. Her works evoke an appreciation for and a celebration of our natural environment. More than that, her definition of the scene and the colors she employs imbue her work with a dynamic quality and a sense of growing things.

The perspective she chooses invites the viewer to walk right into her pictures. Virginia is drawing us into a revelation of the natural world, not as she imagines it, but as she experiences its many sides. She is the owner of Winston Gardens Native Plants Nursery off Swan Pond Road near Martinsburg, WV. As such she has been helping people for many years to appreciate the natural environment. With a hopeful heart and a good will she seeks harmony between the man-made and natural worlds. Her art is an extension of this effort. Harmony as she envisions it, is that which is the next place we can be, not some idealized and philosophized concept, but the other side of an unlocked door. Come and see her work, which will be the featured solo exhibition for the month of June in the Firehall Gallery at 108 N. George Street, Charles Town, WV. You can meet Virginia at the opening reception on Saturday, June 7 from 5:30 – 7:30pm.

Posted in Artist Information, Co-op News, Coming Events, Special Exhibits