Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Celebrate Mother's Day in Style
(and with a Great Sale!)


In honor of Mom, receive 20% OFF throughout the shop, April 30 through May 5. This Sale is in-store only, phone orders accepted, and free shipping:  540-675-1411

MOTHER'S DAY is May 15th, and we just received some beautiful bags and clutches from Philadelphia-based designer Glenda Gies. These lovely women's accessories are created in her studio in Valley Forge, PA, and made with vintage European fabrics sourced on her frequent trips abroad.

We also have an amazing selection of other purses from Italy and France, jewelry, wallets, scarves, and other perfect gifts for Mom this year. Treat your Mom to something stunning and unique!

We are open every day, 10am-6pm. Go to www.rhballard.com for more information. See you soon!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Appalachian Fieldstone: Hand Chiseled Granite Bowls & Soap Dishes

Granite Soap Dishes by Kevin Day

Kevin Day is a stone mason who lives in Woodville, Va.  He has worked with rock for over 40 years here in Rappahannock County, Va., building foundations, chimneys, walls, homes, among many other things. His wonderful wife, Hazel, emailed me one day to ask if I'd be interested in seeing some of Kevin's cool rock bowls.  I said sure.  Kevin came in the next day with some amazing looking bowls of all sizes, from soap dish size to fruit bowl size.  They were made from rock he had found on his farm over the years, from old stone walls and piles built by settlers along the Blue Ridge Mountains here in Rappahannock County, Virginia. They represent Grenville-aged basement rock and are approximately one billion years old. They are also called Applachian granite. 

Each stone is unique and not until the grain is exposed does Kevin realize how the bowl will look. The initial shaping is done with a a diamond-cutting blade and then the pieces are hand chiseled, ground and sanded to their final finish.  A water based, food-safe granite sealer is applied to the finished bowl for luster.

We sell these amazing soap dishes on our website, and we have numerous other shapes and sizes, cheese platters, mortar and pestles that we sell in the Main Street shop.  The soap dishes work great in a kitchen or bathroom and could also just be used a beautiful decorative piece. Stop in or check out our soap dishes online!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Amazing Wire and Screen Sculptures

R.H. Ballard Gallery's next art exhibition is exciting, unique work from artist Janet Brome, April 20 - May 12, 2013, with an Artist's Opening Reception on Saturday, April 20, 4:30-7:00pm. Rappahannock Cellars wine and light fare will be served.

Janet's show is comprised of amazing wire and screen sculptures and masks inspired by nature and wildlife. Her subject matter is wide-ranging - from undersea creatures to shamans and condors.The dramatic wire sculpture above is called "Unfolding", and is comprised of stainless and steel screen,  wire, on a painted panel.

Here is the artist's own words about the creation of this exhibit:

"As I thought about what I wanted to make for this show, the idea of masks popped into my head. I began working on my first mask, the Ram. 

There were parts I made for this piece that didn’t quite work, but held promise for another sculpture. I had made a sunburst shape to put behind his head, but it took away from the drama of the horns. However, as I played with that shape, the Scallop sculpture emerged.  This seems to be my modus operandi when creating a body of work. I need a starting point... an idea to explore, but I prefer not to be locked in to that idea as I work over a period of months.

I did want this show to represent the variety of sculptures I make at this point in my career. Thus there are abstract pieces, animal representations, a wire drawing, mobiles and works that are made as much with the shadows in mind as with the actual shapes that cast those shadows. These pieces vary depending upon the lighting, giving them a life of their own. 

I go into my studio to play. I want to see what the screen suggests, to explore its transparency, the moiré patterns it can make, the shadows it creates and the effects of various lighting set-ups. Of course, as in any endeavor, it is not all play. The making of these sculptures involves many tedious hours twisting little wires to connect screen shapes. I have tiny scars on my hands and arms for weeks after working on them. The problem-solving involved in figuring out how to create and connect the shapes that will result in a particular animal is a challenge, but one I enjoy. 

My work is the result of both intuitive, right-brained activity and figuring out mechanical solutions to realize the vision I have in mind. Some art critic could probably come up with philosophical musings and historical references to explain my art. As for me, I just do what comes naturally."

Janet grew up in San Diego. She majored in art in college and served in the Peace Corps in Bolivia. She then earned a Master of Teaching degree and worked in arts education.

In 1978 she became a mother and a potter. Her animal pots were sold in craft galleries throughout the country. She exhibited her pottery at the American Crafts Council Show in Baltimore. After 10 years as a potter, Janet returned to the field of education as a Gifted and Talented Resource Teacher. 

She has devoted full time to her artwork since the summer of 2000.  She has studied at the Maryland College of Art and Design, The Corcoran College of Art, The Art League in Virginia, and with Linda Benglis at Anderson Ranch.  She has been awarded several grants to continue her studies in art;one from the Front Royal Women's Resource Center, and one from the Marion Park Lewis Foundation for the Arts.  Janet has taught art at Lord Fairfax Community College, the regional Governor's School for the Arts, and regularly conducts workshops in the region.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Recent Acquisitions at r.h. ballard gallery

We have several original lithographs, etchings and silk screens from contemporary print masters now available on our website.  Each piece is original, signed and numbered and all are in excellent condition. The large lithograph above is by David Hockney, entitled "Johnny & Lindsay" 1979, two-color lithograph, signed, edition of 54, 30 3/8" x 40 1/4"
William Bailey, "Untitled" (Still Life), 1976, etching and aquatint, signed in pencil, number 41/50, 13 7/8"  x 13 3/4".

Joe Andoe, "Swan", 1974, lithograph, edition 70, signed in pencil and plate signed in verso at top, 20 1/4" x 24 1/4"

Alex Katz, "Olympic Swimmer", 1976, Serigraph / Screenprint, on velin d'Arches White paper, 40" x 25".

Howard Hodgkin, British, 1932 -, "Sarajevo, 1983", lithograph in colors, edition 150, signed in pencil, 34" x 24 
Audrey Flack, "Banana Split", embossed serigraph, edition of 150, signed in pencil, 19 1/2" x 22 1/2" 

Philip Pearlstein, "Canyon de Chelly" 1979, color lithograph, signed and numbered in pencil, edition 58/100, 28" x 22"

Robert Cottingham, "Barrera-Rosa's" 1986, linoleum cut, signed in pencil and numbered IV/X, from edition of 29 plus 10 Roman  Numbered, 13 1/4" x 37 1/2"