May 6, 2011

A nine year old's sketch and watercolor of the gazebo at Belmont

Sandy Harris-Turman photgraphed the grounds-

Our student ( a real fencer!) tries out fencing props and modeling poses

Fifth grade classes browse through Gari Melchers' sketches before drawing

and a still life on view at the Gari Melchers studio at Belmont for our field trip!

Students sketch Belmont's gardens that overlook the Rappahannock River Happy First Friday, May 6th, 2011-

All of our 4th and 5th graders have successfully completed our 2010-2011 Fredericksburg Academy Visiting Artists Program.
This week concluded our year of artist visits here in the Lower School of Fredericksburg Academy with a field trip to Belmont- The Gari Melchers Studio, Gardens, and Home. We had perfect weather and spent the day participating in several planned activities by Michele Crow-Dolby, the Educational Director at Belmont, and her wonderful docents. The experiences were specifically designed for students in a well-planned, engaging manner.
Many thanks to all, including FA parent photographer, Sandy Harris -Turman, who documented our journey with the following photos, and our classroom teachers.
First we stopped in the gardens and viewed Gari's sketches, then selected the location of our choice to sketch and parked our folding chairs for 20 minutes. Studying flora, fauna, and architecture, we could view and hear the full Rappahannock River below, as well as encounter turtles, herons, and a black snake (it had to be my group that found the snake!).
Our next stop: The art studio of Gari Melchers. If you haven't visited in the last four years, the new additions are beautifully designed, full of Gari's treasures and information about the first half of the 20th century. The paintings we have studied in the classroom surrounded us in the bright light.
Some groups had time for an outdoor scavenger hunt of unique features of the property.
Our visit inside the home was equally as fascinating, with more paintings by many artists, some from the 1600's. Berthe Morisot and Corinne Melchers' paintings are also featured. After a nice lunch on the lawn, we peered inside the spring house, a conical structure which served as a refrigerator before electricity arrived. The gift shop was stocked with many reproductions of Melcher's work and art materials for all ages. It is a great place to pick up a thoughtful gift.
I am very impressed with our 4th and graduating 5th graders who, in just a few weeks, will be in the Middle School. I hope that their art appreciation is just beginning and will remain a life-long love. My best wishes and congratulations in advance to all students- it has been a pleasure teaching as your art liason.
I am busily painting at home, completing the Via Colori painting 'Reverie' and starting the works for a December -Feb. show at Sammy T's restaurant on Caroline Street. If you would like to have a portrait of your child/children in oil for the show, I will need to get photos before August, my main month of painting. Just send me an email at

My large paintings have moved again!!!! They can be viewed/ purchased in Truluv"s Modern American Bistro at 1101 Sophia Street (373-6500 open 7 days a week) now through the summer.

Best wishes for a safe and happy month! *New class information for the summer available at school and I will be teaching clay sculpture with rising 1st-4th graders at Fredericksburg Academy's Summer Program in the morning. I still offer private classes in oil, acrylic, and silk painting on Monday afternoons for ages 8-up. call 623-4626 for more info.

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