Another school year is about to pass and once again there will be a new crop of eager VMI graduates ready to take over the world. This year is kind of special as Cabell’s son Jack graduates. He comes from a long line of VMI grads including his father, uncle, and both his grandfathers. But that is not that unusual with Virginia Military Institute. Tradition is a core value, it practically seeps from the imposing walls. It’s a feeling that you recognize as soon as you walk onto post, but it is not necessarily an easy thing to capture in a painting, unless, or course, you are Maria Reardon. Maria knows about VMI tradition. Her husband is a graduate (‘87) and her twin boys both graduated in 2014. It is with this familiarity that she is able to capture simple moments of life at VMI and allows you to truly feel the emotion of what it must be like to be there.
Maria works in pastels and she loves being outdoors, immersed in the world, observing and experiencing everything going on around her. She's drawn to the unique and ever-changing relationships of form and color. She is intrigued by the unexpected combinations of light and color which characterize her work. If there is one thing people always remark to me is that her work has so much color, but she is able to do this while maintaining the realism of her subjects.
Maria is a Virginia native and received her formal education from Virginia Commonwealth University earning a Bachelor’s of Fine Art in illustration. She lives in Richmond but has a getaway home in Goshen, here in the wilds of Rockbridge County. This love for Rockbridge County and Lexington also shows up in her work, her ability to capture the slices of life locally is as intimate and impressive as those she does of VMI.
The Cabell Gallery is proud to feature Maria Reardon’s work year round. True, many people seem to get sentimental around graduation time. But the thing about VMI tradition it is a lot more than one season. And the thing about Maria Reardon is she has the uncanny gift of the ability to capture it all.