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art

The Art You Treasure Most

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The Art You Treasure Most

So we just went through the crazy busy time of year here in Lexington. Where the parents and families of all the graduating students from VMI, SVU, and W&L descend on Lexington. Don't get me wrong, we love it! Any opportunity to show off our town to other people we'll take it. 

I NEVER get tired of hearing out-of-towners say, "Lexington! What a wonderful town. I had no idea! You have such a great art vibe here."

Yes :)  We do.

When all the families come for graduation, they come in looking for art that will remind their graduate of their school or maybe just Virginia. Having grown up in Lexington, I can certainly speak for VMI and W&L that their graduates love this town so dearly that many of them grow up to get second homes here, or retire here. Or, like me, just move back to the best place they could find on the planet. 

When picking out a graduation gift, many of the families get what I get. Nothing is a better gift than art. See, some people think you shouldn't buy art for other people. Not true. Especially when it is someone young. When they are graduating and going to live in their own place, perhaps their first apartment, few young adults can prioritize art. It's just not what they are spending their money on yet. But somehow, when they are given art, hanging an original work in their home makes them feel like an adult. There is a right of passage almost to "Now I have more than framed posters of Monet or Bob Marley. Now I have original art." And when that art reflects on a very important time in their life, say, college, that makes you treasure it even more. And you have created an heirloom, perhaps their first. One that their kids and maybe their kids will always know too. The gift giver always like to think that they will be remembered when they give a gift. Well, something as meaningful and permanent as art certainly does that.

At the Cabell Gallery we really focus, not just on Fine Art, but on Fine Art from the central Virginia area. Sometimes even scenes of the schools themselves. I tell you, it's a real kick for me to see a young person get their first real piece. The first of many hopefully. So think about it; if you have a young adult in your life, whether they have graduated or not, maybe it's birthday, Christmas, new baby, or no reason at all, the gift of art is something that you treasure your whole life. And, if it is a work that represents an important time in their life, even more so. Stop by or check out our website. And if you have something specific in mind, tell us about it! Many of our artists would gladly paint you the vision that you have in your head. Talk about a personal gift! People who say that you "can't" give art as a gift don't know what they are missing. Art, it may be the gift they will always treasure the most.

 

 

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It's the End of the World As We Know It, But I Feel Fine...

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It's the End of the World As We Know It, But I Feel Fine...

<Painting : Foggy Day in Virginia by Julia Lesnichy (available at Cabell Gallery)>

The world is going to hell in a hand basket! At least it seems like it if you listen to TV, or Radio, or Social Media. Our bridges are crumbling, our glaciers are melting, no one can get a job, college cost more, aging people have less.  If _________ becomes president I’m moving to Canada! It is all pretty stressful. I guess I could just take a Xanax and keep doing what I’m doing, but I have a better idea. Art.

You know, at one time I thought of art as just something to collect, maybe it reminded me of a certain trip, maybe it was cool and I wanted others to see it, or maybe it even matched my couch. Those are all completely acceptable reasons to have art, by the way. But then I discovered not just collecting art, but spending TIME with art. 

Sometimes here at the Cabell Gallery, we will get a student that wanders in from the W&L Law School and says, “I’m not here to buy anything, is it alright if I just look at the art? I just had an exam and I need to decompress.” I love that. What a great purpose that art gets to serve, not just to bring joy…but to bring peace. 

I like to spend time with art. I like trees. I like rivers. I like fields. There are some wonderful paintings of fields here at Cabell Gallery that I can just get lost in, that I can look at and imagine what the wind sounds like as I’m walking through them. Sometimes people say, “Oh I don’t have any more room in my house for art,” (there is no such thing btw) but I will say, “What about your office?” The office is where you could REALLY use a tree, or a river, or a field to get lost in for a few minutes. Try it. When I find myself immersed in a painting of the Blue Ridge Mountains, I may not know all the answers to the world's problems, but I know this; there is no way I’m moving to Canada.

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HOUSE MOUNTAIN AFFAIR

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HOUSE MOUNTAIN AFFAIR

House Mountain. It’s as much a part of the Lexington landscape as W&L or VMI. Maybe more…it’s been there longer. But something about that mountain seems to stay in Rockbridge County residents’ minds, and in their hearts. Perhaps Harry Hathaway Warner said it best when he said he’d been “having an affair with House Mountain…stretching over 60 years.” In fact, he wrote a book about it and you can own a copy yourself while helping to raise money to benefit House Mountain.

The book is called House Mountain Affair: A Personal Journal and Pictorial Study of the Signature Landmark of Lexington, Virginia, by Harry Hathaway Warner.

And this Friday, December 4th from 5:00pm to 7:30pm, Cabell Gallery welcomes local author Harry Hathaway Warner for a book signing, reception, and an exhibition of Virginia landscapes artwork. 

All proceeds from book sales will go to the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council to aid in their mission of protecting Rockbridge County’s natural treasures, including House Mountain. Those who purchase a book will also receive a voucher for a 10% discount on one Cabell Gallery item valid for 60 days following the event.   

It’s nice to support local authors and to have your money go to a deserving cause. But there is something magical about House Mountain, and to read Mr. Warner’s book makes you see that others, past and present, know that too. To own the book makes you feel as if you own a piece of the mountain itself. The way he invites you into his heart and hopes and dreams is so intimate. And yes, you get lots of beautiful pictures and maps and historical context, but Mr. Warner also shows you a piece of himself, the piece that has spent all these years in a House Mountain Affair.

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Before The Cabell Gallery : The Storied Past of 5 West Washington St.

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Before The Cabell Gallery : The Storied Past of 5 West Washington St.

Picture above: Family of Dabney C. Carver IV

We recently had the pleasure of meeting descendants of 5 West Washington Street's previous occupants...

Before the gallery was established, the building was used as a hair salon, and before that a law office for Larry Mann (blacksmith and husband of photographer Sally Mann), who's hand wrought sign hanger now holds our sign out front.  

This was as far back as spoken history had taken us until this past Saturday, when we had the privilege of meeting the family of Dabney C. Carver IV, who owned and operated Lexington Lighting and Electric Company here at 5 West Washington Street from 1976 until the late 1980's.  

Mr. Carver's daughter Carole Carver Avery, her husband Guy, and their two daughters Ellie and Molly stopped by the gallery last Saturday for a trip down memory lane.  Mrs. Avery noted the many changes to the space and reminisced about her summers spent behind the sales counter.  She also mentioned that the desk lamps sold in the store were a hot ticket item for local students at both VMI and Washington and Lee.  

We loved unlocking another chapter in the history of our great location at 5 West Washington St and would love to learn more!

Do you recall a memorable moment at 5 West Washington, if so, share it with us! Leave comments below or visit our Facebook page!

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