From Orange County Featured At U.Va.'s
18 , 1999 -- The works of Joe Simms and Laura Burrell,
two artists with the Orange Studio Program, will be featured March
1 to March 26 at the University of Virginia's Fayerweather Gallery
on Rugby Road.
Marlatt, founder of the Orange Studio Program and associate professor
of Studio Art at U.Va., encouraged Simms and Burrell by letting
them work in her studio. When citizens in rural Orange decided to
start The Art Center in Orange, Marlatt proposed and created the
Orange Studio Program to encourage and support mentally disabled
artists like Simms and Burrell. Artists must present a portfolio
of their work to join the studio, which provides space as well as
and Burrell's art can be categorized as "arte brute" or visionary
art which taps into creative roots, without classical or academic
is a prolific painter - drawing all day, every day - producing five
to six works in a day. He is self-taught and uses a variety of materials.
When traditional art materials are not available he uses anything
he can get his hands on -- including car paints, markers, pencils
and discarded cardboard boxes -- and takes as his subject matter
what he sees around him in rural Orange where he has spent most
of his 57 years. "Joe Simms work is untainted by the constraints,
expectations and demands placed upon artists creating in formal
academic settings. The result is an art in its purist form, a raw,
untamed expressionism," said U.Va. art student Heather Brausa, co-curator
of the exhibition.
who earned a B.A. in art from Marymount College in 1976, is a resident
of President Madison's Home for Adults in Orange."Laura Burrell's
paintings celebrate life in all its optimism and joy. Though savvy
in her approach to color and form, there is nothing jaded or cynical
in her paintings," Marlatt said.
opening reception, hosted by Fayerweather Friends, will be held
on First Friday, March 5, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with an informal gallery
talk at 6:30 p.m. by Marlatt and Brausa, co-curators of the exhibit.
Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
conjunction with the exhibit, Rebecca Hoffberger, director and founder
of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, will give a lecture
on March 2 at noon in Fayerweather Hall, Room A104. According to
the museum's catalog, it "has been hailed 'a treasure house,' full
of the most outstanding creations born of intuition and self-styled
imagination." Hoffberger will speak about the museum and show slides
of the collection.
museum is unique and unconventional. It offers a feast for the imagination,"
said Marlatt. "It's the first museum of its kind in the country."
more information, contact Megan Marlatt at (804) 924-7206. Television
reporters contact our TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
Jane Ford, (804) 924-4298.