Artists Spend a Weekend in Highland County
Artists captured the beauty of Highland County during the annual Artists’ Weekend. Held the last weekend in June, The Arts Council sponsors this event as a fundraiser for the organization. Liz Delahoussaye first had the idea for the weekend several years ago.
“I do art myself,” Delahoussaye said, “and it’s such a beautiful county, and there are so few of us, I thought it would be a good idea to try and introduce artists from other areas who enjoy painting outdoors to come here and discover Highland County and make it a fun event for everyone and perhaps raise a little money or our nonprofit.”
There were about twelve beginning and advanced painters this year. “We had people from Nelson County and the Charlottesville area, and we had folks from Waynesboro and Staunton and Harrisonburg. They describe to us what kinds of things they might like to paint, and we try to give them ideas of where to go.
“A number of them always fall in love with the Bluegrass Valley, and so there were a number of paintings in the valley looking up towards Snowy Mountain. There are pictures of things like the old mill in Bluegrass, some of the small little country churches that you find dotted around the county, and the streams that you see wandering through the hayfields.”
After painting for two days, the artists get together for a dinner under the pavilion at the Highland Center. Then on Sunday afternoon, they display their work in a wet paint show. “The artists set their work up,” Delahoussaye said, “and people in the community can come and discover that their barn has been painted by someone or they just love that view of Snowy Mountain. And the artists are able to sell their work if people are interested, and then they make a donation on that to the Arts Council as well.”
Artwork from past Artists’ Weekends will be on display at the Highland Library from late July through August. “It will be a group show made up of current and former participants in the Artists’ Weekend, so people could get a look at samples of the kinds of things that were done over the past six years in that show.”
Delahoussaye believes that the landscape and the people make Highland a perfect setting for such a weekend. “It’s a combination of just the beautiful rolling hills and mountains and clear skies in all times of the year, very rural picturesque scenery. And then the welcoming people here in the county. All of the artists have commented about how friendly and helpful people in the community have been when they’ve been needing to stop by the side of the road or looking for a particular place, and who are very interested to see what they’ve been doing.”
For more information about the Highland Arts Council, visit their website, highland-arts.org. Artwork will be on display at the Highland Library later this month, and the next Artists’ Weekend will be in 2015.