Part 2 of Bath Art Show

This coming Saturday is the opening of the Bath County Art Show, which is in its 51st year. The unjuried show welcomes everyone, creating a wide price range for the artwork and a large spectrum of artists from full-time professionals to young emerging amateurs. Cathy Singleton, Co-chair of the Bath County Arts Association, gave some of the history of the Art Show.

“It was founded by Christine Herter Kendall who also founded Garth Newel, and Elinor Hopkins. They were local artists and they wanted local artists initially to have a place to show their work. It wasn’t really open regionally at that time. It’s fifty-one years old now, and we have multi-state and regional participation. Last year we had over eight hundred entries, and that represented probably two- hundred and thirty artists. The first art show ever barely had a hundred entries at all.”

Two descriptions of these extraordinary women are part of the 2014 catalog available on line. Not only was Christine Herter Kendall responsible for founding the Art Show and Garth Newel Music Center, but she and Sargeant Kendall restored the altarpiece of St. Luke’s Church in Hot Springs when it had been severely damaged in a fire in 1933. Kendall had painted the large scene of the Resurrection, and she and her husband peeled the paintings off the ceiling, took them to their studio to repair, and reinstalled them in the sanctuary. The prize at the Art Show named in Christine Herter Kendall’s honor is for “an oil painting evoking thought provoking enlightenment and emotional impact.”

Elinor Hopkins was born and grew up in Hot Springs. She spent some time studying art in Paris in the 1920s as well as in other fine art schools. After a long career of painting, and community involvement, she retired to a condominium in Lynchburg. Reminiscence by Jean Randolph Bruns describes her growing old gracefully.

“She never looked back. She blended easily into the art world in Lynchburg. When she could no longer stand at her easel to paint, she developed a painting corner in her breakfast area, with chair, TV tray, her paints and brushes and produced charming small works. This was characteristic of her career—always trying something new.”

The prize named in Elinor Hopkins’ honor is for the best painting of a flower in watercolor.

There is so much to see at the Bath County Art Show, you might want to allow time for more than one visit. Again, Cathy Singleton,

“The art show this year will be held at Valley Elementary School. And it opens on Saturday July 18th and closes on Sunday, July 26th. It’s open every day from one to five, except the final day, it’s only open from ten til twelve, and that’s so that people can take the artwork out that they purchased, and so the artists can take away their artwork.

With thanks for information in this report to Jean R. Bruns, and Historically Speaking, True Tales of Bath County by Hugh S. Gwin.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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