‘Oil and Water Do Mix’ at MacCallum exhibit

Published 10:00 am Saturday, July 2, 2022

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More than 30 paintings by two artists with different styles make for a varied and interesting show at the MacCallum More Museum and Gardens.

Eldridge Bagley is a national award-winning artist, including the prestigious Folk Art Society of America Artist of the Year (2011). Bagley’s work has been described by critics as “multi-textured,” and “highly original.” N. Diana Thorpe has won numerous awards for her watercolors, most recently an Outstanding Achievement Award for her painting “Cardoon” at the 2022 Virginia Watercolor Society Annual Exhibit. Her work has been described as “combining technical skill with evocative imagery.”

Thorpe said that she is honored to show her work with Bagley and that the different mediums and styles convey each artist’s unique view of the world. She has great admiration for Bagley’s work and when viewing it is immediately transported to a different time and place. She has always been impressed with the honesty of Bagley’s work. Bagley describes Thorpe’s work as, “vibrant, heartfelt and alive.”

Bagley’s life’s journey has taken him primarily through the back roads of quieter living and simpler ways. “Those roads have not bypassed struggles and trials but have ultimately led to a way of life that is profoundly meaningful, richly satisfying, and inspirational to my artistic leanings,” he said. “The people in my life — my family, friends, neighbors — and the land that has sustained and nurtured them have always been at the heart of my paintings. The genuineness of those people, the authenticity of their relationships, and the integrity of their lives in general influenced me and drew me to them. With no pretense of being more than hard-working farmers, my parents, and so many other folks like them, never sought the limelight and would never have imagined themselves as being an inspiration to anyone. But they have been (at least to me) and they still are.”

Drawing and painting have been lifelong interests for Thorpe. She began drawing at age 7 and began painting at age 14. She paints in a representational style because she cannot imagine anything more beautiful and inspiring than the natural world around her. She enjoys painting a variety of subjects and especially is drawn to color and movement.

Both artists look forward to sharing their most recent work at the opening reception on Sunday, July 10, from 3-5 p.m. at the MacCallum More Museum located at 603 Hudgins Street in Chase City. The reception is free and open to the public. The show will run from July 10 to Aug. 31. The museum’s new policy allows artwork to be purchased and taken at the end of the reception, or at any time artwork is purchased after the reception date. Entrance to the museum is from Walker Street.