The Perspective Gallery in Squires believes in showcasing the a high quality of fine art, and its current exhibition focuses on a local appeal.
From Oct. 2 to Nov. 9, the gallery will hold the New River Art Biennial exhibition, for the fourth time running, which showcases over 30 works of art from 25 different artists within a 150-mile radius of Blacksburg, including parts of North Carolina. The Art Programs Director of the gallery, Robin Boucher, has already seen a good amount of students come visit the gallery.
“A lot of students have been coming and talking about how they really like these shows that I have in here that have lots of artists with different styles, media and technique, because it has an appeal to a wide range of people,” Boucher said. “Many students have never been to a gallery and so it’s really a process for us to figure out how can we make this space approachable--and shows like this make it very approachable.”
Boucher has also witnessed a great deal of positive feedback from this show, especially due to the locality factor.
“It’s been really nice to hear peoples responses to this exhibit because when they find out this is regional work, and are very excited to know that there’s a great art community even though there’re kind of tucked into nooks and crannies of their own," Boucher said.
A big part of the art community in Blacksburg is assembled in the Blacksburg Regional Art Association (BRAA), the main organizer of the exhibition. They are a local group of artists or supporters of art who come together monthly to discuss and celebrate all art forms. Six members from BRAA are represented in the current show.
The show is part of the New River Art Juried Biennial, currently in its 12th year, and while the managerial role of the show is with BRAA right now, it changes every two years between three organizations: BRAA, the Fine Arts Center of the New River Valley in Pulaski and the Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd, and is held in those respective locations.
The show was organized by the 3 representatives of BRAA: the Chairman of the committee Leslye Bloom, who was also a former teacher at VT, Gerri Young, a local artist, and Diana Francis. This is the biggest show that the BRAA participates in, and it used the gallery because it is currently the biggest gallery open in Blacksburg. While it is a lot of work, Young is very pleased with the results of their hard work.
“I’m personally very pleased with the selection of art and the geographic diversity of the people who made it on the walls here in Blacksburg,” Young said.
This year, the committee decided to put the submission process online at CallforEntry.org, which they believe helped reach a wider variety of people, with over 200 entries during the four-month open application period.
“We thought it was time to step forward and do that--it's a wonderful program,” Young said.
As soon as the pool closed, the three appointed judges, Michael Haga from College of Charleston, SC, Jeffrey Allison from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Boucher, were able to go into the online system to judge and comment on the submitted pieces on a scale of one to seven.
Those selected pieces were then placed in the gallery by Boucher and her associates, and the best will be given awards at an opening, as well as an awards reception on Oct 18. There will be nine awards, totaling $2100, with financial contributions given by the local community, from Mish Mish to the employees of the Center of the Arts.