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Painting exhibit inspired by Mary Draper Ingles

Carl Lefko photo
An area artist paints the Mary Draper Ingles home place in Radford for an “en plein air” art show at Glencoe Manson, Museum and Gallery.

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

RADFORD — While many artists create their paintings in studios, some choose to challenge the elements by capturing moments outdoors, or “en plein air.”

Just in time for the second season of “Walk to Freedom — The Mary Draper Ingles Story,” a dozen local artists are displaying their plein air paintings inspired by Ingles’ story. The exhibit is on display at Glencoe Mansion, Museum and Gallery in Radford through Aug. 3.

Glencoe Mansion and The Long Way Home Inc., which presented Ingles’ story in an outdoor drama on the Ingles farm for years and presents Walk to Freedom in June and July, organized the art show to expose area art lovers to plein air work. This form of painting captures a moment’s view while the artist faces challenges such as wind, insects and the impacts temperature and humidity have on their paints.

Area artists Kirk Carter, Terry Ellen Carter, Susan Crockett, Judy Crowgey, Laura “Jeannie” Fender, Matt Gentry, Sue Hossack, Ruth Lefko, Jim Palmer, Philip Ramsey, Lois Stephens and Gerri Young created the works on display. They painted scenes en plein air at local sites associated with Ingles’ 1755 journey home from captivity in Southern Ohio by Shawnee Indians.

“Plein air is very different from studio painting where I use the indirect method of painting many layers in different sessions after each layer has dried,” explained Fender, who works in oil paint. “With plein air one has to paint fast, and deal with the constantly changing light.”

Sites depicted in their works include Mary Draper Ingles Cultural Heritage Park, Ingles Farm and Ingles Ferry, all in Radford; Ingles Tavern in Pulaski County, and Snidow Park Landing in Giles County.

Organizers say the artists “reacted to the magnitude of Mary’s accomplishment by painting at sites she saw on her journey home and life afterward.”

Carter, remembering the saying, “No man ever steps in the same river twice,” reflected on the changes the New River has undergone and the changes Ingles experienced during captivity and her long trek home.

Many works are for sale. A portion of proceeds goes to The Long Way Home Inc.

Glencoe is at 600 Unruh Drive in Radford. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

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