Member Submitted Artwork

The following is a list of artwork submitted by Association members, people living in our community, or artists who depict our community.

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Gallery 1

Click here to visit Brett's website:
Brett Busang
Description: Acrylic and Oil Pastels. Works on canvas and masonite.
Photos of work:
"Summer Squash" "Along West Jackson" (diptych) "Last House on Leigh"
"Snowed in on Jackson" "Sunset on Leigh (near 2nd)" "Leigh Street Beauty Shop"

Incredibly interesting observation made by the artist, Brett Busang, himself as he reflected on these particular paintings:

"Summer Squash"
Acrylic on Canvas
44 x 32

You can never get too far away from agriculture in the South. Nor am I the first to make the observation that, if untended, our lawns, our parks, our green spaces - perhaps even our aiports - would all go to seed if we weren't constantly minding them. Well, there wasn't anybody to mind this place after the last tenant was removed - feet first, alas - about a year before I did this picture. The house directly behind our little truck garden was standing among a jittery-looking row that faced Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church. (If I'm not mistaken, the church owned these houses, as well as the property underneath them.) Today the site is, for now, well-tended and evenly mowed. But just wait; if something isn't built there fast, the squash'll come back again.

"Along West Jackson" (diptych)
Acrylic on canvas
30 x 52

Places can stay vacant for quite a long while in scary places and Jackson Street was a scary place when I was painting it. It was perhaps even scarier as the streets lost their identities as streets and became lonely bridges between the tawdry-looking greenbelts that took over, by default, after buildings were mysteriously demolished or spectacularly burned down. The apartment building toward the left caught fire one evening, effectively chasing off all the loafers who'd been occupying it. Fate also reserved a fiery ending for the plain red-brick building to the right of the picture. Before I was done painting around there, no man-made thing would interrupt the two-lane road's progress through Jackson Ward toward an ever-expanding sea of asphalt.

"Last House on Leigh"
Acrylic on canvas
38 x 32

Each city has an architecture which is considered "emblematic." Chicago has its block-heavy prairie-style mansions; New York its elegant brownstones; Baltimore its thousands upon thousands of marble steps - kept clean, as I hear, by the sort of elbow grease that made them. If there is such an emblematic style in Richmond, this house embodies it - though there aren't a whole lot of them around anymore. Let's describe it as a sort of pre-Civil War cottage, neatly comfortable, with its short flight of stairs and slanting tin roof, punctured by two dormer windows that handily add a third or fourth story. Over the years, its sturdy brick front has aged tolerably well. Seeing it today, I don't think its builders would have anything to complain about. But the back of the house is a different story. It leans precariously, and has taken a decidedly asymmetrical path on its way from near-respectability to raffish disrepair. It appears to have "seceded" from the other side of the house and will eventually be torn away from it - or (one might hope) painstakingly remodeled into small apartments. Such places seem to express a certain social dichotomy, under which the "front" of something gets the most attention while its hindquarters are left to their own devices.

Just a thought.

"Snowed-in on Jackson"
Acrylic on masonite
30 x 24

There are a great many "snow pictures" of Richmond - which isn't any wonder at all. Snow is an anomaly in the South and is noticed. It is also avoided in the same way people avoid any sort of delicious catastrophe. Everybody finds his safe haven and starts to rubberneck. If you paint, you can't do that. I'm a Yankee anyway, used to inclement weather and not snow-dazzled or snow-surprised. Yet opportunities to explore the softly scintillating light that is characteristic of a good snow-bound landscape are so few in Richmond that I absolutely had to go out and do it. Snow can also lend a great brooding solemnity to the softly decaying structures that are my metier, so I was hooked.

I was just a few hundred yards West of where I stood to paint "Along Jackson" - though what a difference to me!

"Sunset on Leigh (near 2nd)"
Oil pastel
12 x 18

I didn't know this when I created this image, but a few years after the Civil War, an enterprising photographer stood at a similar vantage point and recorded a very different place whose basic shape and form is, however, not very different even today. The sharply silhouetted house-tops and parapets are of a similar scale, as is the street itself. No widening has taken place since the street was laid out - at least in this particular stretch of it. Our photographer's picture was taken during business hours, when all sorts of mundane activities were taking place. It didn't express a Richmond place so much as an American one. Yet I very much wanted to say something about a kind of recurring moment that has taken place on this spot countless thousands of times, with pretty much the same buildings, the same street, the same sorts of businesses. Sunsets are perhaps THE hackneyed metaphor for life's transience, yet there still is no better one on this earth.

"Leigh Street Beauty Shop"
Oil pastel
12 x 18

A fair number of small and "undistinguished" buildings were cleared to make way for the newest Richmond Convention Center. This is one of them

I went through the place - opened to everybody in a way no business that is IN business ever is - and was somewhat dismayed at how, when something abandoned in America, there doesn't seem to be any interest in saving it physically. The innards of the shop were left just as they were when there were customers: the overstuffed chairs, the hand-lettered signage, coyly personal touches a customer might like. I dragged away its front window, painted "Leigh Street Beauty Parlor" in cursive script, and donated it to a local history museum. I wanted to save some trace of a life experience nobody seemed to have the heart or energy to keep.

The business stood at 3rd Street, just North of Leigh.

Click Here to view Brett's wonderful narrative about fences.

Gallery 2

Original Paintings by Dave Mayfield, West Clay Street Email:
"When I moved into my house, there were all these nails in the walls where the prior owners had put their stuff. I figured I could take the nails out and paint the walls or put up my own artwork. Good artwork is expensive, and I didn't have enough to cover the walls, so I took up painting."
Photos of work:
Dana October Flower Pot
Lever Du Soleil Tiger Lily
Dove Dance Escarpment
Farm Moon