Artist Judith St. Ledger-Roty discusses her painting with guests at the First Friday Art Walk in the Village in Great Falls.
Photo by Steve Hibbard.
The kick-off event for the First Friday Art Walk in the Village was held on Friday, May 6 in the Village Centre in Great Falls. Some 27 artists in three group studios participated along with galleries and several restaurants. The artists entertained visitors, did live painting demonstrations and talked about their process and inspirations. Participating artists included Artists on the Green, 11 artists; The Artists' Loft, six artists; The Arts of Great Falls Gallery; and Artists Atelier, 10 artists. Participating restaurants included The Brogue, Pio Pio Pollo, Wild Ginger Pan Asian and the Great Falls Creamery. The Art Walks are scheduled for the first Fridays of the month now through December.
"Our view of this is that Great Falls has become an artful place to live; we're hoping to invigorate the Green with artists doing their work or showing their work," said artist Judith St. Ledger-Roty, who specializes in representational realist art in an impressionistic style. "They can have dinner and listen to music at the Brogue."
She added: "People don't have to go into Georgetown; they can stay in the community we've all lived in. And it becomes a destination area for us and not just a place you drive by. My goal is to be able to establish a space where if you want to see art, you come to the village."
Chris Rollins, a watercolor artist of botanical paintings from Great Falls, added: "I'm really excited about having so many people in the community come out to see artists working in their studios and discovering the different artistic pursuits from the artists on the Green."
Jill Banks, an oil painter from Fairfax, added: "I think it's terrific that we have the joint studios here at the Village Centre. People have been really excited about having a regular event to come out and celebrate in Great Falls. I do want people to enjoy the night on the town."
Julie Casso, executive director of the Arts of Great Falls, the local art foundation that runs the school, offers working artist's studios and does community art events, added: "It's very exciting to have so many people come out in this weather and see the art in the studios and gallery and enjoy the unique Village Green that we have in Great Falls. We're truly expecting the community to want to come out and spend the night on the town."
Oil painter and lawyer Cindi Berry of The Artists' Loft added: "This is our first Friday for us; this is our grand opening for The Artists' Loft. It's exciting and it's surprising how many people turned out in such appalling weather.”