Art Show at E.C. Lawrence

Art Show at E.C. Lawrence

The Walney Garden Guild is sponsoring its first annual Art Show and Sale, "The Nature of Art," Sunday, March 25, from 1-4 p.m. at Cabell's Mill in Ellanor C. Lawrence Park.

Featured will be landscapes and other nature-themed works by local and regional artists, including members of the Centreville Regional Art Guild. A coffee-and-pastry reception at 2 p.m. is being catered by Jamie's General Bean. And musicians Ellan McGlone and Aaron Mynes will play the violin and cello.

"WE REALLY don't have a space for artists in this area," said Sequoia Farms' Theresa DeFluri, an interpretive guide and naturalist at E.C. Lawrence. "And we wanted to bring awareness to both the park and the existence of the local art community."

The Walney Garden Guild is an all-volunteer organization that promotes stewardship of the park's historic gardens, and it will receive a percentage of the proceeds from the sale. It helps with the park's upkeep and landscaping, and DeFluri was one of its founders in 2004.

She hopes the upcoming event will encourage artists to come paint in E.C. Lawrence. "It's a beautiful place," she said. "And it's long been a dream of mine to incorporate art into the park."

The show is free, but donations will be accepted. And a fresh floral arrangement will be raffled off, as will two garden benches made by Kenneth Garlem, the park's maintenance-crew chief.

DeFluri grows the flowers and heirloom herbs and vegetables at E.C. Lawrence and is also helping develop an apple orchard and grape arbor there. And she's delighted to have visitors view the lovely gardens.

They're currently blooming with native wildflowers, plus two different types of lavendar and chives. And the greenhouse contains salvia, zinnias, vervein, sweetpeas, sunflowers and Mitchum's Chocolate Peppermints — scented herbs with a deep, chocolate color.

But DeFluri would certainly welcome help from local residents to assist in maintaining the gardens' appearance. "It really requires community support to keep it clean and weeded," she said. Helpers are also needed to help with the planting and with putting together small, floral bouquets for Mother's Day.

"It's a wonderful place for mothers with young children," she said. "The moms weed and plant while their children play with dump trucks in the dirt. We want them to feel like it's their garden, too, because it truly is a community park." (To volunteer or for more information, call 703-631-0013).

"IN EARLY MAY, we plan on doing a red, white and blue, patriotic-themed garden in front of the mill," said DeFluri. "There'll be white zinnias, red and blue salvia and, hopefully, blue lisianthus."

And in the Children's Cutting Garden, youngsters will be able to admire the flowers, observe butterflies, moths and insects and pick small bouquets to take home. "They might even see a squirrel, bunny, cardinal or deer," said DeFluri. "And this encourages them to look at the flora and fauna around them in their daily lives."

She also noted that the park's Virginia bluebells and wild ginger will soon be blooming. "It's such a nice, little park, right in our own backyard," she said. "And it has a lot to offer."

The creation of "Ellanor's Garden" — dedicated to the actual Ellanor Lawrence who donated the land for the park — is on the horizon, as well, as is a gazebo next to Cabell's Mill.

The upcoming art show and sale is also sponsored by Craig T. Monroe of Dominion Equity Realty in Fairfax and Jennifer Grinnell of Brand Planet Marketing in Centreville. John Shafer, the park's assistant manager, has been instrumental, as well, in making this event a reality.

"We want people to come out and enjoy the park," said DeFluri. "If it rains, the art show will still be held, but just moved indoors."