The Colonial Center has several gallery spaces available for exhibitions and display. All artwork is shown either on easels, free standing pedestals, or hanging systems. Applications are currently being accepted for future showings.

Complete the Application Form and send it to The Colonial Center at the following address. You may also send by email. Please call for more details.

The Colonial Center
Attn: Lauren A. Epps
220 South Mecklenburg Avenue
South Hill, Virginia 23970
(434) 262-4170

Click a photo to enlarge into a slideshow-style gallery.

- On loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The word “Impressionism” makes most people think of beautiful, sunlit paintings of the French countryside, glorious gardens and lily ponds, and fashionable Parisians enjoying life in charming cafés.

But when the men and women who came to be known as the Impressionists first exhibited their work in the late 1800s, they were censured for breaking time-honored rules of art. Rather than painting historical subjects or mythological scenes, these artists depicted ordinary subjects from everyday life. Their work emphasized color instead of line, and their brushstrokes were loose and visible. In another departure from tradition, they painted outdoors or “en plein air”.

Despite their radical methods, these artists still wanted to sell their work and sought acceptance by the annual government-sanctioned Paris Salon, the most important art show of the time. Not surprisingly, paintings that defied convention were often returned stamped with a red “R” – meaning refuse – a humiliating badge of rejection which made them difficult to sell.

Determined to make the public aware of their art and achieve success, the artists who practiced this new form of painting organized their own exhibition in 1874. They scheduled it to open two weeks earlier than the Salon in order to garner advance publicity and negate any notions that their works had been rejected.

Their strategy worked, and the exhibition attracted a great deal of media attention. In fact it was a journalist, mocking Claude Monet’s painting IMPRESSION, SUNRISE, who gave the group the name that would later become synonymous with beauty: Impressionism.

Featured works in this VMFA exhibit include PORTRAIT OF VICTOR CHOCQUET by Paul Cézanne; FIELD OF POPPIES, GIVERNY by Claude Monet; THE WHEAT FIELD BEHIND ST. PAUL’S HOSPITAL, ST. REMY by Vincent Van Gogh; PENSIVE (LA SONGEUSE) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir; and AT THE RACES: BEFORE THE START by Edgar Degas; and many others.


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