The Arts Council of the Valley presents “American Landscapes” by Bob Anderson to the Harrisonburg community. As part of First Fridays Downtown, the show opens on September 4th from 5-7pm at the Darrin-McHone Gallery in the Smith House at 311 South Main Street. There will be complimentary food and beverages for the public to enjoy as they savor the breath-taking landscapes of this accomplished painter.
In “American Landscapes,” Anderson reflects on the remote countryside from Kansas to California. The oil paintings featured at the Smith House are based on composites of photos he took while on a recent road trip. Anderson and his wife Dominique traveled from Charlottesville to San Francisco to Vancouver to Banff, covering over 8,000 miles in about 30 days. They slept in a tent, visited family and explored state parks. The paintings reveal beauty, power and loneliness in the haunting landscapes of such states as Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Colorado. Anderson hopes to eventually have an oil painting for each state and province through which they traveled.
The transient quality of his work is born from not only his personal technique but also his personal experience. Before beginning the aforementioned road trip, Anderson had hiked the Appalachian Trail for 350 miles. He intended to be the first artist to complete the entire hike and record it in the form of an artist’s journal of drawings. However, this goal was hindered by various health concerns while on the AT. His experiences hiking for 29 days stimulated his desire to travel and record what he saw through photo and ultimately painting. When he and his wife set out for a month long road trip, Anderson focused on capturing the scenery as they sped on open highway. The clouds and light in each painting exemplify the distinct yet harmonious American landscape.
Anderson brings a variety of talent to downtown Harrisonburg. He has a studio at the McGuffey Art Center and has worked in a series of mediums including sculpture, pen and ink, water color and oil paint. He is not only an artist but also an author, architect and amateur naturalist. Throughout his career Anderson has written and illustrated four children’s books and even worked as a cartoonist in Paris, France. Now settled in Charlottesville, Anderson and Dominique live with their dog Sammy and enjoy visits from their three grown children and two grandsons. The Arts Council is pleased to present the work of this skillful painter. His children’s books will be available for sale at the Arts Council through September. The Arts Council of the Valley’s monthly exhibitions are open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, please visit www.ValleyArts.org or call 540-801-8779.