“Mr. Elijah’s Masterpiece” will be featured in Art Appalachia: 2020

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Staff & Palette has reopened our doors high atop the Blue Ridge, and we are proud to announce that “Mr. Elijah’s Masterpiece”, Rina’s 20 x 16 original oil on canvas has been accepted into The Floyd Center for the Arts 2020 Juried Exhibition, “Art Appalachia: 2020”, which will run from October 17th to December 3rd.  Selected from artists encompassing 13 states from Mississippi to New York by juror Wendy Earle, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, NC, it is truly an honor to be part of this prestigious show. Rina is especially pleased that this piece, inspired by the work of our dear friend and master sweetgrass artist, Mr. Elijah Ford, was awarded this opportunity.

Programming is supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Due to Covid-19, we will not be able to participate in the reception initially planned for the artists; however there will be virtual opportunities to view the show and hear from the juror about each piece of artwork selected for the show.  There may also be provisions made for small groups to view the artwork on site.  We will keep everyone in the loop, so please stay tuned for updates!

Art Appalachia: 2020 – Floyd Center for the Arts 2020 Juried Exhibit



Here is Rina’s poem to accompany the piece:

“Mr. Elijah’s Masterpiece” – Poem by Rina Lucas

He stands
Greeting us with a warm smile
That has welcomed us for years
To his basket stand
The gem of Highway 17
Showcasing the talents
Handed down to him from his mother
And a thousand generations before her
All around us
Sparkling in the Charleston sun
Are his masterpieces
Fragrant as the morning dew
The poetry and pain
Of a great people
Sewn together in prayer
If ever a man looked like God to me
It’s Mr. Elijah
Gentleness and strength
Humility and greatness
Swirled together like his artwork
With serene confidence
His kind eyes have seen so much
Joy and grief
For more than 80 years
His skilled hands have been
Working the Sweetgrass
Translating torment and toil
Into a glorious triumph
Ashes into Beauty
Mourning into Dancing.



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