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May 2023 First Friday: “Reflections in Time and Place” featuring Mel Neale, Winner of the 2022 Annual Juried Show + Collaborative Botanical Show

May 5 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

May 2023 First Friday: “Reflections in Time and Place” featuring Mel Neale, Winner of the 2022 Annual Juried Show + Collaborative Botanical Show

Friday, May 5


Sponsored by Ware Neck Produce

During the month of May, Arts on Main will be exhibiting works by the winner of the 2022 Annual Juried Show, Mel Neale and a Collaborative Botanical Show. The opening of the show will take place on Friday, May 5 from 6pm-8pm and will run through May 27th.

About Mel Neale


Making art all my life, I have done and redone pastels, oils, graphite, watercolor, acrylics, illustration and photography. Recently I have returned to my first love, pastels, especially the luscious soft ones. Many consider pastel painting to be the purest form of making art because there is nothing between the pure pigment applied directly by hand and the support (special archival paper or board). There is no brush, no pen, no medium, and very little binder. With soft pastels, I can combine my love for drawing with the richness of pure pigment producing a painterly effect like no other medium. I approach a pastel painting much like an oil, building the layers outwards, with special attention to surface texture and subtle nuances of color. I especially enjoy painting people, landscape, and the slightly quirky or symbolic.” – Mel Neale

Mel (Mary Ellen) Neale was an art major in college and taught art in public schools in Virginia, primarily at the secondary level, for 14 years. After leaving teaching, she and her husband Tom cruised aboard a 47 foot motorsailer full-time on the east coast and in the Bahamas with their two young daughters.  They home-schooled the girls (K-12) aboard the boat, while cruising around 5,000 miles a year. The daughters now have families of their own and Mel and Tom live on land in Lancaster County.

Mel has painted since childhood. While cruising, she painted local scenery as well as numerous commissioned paintings of yachts, homes, islands and other scenes, mostly in acrylics and watercolor.  She is also a photographer and illustrator for boating publications.

Mel is a member and exhibiting artist at the Rappahannock Art League (RAL) Art Center in Kilmarnock, VA, a member of the St. Augustine Art Association, the Mid-Atlantic Pastel Society, American Impressionist Society, Pastel Society of North Carolina, and a Signature Member of the Virginia Watercolor Society. In 2021 she was honored to be juried into the Pastel Society of America as an Associate Member, one of around 2,000 pastel artists world-wide.

Group Botanical Show

A collaborative botanical show will feature artwork by Ronda Bowden, Tomoko Hamada, Trotter Hardy, Patrice Hobbs, Sue Maida, and Mary Jane Zander. This exhibit will be a combination of paintings, drawings, photographs, and 3D sculpture pieces.

Live music will be provided by Lane Rice.

Lane Rice is a seasoned songwriter, musician, and artist from Newport News, Virginia. Lane has been an active part of the music community of Hampton Roads since 2018 performing in cities like Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Gloucester, and Richmond. Lane pursues having a unique sound that is mixture of his favorite genres to perform which are Rock, Country, Pop, Soul, and Blues. These genres come out in his live performances as well as in his songwriting. You can listen to his original music everywhere music is streamed and watch him perform live acoustic or with his band Lane Rice & Co. in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

First Friday is on May 5th from 6:00pm-8:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Thank you to our Monthly Exhibit Sponsor, Ware Neck Produce!