Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

November First Friday featuring 2021 Gloucester Arts Festival Winners: Daniel Robbins and John Brandon Sills

November 4 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

November First Friday
featuring
2021 Gloucester Arts Festival Winners: Daniel Robbins and John Brandon Sills
Friday, November 4
6:00pm-8:00pm

Sponsored by Gail & Rick Griffin

During the month of November, Arts on Main will be showcasing works by the winners of the 2021 Gloucester Arts Festival Winners: Daniel Robbins and John Brandon Sills. The opening of the show will take place at First Friday on Friday, November 4 from 6:00pm-8:00pm. The show will remain in the gallery through Saturday, November 26.


 Daniel Robbins grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and always wanted to create art. During grades 4-8 he was enrolled in the Old Donation Center for the Gifted and Talented, and in high school he continued his study of art at the Governor’s School for the Arts. He moved to Richmond, VA to study in the Communication Arts department at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), which is ranked as one of the top art schools in the country. While at VCU he received multiple awards for his artistic and academic achievement, including: Most Outstanding Junior and Senior in Communication Arts, Dean’s List, and a scholarship from the New York Society of Illustrators’ Student Competition.

After he received his B.F.A. in 2006, Daniel started to teach drawing and painting as an adjunct faculty member in the Communication Arts department at VCU. He has also exhibited his paintings in galleries in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Charleston, Boston, Maryland, and Park City, Utah. Daniel has received numerous honors and awards including: Award of Excellence from the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition; Best in Show at the “Virginia Artists Juried Exhibition,” in Hampton, VA; Virginia’s Finest Artist at the “Boardwalk Art Festival,” in Virginia Beach, VA; Best in Show at the Gloucester Plein Air Festival and Richmond Plein Air Festival; Artist’s Choice Award at “Plein Air Easton; and he wrote “The Road Not Taken” for the Artists on Art publication. He was also named as one of “21 Under 31” artists to collect by Southwest Art Magazine and “10 Artists to Collect Now: The Emerging Plein Air Painters You Need to Know” by Plein Air Magazine. Daniel Robbins continues to live and work in Richmond, Virginia.

“I needed to get away. For the fist time in years I felt aimless in my artistic pursuits. I was giving everything I could to raising my one-and-a-half year old daughter and caring for my wife who suffered a debilitating pelvic fracture during childbirth. The plein air and observational paintings I had been making for the last ten years were no longer relevant to me. I had changed, and my roles as father and caretaker kept me at home and constantly busy. I couldn’t have successfully worked en plein air even if I wanted to – it was too calm, too grounded, and too logistically inconvenient.

I needed to go home. I needed to understand this journey I was on as a husband and father. My wife, daughter and I packed our bags and drove to my parent’s house near the ocean. I had recently made a few oil sketches at the beach that were exciting me, but I was looking for something else, something more. The first morning at my parents’ house
I woke up at 4:30am. I packed my camera and tripod and made the twenty-five minute commute to the oceanfront. The sun was just beginning to rise as I walked through the heavy dunes that lined the beach. Slowly the wooden boardwalk gave way to sand. I took off my shoes and felt the cool sand under my feet. I could see up and down the beach for miles. There was no one around. I was alone.

No trees, buildings or power lines cluttered or obstructed the perspective. I saw the horizon and looked into infinity. The wind pushed me sideways and peppered me with sand as the sun beckoned me forward. I could have stopped at any moment and basked in the incredible expanse of sky and clouds if not for the faint rumbling of the ocean. The thin strip of blue-gray swelled as I drew nearer. The waves smashed and crumbled into
one another as the wind scooped the foam and threw it around. Salt spray filled my lungs while the waves crashed and slid towards me. The sand was barely in view now, but glimpsed after each wave receded. The sun peaked over the clouds, just above the horizon, and I met its gaze. My vision was full. I took out my camera, opened the lens to its widest possible angle and hit “Record”.

I couldn’t wait to tell my wife and daughter what I had discovered. Through video, I could take that experience home and paint it without needing to stay on site. The sound and movement would add to my memory to provide a fuller picture. But that was merely
practical. I had wanted to get away so I returned to my childhood home. But as I stood on the beach staring at the spectacle of the sun, sky, and ocean I felt a separation, a longing. I wanted to pull it all towards me and wrap myself in it, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t get closer to the sun without being burned and couldn’t navigate the waves without being swallowed. I was as close as I could be. This realization turned me toward a rejuvenating light I could hold: my daughter. I was recharged.

It is difficult to describe the loss of experiential elements when viewing a personal, lived event – especially one that is transformational – through a screen. The recording feels thin compared to the exhilaration we experience in the moment. But without the recording we would only have our memories, which dim and lose nuance over time. And a recorded experience can be replayed countless times in order to prolong and further understand the moment of transformation. Prolong the memory in order to relive it. In my work I seek to understand this relationship.”


 

John Brandon Sills received his BA In Fine Art at Towson State University in 1984, while a student at Towson State John studied Renaissance Art in Florence, Italy. John then attended the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore, Maryland, graduating in 1988. His paintings are in numerous collections in the United States as well as collections in Canada, England, France, Jamaica, Grand Cayman B.W.I. and Australia.

John has won many awards including First place in the 2010 and 2012 Have De Grace Plein Air Competition. First place in the 2013 Paint Annapolis Plein Air Competition. Best Painting by a Maryland Artist Award in the prestigious Plein Air Easton Competition in 2010 and 2012, Artist’s Choice Award in 2011 and in 2014 John was the Plein Air Easton Grand Prize winner. In addition, John received the Award of Excellence in the 2014 Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational. John was the 3rd place winner in the Plein Air Easton Competition. John paints nature in all its forms, choosing to emphasize those aspects that create an awareness of the environment.

John has won many awards including First place in the 2010 and 2012 Have De Grace Plein Air Competition. First place in the 2013 Paint Annapolis Plein Air Competition. Best Painting by a Maryland Artist Award in the prestigious Plein Air Easton Competition in 2010 and 2012, Artist’s Choice Award in 2011 and in 2014 John was the Plein Air Easton Grand Prize winner. In addition, John received the Award of Excellence in the 2014 Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational. John was the 3rd place winner in the Plein Air Easton Competition. John paints nature in all its forms, choosing to emphasize those aspects that create an awareness of the environment.

“Art is a spiritual experience expressed.

This is the essence of all of my painting; everything I do is intended to demonstrate this concept. We speak of an artist’s inspiration; well inspiration comes from the Latin “inspititus” which means “in the spirit”. I am trying to communicate a spiritual experience through painting. Art is not a “thing”, rather it is an experience that is expressed, that is “pushed out” in the physical as painting, sculpture, poetry, film, music, etc., so painting is not “Art” it is an expression of “Art”.

My painting, the landscapes in particular, are my attempt to communicate to the viewer my perception of the world around me, which I see as an expression of Divinity. Landscape, not as creation of God, rather as manifestation of God, I paint the face of the eternal. What I wish my painting to do is assist the viewer is expanding their own conception of the spiritual to include truths that at first seem impossible. As an artist I use everyday images to ask the question “What is Reality”. I put forth the conception that what we see is the facade of Reality, that Truth is an internal experience outwardly expressed.

When someone sees my paintings, I would like them to take these concepts and try to apply them to their own experience, so that when they see a beautiful landscape themselves maybe they too will see the face of God.”


Live music will be provided by Micah Foxx.

Micah Foxx is an American singer-songwriter based out of Coastal Virginia. Foxx is primarily known for his work in the folk, jam band and acoustic pop genres. In 2011, he achieved commercial success with the release of his debut album, Love. Foxx has performed solo and with his band, Crimson Foxx, at The Sandler Center, The National, Union Stage and The Tin Pan. 


First Friday is on November 4 from 6:00pm-8:00pm. This event is free and open to the public. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Thank you to our First Friday Sponsors, Gail & Rick Griffin!

Venue

Arts on Main
6580 Main Street
Gloucester, VA 23061
+ Google Map
Phone:
8048249464
View Venue Website

Organizer

Arts on Main
Phone:
804-824-9464
View Organizer Website