October 15, 2019 —No, the Kendal Corporation is not about to establish a new life care facility at Natural Bridge, but Kendal at Lexington is developing ties to the recently established Natural Bridge State Park. Last month we shared an article regarding resident Nelson Potter’s gift of some of his life-size bird sculptures to the park, and this month we can share news that resident Jo McMurtry has been selected to be among those area artists whose work is for sale in the newly created Artisan Center at the park. Here’s Jo:
Becoming a wildlife artist has not been among my conscious ambitions. I enjoy sketching all animals, wild or domestic, wherever I come across them. But in December of 2018, the Natural Bridge State Park put out a call for artists and craftspeople to submit work for consideration by the Park’s Artisan Center, and when I saw that the categories included artwork depicting native Virginia wildlife, I looked through my sketchbooks to see if I had, in fact, captured any. I found that I had. Some were sketches I had done while walking around KaLex’s beautiful campus — deer, rabbits, birds of many shapes and sizes. Other of my subjects can be found in zoos and wildlife centers. Most of these are animals that cannot be released into the wild because they have been injured or have become too accustomed to humans. I chose ten sample drawings, some straight from my sketchbooks and others re-drawn to make the subjects a bit more recognizable, had them framed, and took them to Natural Bridge on the day appointed, to be seen by a jury of Virginia State Park officials. A couple of weeks later I was delighted to get an acceptance notice.
We might add to this that Natural Bridge is becoming a ‘natural’ tourist site for KaLex residents and visitors. Being only thirteen miles south of our campus, and with an ever-expanding suite of activities, it is a destination worth keeping in mind. As for the Artisan Center, it is part of the gift shop that occupies much of the first floor of the park’s Visitor Center. Thirty-five artists and craftspeople are represented, with work including ceramics, basketry, wooden and leather articles, fabrics, wall art, and much more. Items are for sale on consignment and prices are reasonable.
— By resident Ted Burrowes