Annual Cookout at Nancy Dahlstrom's

Nancy Dahlstrom is a Hollins University professor emerita - the former head of the art department. She was responsible for our lovely Visual Arts Center (the VAC) and helped initiate our Children's Literature program. She also continues to be a wonderfully inspirational and active artist. So it's a treat when our faculty heads to her country home each year for a cookout.
     The first thing we do is head to her studio to see what she's been up to over the past year. We meander through the forest of Japanese Maples...
to the studio - JD Donnelly, Ruth Sanderson's sister Gail, Nancy, Mark Braught, and Ashley Wolff (sitting). Ruth and I are behind cameras.
This year, Nancy has been working on relief printing birds.
Nancy loves process, so she walks us through all the fabulous iterations. Of course, she is a blur as she's always in motion. Even with a new hip, there's no slowing her down.
In fact, she so loves process, she created this one of a kind, handmade book to show the evolution of an etching. Here's the outside.
And the amazing inside.
She exemplifies what I said when I graduated with my MFA - that some things just need to be in the world - without thinking about the possible profit. We were in awe.
Of course, who wouldn't want to create in this inspiring space?
With this incredible hillside behind the studio. This image can be seen larger and wasn't touched up one bit other than piecing together several shots!
And views all around.
Ashley's new puppy, Rufus soaked up every drop of it.
Back to the main house, we cooked out kabobs and ate an entire passel of corn on the cob. Nancy's resident deer came to see what all the fuss was. This is a terrible photo for how close the deer was and how little she was bothered by us.
I relaxed and drew Nancy's back yard in the lovely handmade book J.D. Donnelly gave me.

All said, visiting Nancy's every summer is a relaxing and inspirational treat for all of us and I look forward to next year!


Marly Youmans said...

Lovely to have a vicarious visit and peep at new work, as I haven't seen Nancy in some years. That book! Love.

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Isn't it fabulous! Nancy continues to amaze me. :) e

David Opie said...

Beautiful! That's my neck of the woods--I grew up in nearby Staunton and spent a lot of time at Smith Mountain Lake! I miss it! Thanks for sharing...

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

Groovy, David! :) e