The Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America will host an exhibition and sale of works by select members of the American Academy of Equine Art, opening in conjunction with the Virginia Foxhound Show. "The Year of the Hound" includes oils, watercolors, sketches, and sculptures capturing all of Virginia's 25 packs during last season, by artists Christine M. Cancelli, Kathleen S. Friedenberg, Morgen Kilborn, Booth Malone, Joanne Mehl, Sally Moren, Rev. Michael R. Tang, Linda L. Volrath, and Larry Wheeler. Located inside the historic mansion at Morven Park, Leesburg, VA, the Museum offers members an opportunity to meet the artists at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 26, followed by the exhibition opening and reception from 5-7 p.m.
On Sunday, May 27, the exhibition and sale will be open to the general public during the hound show. Visitors may continue to view the works Saturdays and Sundays through June 26, 2018.
Linda Volrath created several oil on linen pieces. "My biggest challenge with painting sporting subjects is narrowing down which idea to paint. With every kennel visit, or even just one day out following a hunt, I come away with inspiration for more paintings than I can ever create." She also reflected on the cooperation required between artists and subjects through the fall and winter: "Every painting I’m including in this show was created within this past year and is the result of visits planned and coordinated with hunt staff, members, and masters who generously shared their time and knowledge."
Linda Volrath, Pensive Morning, 2018, oil on linen, 12 x 13 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
"My paintings would not exist without investing time to observe and study the sport, which in turn allows for scenes to unfold naturally. While I have no control over where the subjects will be or move to, I feel somewhat like a set designer, always aware of the setting, backdrop, surroundings, mood and angle of the light," she added.
Fellow American Academy of Equine Art member, Sally Moren, observes that "Painting a hunt is, for me, an immersion in the entire feeling of the day - the chill, the smell of leaves, wind, being keenly attuned - all of us, horse, hound, human - to the land and the sport that we've about to give ourselves to."
Sally Moren, The Middlebrook Pack, 2018, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
Regarding specific choices for this show, Moren said, "The Middlebrook pack was the tightest-knit, most soulful pack of hounds I believe I've ever met. When they turned and faced me coming out of their kennel gate, I felt the weight of nineteen deep stares. They are a band of best friends and athletes, and they know it."
Sally Moren, Oak Ridge Opening Meet, 2018, oil on canvas, 16 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
"It was a real privilege to put [Oak Ridge Fox Hunt Club Master] Rita Mae Brown in the center of her beautiful territory among the oaks, her beloved hounds and her people. There is no one who sits on a horse and blows a horn like this Master. You couldn't mistake her for any other - I was moved."
Volrath added, "Aspects which impress me visually are the athleticism and personalities of the hounds. They offer me wonderful compositional possibilities with their entertaining antics, falling into relaxed groupings or flowing arrangements of motion. Tenor Solo is one such example of hounds interacting. Equally inspiring is the power of the horses and their willingness to work in partnership with people."
Linda Volrath, Tenor Solo, 2018, oil on linen, 20 x 20 inches. Courtesy of the artist.
In addition to "The Year of the Hound," guests may view an exhibition of sporting sculptures in papier mache by Tryon, NC artist Sarah Holmberg.
The purpose of the Museum of Hounds & Hunting North America, Inc. is to preserve the rich North American heritage of hunting with hounds, for today and for the future; acquire important artifacts before they are lost; provide a repository for precious objects; and, by developing educational exhibits through research projects, present hunting with hounds through the sport’s historical, sociological and cultural heritage.
To purchase tickets for the exhibition opening, please click here.
To learn more about the Museum, visit their website here.