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Ormsby art exhibit at FCCA features a contemporary take on Renaissance-style art
'Menhaden' and 'Slightly Blueish with a Chance of Red' are featured in Patte Ormsby's latest show at FCCA.
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BY BRIDGET BALCH
The Renaissance is reborn with a contemporary twist in local artist Patte Ormsby's latest exhibit, "Ave, Patina," at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts.
The exhibit opened on Oct. 30 and runs through November in the Members' Gallery.
Using techniques that imitate the Renaissance artists' style, Ormsby applies the "glow" of religious paintings to modern landscapes that she considers sacred.
A couple of her paintings feature the New York City skyline, including flying fish around the Empire State Building and a haloed Statue of Liberty.
Ormsby chose New York as a subjects because she loves the city, particularly the city lights.
"I really like light seen through the darkness," Ormsby said.
Many of her paintings are abstract, featuring landscapes and grids.
Almost a chemist as much as an artist, Ormsby has unique techniques for creating her artwork.
"I have different recipes I've developed on my own," Ormsby said.
She builds each piece layer by layer, starting with a spray-painted color pattern, which is varnished with oil paint and topped with imitation gold leaf, a copper and zinc alloy.
She treats the leaf with a homemade acidic solution to form a blue-green patina.
Only after all this does Ormsby take a brush to the artwork.
The result is Italian Renaissance-style colors and light effects, without the holy subjects.
Ormsby said she is drawn to the mystique that Renaissance artists featured in their work.
"I try to evoke that feeling without being overtly Catholic or religious," Ormsby said.
The name of the exhibit, "Ave, Patina," is a play on the hymn "Ave Maria."
The exhibit will feature 25 of Ormsby's paintings, 19 of which have never been seen before. Many of the works will be for sale.
There will be a First Friday opening reception, including refreshments, wine and a chance to speak with the artist, on Nov. 2, 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts.
Bridget Balch: 540/374-5444
What: "Ave, Patina," works by Patte Ormsby When: Through Nov. 30. First Friday reception, Nov. 2, 6-8:30 p.m. Where: Members' Gallery, Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts, 813 Sophia St. in Fredericksburg Cost: Free. Info: 540/373-5646; fccava.org