Two art exhibits open Fall 2019 semester at Sweet Briar College

Posted on August 08, 2019 by Janika Carey

Lois Coward-Laughing Girl Lois Coward, “Laughing Girl From The Mountains,” acrylic, detail, from the Amherst Virginia Art Society exhibit

The fall semester at Sweet Briar College opens with two art exhibitions: Cindy Sutherland’s “Field Day” on Friday, Aug. 16, in the Vaulted Gallery in Mary Helen Cochran Library and an annual show sponsored by the Amherst Virginia Art Society on Saturday, Aug. 19, in Benedict Gallery. A reception for the latter will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, while Sutherland’s reception is planned for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26.

“Field Day” will be on view through Dec. 13 and will showcase equestrian artwork. Sutherland, a 1974 graduate of Sweet Briar College, says she is “thrilled.”

“It was here that I received a comprehensive riding education and so enjoyed the unique opportunities outdoor riding affords, including my first fox hunt,” she said. “I remain an active rider. Several of my paintings in this show were inspired by SBC Riding scrapbooks from the 1940s and 1950s.”

Cindy Sutherland, Fox hunt Cindy Sutherland, fox hunt, detail

After taking studio art classes at Sweet Briar, Sutherland continued painting during her junior year in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. “My teacher there, Yves Brayer, is well-known for his paintings of Provence and the horses of the Camarge,” she told us. “Following my years as an at-home mom, raising my daughter and son, I re-invented myself as an artist. I started C. Sutherland Fine Arts, through which I sell my original artwork, photographs and notecards. I specialize in horse and dog portraits.”

Sutherland holds a B.A. in French literature. She lives in Kansas with her husband of 45 years, two long-haired dachshunds and her “beloved, now retired” show hunter Field Day.

Vaulted Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Amherst Virginia Art Society’s annual exhibition will run until Oct. 11.

Founded in 1992 as the Nelson Alliance for the Arts, the Amherst Virginia Art Society was renamed in 2006. “Our members work in various mediums and represent all skill levels,” says AVAS president Lois Coward. “We seek to acknowledge the wealth of creative talent found in Amherst County and the surrounding area.” The society meets in the Amherst County Recreation and Parks Building in Monroe for quarterly meetings to “discuss business and learn from guest speakers.” Classes and workshops are offered several times during the year, and Art Tuesdays offer an opportunity for members to work together on a specific art project, spend a few hours of quiet work or to interact with others, Coward says.

Thanks to Sweet Briar, which is hosting AVAS’ annual exhibition for a second time, their pieces will be shown to a broader audience. Benedict Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information about AVAS, visit their website or contact AVAS at Attend an Art Tuesday (10 a.m.-noon) for free and join AVAS for $25 annually.

For more information about both exhibits and other art shows at Sweet Briar, email Shawn O’Connor, associate director of galleries, at