“A Sixty Year Retrospective” on Display in Cofrin Gallery

Friday, January 10, 2020
Sunflowers, by Virginia Hair

The Burgin Center for the Arts at Mercersburg Academy will host local artist Virginia Hair’s show, A Sixty Year Retrospective, in the Cofrin Gallery from January 7 to February 16. An artist reception will be held on Saturday, February 8 from 2-4 p.m. in the Cofrin Gallery. 

Hair, of Waynesboro, PA,  is prolific and versatile in both subject matter and media of the fine arts. She enjoys the challenges of oil and watercolor yet works with a seeming ease and natural technique leaning toward realism with detail and a special feeling for color.

Being a full-time painter for more than 60 years, she has attended workshops in New England with Martin Ahearn and Ferdinand Petrie and for many years with Clyde Roberts of Hagerstown, MD. She also studied at Hagerstown Junior College, Ridgewood Art Institute in Ridgewood, NJ, and Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA. Hair traveled to Dedham, England, for 27 summers attending various art workshops and painting local scenes. There, she has studied with Kate Lewis and Betty Kaytes. Lewis taught at Ridgewood Institute and in Dedham for 12 years. More recently in Dedham, Hair studied with British watercolorists Colin Radcliff and Steve Hull. She continues to study with Schuler School of Fine Arts instructors Fritz Briggs and David Good.

Hair was born in Somerset County, PA, and grew up on a farm which gave her lots of opportunities to draw the domestic as well as wild animals and appreciate the rolling hills and valleys. She has been a resident of Franklin County since graduating from Catherman’s Business College in Cumberland, MD. Hair was the assistant alumni secretary for then-Mercersburg Headmaster Charles Tippetts (1912), living in faculty housing on Church Street for six years before moving to her present address.

Hair exhibits and sells her art at several shows a year including the Waynesboro Studio Art Club, Franklin County Art Alliance, and the Valley Art Association. She has also exhibited at the Ridgewood Art Institute, the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, the Wilmer Eye Institute (Baltimore, MD), and the Schuler School of Fine Arts Fur to Feathers show.

Her accolades include Best of Show and numerous other awards at the Waynesboro Studio Art Club and at the Franklin County Art Exhibit. She has also been accepted in the juried Cumberland Valley Art Exhibit at the Washington County Fine Arts Museum in Hagerstown, MD, and received the Washington County Council of the Churches Award.

“Mercersburg is delighted and honored to be able to exhibit this body of work by such an accomplished and well-known gem,” said Syd Caretti, director of galleries at Mercersburg. “Virginia continues to identify and capture the beauty that surrounds us bringing us closer to the bucolic, free, and transcendent qualities of nature and life though her accomplished and informed brushstrokes.”

A Sixty Year Retrospective is truly a life’s work and journey of passion, skilled talent, and outstanding visual representations.

Along with Hair’s beautiful artwork, this show has been made possible through the generous contribution of time and dedication of Anita Shively (who was an art teacher at James Buchanan High School from 2006 to 2014 and worked for the Tuscarora School District for 33 years), whose invaluable efforts helped make this show possible.