Purcellville is launching the Painted Wine Barrel Project. Contributed photo.
By Liz Tenney Jarvis.
Towns and cities across America have often chosen an iconic image, one that is indicative of their community, and had local artists decorate it for public display. The giant apples in Winchester and the painted horses in Leesburg are among the examples of artists depicting local culture on a chosen symbolic image. CowParade was a late 90s international art project that utilized sculptures of cows, famously decorated and painted, that were placed in locations around the world, including Chicago. Purcellville will join this community-based art endeavor when it launches the Painted Wine Barrel Project.
Michael Oaks and wife Kim Patterson of Re-Love It Consignment have successfully initiated several town-wide activities, the Halloween Block Party, for example, and have consistently supported efforts to unite the community. According to Oaks, The Wine Barrel Project will bring together local artists, area businesses and community participation. The project is quickly gathering momentum as the idea was presented recently to favorable reaction by the Loudoun Wineries Association. “We have already had 32 barrels donated,” said Oaks.
The idea is that artists will submit their art concepts to Oaks. These concepts should include a Purcellville and/or Western Loudoun theme. Chosen participants will then paint the barrels, which can be sponsored by local businesses, and the artwork will then be displayed around the greater Purcellville area. The barrels will be featured at the Purcellville Music and Art Festival on May 21. Their locations around town will be found on a map; ads are also welcome in the map, according to Oaks. The barrels will ultimately be auctioned off later in the year in order to secure funds for future community projects.
Benefits, according to organizers, are numerous and include showcasing the talent of the local art community, driving business to the sponsors (local businesses), promoting greater Purcellville as a tourist destination and creating funds for future art projects in town. The Town of Purcellville’s Arts Council and Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) are in support of the project. Purcellville Arts Council will work to ensure all local artists are aware of the project and its deadlines. Town Council Member and liaison to the Purcellville Arts Council Karen Jimmerson states, “Loudoun is home to both an emerging art scene and a number of wineries that are beginning to make waves on the national stage. The Painted Wine Barrel Art Project will give artists a chance to show off their talent while dressing up the community and tapping into Loudoun’s vibrant wine scene.” The Town’s Economic Development Advisory Committee will promote the business/tourism aspect of the project. EDAC’s Chairman Daniel Abramson says, “We are always excited to have an event, especially one that involves members of the community, that drives traffic to merchants and business owners. The barrels will be an artistic attraction and we hope people will see it and then keep coming back.”
Wednesday, Mar. 16 is the deadline for art submissions, with a jury process to decide participating artists by Saturday, Mar. 20. Barrels will then be delivered to artists, and the work must be finished by Monday, Apr. 25. “Local artists, students, groups, anyone in the community can contact me to get an artist entry form,” says Oaks. Art concept submissions may be sent to Michael Oaks at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, Oaks can be reached at 540-751-0707.