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Friends of James River Park Benefit

Paintings of the James River by Sheryl Stalnaker at Mystic Osprey Gallery to benefit

The Friends of James River Park, Thursday, Dec. 1st, 2022, 5-8 PM, Richmond, VA.

Renowned en plein air Artist, Sheryl Stalnaker, is teaming up with Mystic Osprey Gallery in Richmond to promote Richmond's James River Park, and to raise money for Friends of James River Park (FOJRP). 15% of proceeds from sales of Stalnaker’s James River paintings, as well as select other Mystic Osprey Gallery artists' works will be donated to FOJRP.

"The James is an extraordinary natural resource and makes Richmond truly unique as an urban city with this life-affirming, vital river artery running through its heart. As newcomers to the Richmond Art scene who specialize in conservation-minded, artistic collaborations, we are excited to partner with Executive Director, Josh Stutz and his board at the Friends of James River Park," said Robert Howell, owner of Mystic Osprey Gallery.


Stalnaker visited the park and toured it with Stutz who shared some of his favorite places and views. She painted en plein air for several days and then returned to her studio to create larger works from her studies.  She will have new paintings ranging in size from 16 x 20” to 36 x 36”.


“When Sheryl said she wanted to come to Richmond to do new works for our gallery, I knew she’d agree that the James River was the perfect subject for her exquisite aquatic landscapes. Reaching out to Josh, and the Friends of James River Park was a natural partnership. The Friends' mission for James River Park  - - to preserve, protect, grow, and properly maintain the James River Park System for the environmental, educational, and economic well-being of our area, for generations to come - - is pretty much what our gallery's very tight, niche mission is as well.  Our gallery's artists spotlight wildlife, nature, and our habitat, and the importance of preservation, education, and environmental awareness - while providing original, contemporary art for people's homes."


"The Friends are super important stewards to protect the James River and its park system. Think about this.  2M+ diverse visitors.  600 acres of beauty inside a vibrant urban city.  40+ miles of trails.  We are excited to contribute to the important work that FOJRP is doing,” said Howell.

Painter Sheryl Stalnaker finds joy in depicting aquatic habitats and the beauty of these precious vistas which are increasingly threatened by human-related activity. Whether it’s a marsh and tidal river in the low country, an Atlantic coastline, or the rapids of a freshwater river, her paint captures the light, movement, feeling and energy of every scene.


“I paint with both a palette knife and a brush,” says Stalnaker. “I’ve always been attracted to art where you can see definitive marks from the artist’s hand. It has an energy that I’m drawn towards.” She uses paint straight from the tubes, sometimes mixing cold wax medium to add extra texture. “I do go through a lot of paint,” she says.

Inside James River Park, there is a pristine, Urban Forest, and activities in the park for visitors are abundant: Birdwatching, fishing, climbing, hiking & walking, biking and mountain biking, paddle sports and tubing, picnicking, swimming, snorkeling, wildlife viewing, and of course, the breathtaking scenic views.


Josh Stutz, Executive Director of Friends of James River park described the many ways each of us can help. “There are a lot of opportunities for you to get involved in our work to protect, expand, and enhance the James River Park System. You can join a litter sweep, help our Invasive Species Task Force, volunteer at events, visit our park with friends, and donate money to support our projects and programs. With your investment in our work, we can continue to educate the public and protect this very special natural resource, so it's here and thriving for our childen's children.”


The reception for Sheryl Stalnaker begins at 5 PM on Thursday, Dec. 1st, and runs until 8 PM and all visitors have had a chance to see the works. Richmond Artist, Emma Knight will also be in attendence to support the FOJRP with her work, "Ladder to Black Water, Belle Isle," a 42 x 48" Oil on Linen. Select other artists from Mystic Osprey Gallery will donate 15% of sales to FOJRP on this special evening.


Mystic Osprey Gallery is open Thursday through Saturday, 12 PM – 5 PM by appointment, 804-599-1760. The Address for the gallery is 12400 Southbridge Drive, Midlothian, VA 23113. Guests for the Friends Event are asked to park their vehicles carefully on Southbridge Drive, and walk to the end of the Cul-de-sac, on the left.  #12400 is a red mailbox.


Very special thanks to @BillDraperPhotography and the Friends of James River Park for the use of Bill's photos of the James River and the mighty Osprey.

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