Bluefield, VA – “Art can remind us of places we have been, places we want to go, or take us to a realm we never even imagined,” said Walter Shroyer, Chair of the Art and Design Department at Bluefield University. “Art can inspire us to be better people. It can remind us of what is right in the world and what needs to be changed in the world.”
A collection of oil paintings by Laura Vahlberg is currently on display in the Bluefield University Art Gallery on the first floor of Lansdell Hall. The exhibit, “Meditations on Stability,” will be open until November 19, 2021.
“I paint pictures that represent the everyday and mundane within the context of formal abstraction,” Vahlberg said.
She observes the air’s quality, color, uniqueness, and ties with the elements it touches,” said Vahlberg. Then, she mixes colors “so that the picture becomes a portrait of the distance between the viewer and the motif.”
“Her paintings are rectangular boxes showing the softness of both light and air,” Shroyer said. “They are places you want to never leave because they quiet the soul within.”
Shroyer saw Vahlberg’s art at the 2019 New River Art Biennial Exhibition at the Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg, VA. “When I saw her work, I was moved by them and contacted her about the possibility of having a show here. It has taken over two years for this to come to fruition,” he said.
Vahlberg was born in Alexandria, VA and currently lives in Roanoke, VA. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at James Madison University, and she has studied under artists such as Israel Hershberg and Elana Hagler. Her art has been featured in Los Angeles, New York City, and Civita Castellana, Italy.
“I work on site in front of my chosen subject, nature acting as both reference material and active contributor,” Vahlberg said. “I dialogue with the subject to discover what aspect wants attention. I am both observer and participant, delving into the process as intuition and perception dictate the direction.”
Shroyer said Vahlberg “has a beautiful sensitivity with subdued colors” and called her “a master at composition.”
Vahlberg has completed residencies with the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Blue and Gray Colonels Association. She won the Distinction in Oil award at the 2019 New River Art Biennial Exhibition.
For more information about Laura Vahlberg, visit https://www.lauravahlberg.com.
Shroyer invites the community to the Bluefield University Art Gallery. “It is a blessing to have community members visit our campus who otherwise might not visit. Bluefield is a beacon of education to our area,” he said.
For more information, contact Rebecca Kasey, director of public relations at [email protected]