Mary Montague Sikes |June 2015
 National Parks Are Our National Treasures

Recently I read about an artist who has closed down her studio and is traveling all over our beautiful country to visit and paint all of our National Parks. How exciting to have the time and resources to undertake such an ambitious project. It would be quite a task to pick out just a few National Parks to visit and to paint. The artist, Fitz Maurice from Laguna Beach CA, wants to keep the parks in "people's hearts and minds". I hope she succeeds in that goal because those glorious National Parks are our true treasure.

Lake viewWe are thankful toThomas Jefferson, who sent Lewis and Clark to explore the Northwest, John Muir for his inspiration and journeys, Theodore Roosevelt for his interest in establishing some of our most amazing National Parks, and Ansel Adams for his monumental photographs of them.


For the past few years, our daughter, Allison, has planned family trips to one or more of the National Parks each summer. To photograph and later paint these wonders of nature is a significant opportunity in the life of an artist.


This summer, I hope you will have the chance to visit and take pictures in some of our National Parks.


Evening dragonfly icon

 Ward Center for Contemporary Art Grand Opening
  The Center is located at 132 North Sycamore Street,

After completion of a $7 million renovation, the old Butterworth building in Petersburg VA is reopening as an apartment complex with a spacious art gallery and studios as central features. "Passenger to Paradise" is a one-person exhibition of some of my largest and most significant paintings. Two major seascapes in the show were created from photographs that I took as a hurricane approached a beach in the Bahamas. Other works are from pictures taken by us in Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, and Barbados.


The grand opening celebration will take place in the gallery, Friday, June 12, 6 to 9 p.m. Please join us for this exciting event.

Ward center

Mary Montague Sikes
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