The Value of Art
November 15, 2016
Painting by Brien Cole
Welcoming Artist, Brien Cole!
December 16, 2016

Amanda Outcalt


We are very excited to introduce one of our new artists, Amanda Outcalt.  Amanda currently teaches art at Larchmont Elementary in Norfolk. She is a graduate of East Carolina University with a BFA in Painting and Metal Design. Her work has been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach and her piece entitled, “Amanda Enjoys Long Walks on the Beach” was purchased and is on permanent display there; it was chosen as the image for the Boardwalk Art Show commemorative poster in 2010. In addition to being at Stravitz Fine Arts and Sculpture, she is also being shown at Hardy’s Jewelry as part of their “Sticks and Stones: Interwoven Concepts Inspired by Nature” show.

We have a series of paintings in our Laskin Gallery that we are thrilled to bring to the art-loving public’s attention. The images depict the artist and several of her friends as they operate in the domestic sphere. In the boudoir performing one’s toilette before greeting the world or pulling out a Thanksgiving turkey for the big presentation to a waiting family, Amanda’s fond gaze lingers on the subject as she performs her expected duties. In moments sublimely singular, whether in the bath or in the privacy of tea and contemplation, Amanda cleverly adds a crew of goldfish, led by Frederic (a former pet and piscine companion) as a parallel to life in a glass bowl as well as a way to beg the question, “Can we, as women, grow beyond the boundaries of our domestic lives and prosper or must we forever be the gazed upon?”

A heavy question indeed and one that becomes lighter for the viewer (and fellow contemplative) in the Technicolor orange of the goldfish and the pinks of a girl’s world. If you prefer a less heady approach to your art, this artist celebrates finding magic within the mundane and learning to be happy with the ordinary.

Amanda describes her painting as a way to examine and embrace the changing roles of women; each image reveals the conflict she feels about fulfilling traditional feminine roles while seeking her own independence. Goldfish are representatives of abundance, happiness and good fortune; however, they can also be a symbol of entrapment. In domestication, a goldfish can only grow to the size of its bowl.

Please drop by and join us at 1217 Laskin Road as we consider these, and many other queries concerning the meaning of life!