Bay School News

Hard Work, Small Dreams: Bentwaters Farm June 16 2017, 2 Comments

 Off the beaten path and nestled on the shores of where Pepper Creek and the Mobjack meet, Larry and Rosalie Brown have built a flourishing farm out of hard work and dreams. Their white farmhouse rises from the marsh to greet you with all of the charm and humility only found in times gone by. The farmhouse was built around 1895 by one of the Armisteads, a group of brothers who built each other’s homes. It then changed hands to the parents of Paul Blanock, former Commonwealth Attorney, and in 1980 was purchased by the Browns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A romance story of the truest kind, Larry was serving in the Air Force, stationed in England, when he met Rosalie, a children’s nanny. The two soon fell in love and he whisked her away to the United States, settling in Gloucester and later relocating to Mathews. Rosalie had always dreamed of living on a farm, “Growing up in England, I’d always wanted to be a children’s nanny or a farmer, and I was a children’s nanny for a number of years. When we came here, I just knew I was going to get sheep. My father and mother were alive at that time, dad went with me to get sheep and that just started it.” Having been exposed to the processes of spinning, knitting and weaving in her childhood, the progression to raising sheep for the production of wool was a natural one. For Larry, growing up in Hampton and a self-proclaimed “gear head”, the farm life offered a chance for him to return to his roots, as farming ran in both sides of his family lineage.

 

 

From a small dream, blossomed Bentwaters Farm and the promise of a simpler life. The Browns soon evolved from raising Dorset and Hampshire sheep, which are mainly used for meat, to raising sheep for the production of fine wool and wool products, which are handmade and dyed onsite. Over the years, their farm has expanded to include Dwarf Nigerian goats, English Angora rabbits, a bevy of chickens, Guinea hens, quail, a llama and bees.

                          

Their love for their craft is evident, not only in the way they speak about what they do, but also in their passion to pass on their trade, both having taught in one capacity or another. Rosalie teaches a number of classes from dying to felting at The Bay School Community Arts Center, in Mathews and Rosalie and Larry have both done educational presentations at a number of historical sites in Williamsburg in addition to the programming conducted by Colonial Williamsburg.

                          

The Browns have a deep and abiding love and respect for their animals that is apparent when wandering the property. When Rosalie walks among the goats and sheep, she calls each one by name and stops to visit with them for a while, often stopping to play with the young kids.

                           

Bentwaters Farm is a member of the Middle Peninsula Artisan Trail and is open to visitors seeking to experience the hands on process of wool production. For more information or to visit Bentwaters Farm for yourself, visit their website: http://bentwatersfarm.webs.com: 


Teacher Profile - Bobbie Skerrett March 08 2017, 0 Comments

Bobbie Skerrett has been involved with the Bay School for the past 3 years.  Her next class, Clay Relief Tiles, is on Thursdays, March 23 & 30 6pm - 9pm.

 

Bobbie attended the University of Colorado from 1969 to 1971.  After that she spent time at the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles, CA.  She also taken classes at the Penland School of Crafts in Pendland, NC.  From 1998 - 2002 Bobbie sold her work at the oldest farmers market in the country in Olde Town Alexandria.  Bobbie is currently a member of the Pottery Studio at the Bay School.

 

A few questions to Bobbie:

What made you start teaching?

 I started teaching wheel throwing because I wanted the students to see how fun it was to move the clay.

What do you get out of teaching?

There's an expression that takes place in the class room when people catch on to what they are being told and run with it.  It is inspiring to watch students discover something new and find a connection.

 Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

Something people would probably be shocked to learn about me is that I do feminist art.


Teacher Profile - Rita Cutler January 30 2017, 1 Comment

Rita Cutler has been teaching classes at the Bay School since 2002.  Her next class, Beginner Rug Hooking , is on Saturday, Feb 11 10am - 3pm.  Register early to secure your spot!

 

Rita has revived the art of primitive and homespun rug hooking. She is the owner of the Primitively Hooked Studio in Mathews County. Rita combines traditional and new motifs with unique and striking color schemes.

 

A few questions to Rita:

 

What made you start teaching?

I love working with my hands and I love color and texture.  Therefore the art of rug hooking has always appealed to me.  I searched for someone who could teach me this old craft/art for many years while living in Va. Beach and continued the search when we moved to Mathews 20 years ago.  Finally my persistence paid off and I have been hooking now for 18 or so years.  When Wendy Wells approached me about teaching hooking at the Bay School I immediately said yes! I felt it was a small step in saving this beautiful old craft.

 

What do you get out of teaching?

I love teaching because again it helps to carry on the craft and I love seeing what my students will create.  Each piece is always unique and I love seeing each persons take on it.  At the end of the day I love walking away knowing that there are a group of new hookers out there!

 


Teacher Profile - Doris Hackworth January 02 2017, 0 Comments

Doris Hackworth has been teaching pottery classes at the Bay School since 2014.  Her next class, Beginner Wheel Throwing, is on Saturday, Jan 28; Feb 4, 11, & 18 from 1pm - 4pm.  Register early to secure your spot!

 

Doris Hackworth discovered the joy of wheel thrown pottery in 1981 through community college ceramics classes in CA. Nearly 30 years later in 2009, she took to the wheel again and has been taking classes ever since at the Bay School, the Visual Arts Center in Richmond, Nan Rothwell Pottery in Charlottesville, The Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, and the John C. Campbell Folk Art School in NC. Doris’ emphasis is on form and function. She loves making pots that have a job.

A few questions to Doris:

What made you start teaching?

I have always been a teacher in my heart.

 

 

 What do you get out of teaching?

I take huge satisfaction in promoting the joy of handmade pottery and being a part of adults finding a creative outlet they enjoy.

Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

You might be surprised to know that I taught community college biology for a while and also worked for a language school teaching English to German speakers.

 


Outreach Programs 2016-2017 October 12 2016, 0 Comments

With the 2016-17 school year in full swing, the Bay School Outreach Programs have hit their stride. We've adjusted the scheduling of some classes and added an additional Outreach Instructor in order to best serve our community. 

The Bay School proudly welcomes Steph Brown back to our Outreach Program team! Steph has worked with the Bay School for years, offering classes to adults in a variety of media in addition to running our Free Weeks of Art throughout the summer. Steph will be taking over our YMCA Program, half of the programming at The  Active Lifestyles Center and half at The Mathews Riverside Convalescent Center. Creativity and compassion flow freely when Steph is teaching and she makes a wonderful addition to the team!

Virginia Coyle is continuing with her programs at Mathews Riverside Convalescent Center, The Puller Center, The Active Lifestyles Center, Kingston Parish and Head Start.

       

In addition to her duties as Outreach Coordinator, Saraya Cheney, has taken on the role of Gallery Coordinator for The Art Speaks Gallery at The Bay School. She will continue to teach many of our ongoing Outreach Programs (Laurel Shelter in Gloucester, Brambles Day Support, THMS Special Education, LJES Special Education, Coastal Christian Homeschool Co-Op, SAIL Program at THMS, Teen Open Studio, OpenArts After School) in addition to developing some of our newest programs this year.

We truly do our best to meet the creative needs of all members within our community. If you feel that there are additional ways that we can provide support within Mathews or Gloucester, please do not hesitate to let us know. We love hearing how we can support and enrich the lives of those in our area.

For additional information on our Outreach Programs, questions or suggestions, call or email Saraya Cheney, Outreach Coordinator: scheney@bayschool-arts.com.


Shop Local Featuring Dale Peterson August 14 2016, 0 Comments

Shop Local is a monthly event held at The Bay School every third Thursday of the month. This month, we're proud to be featuring the 3-D Pen work of Dale Peterson.


At the crossroads of art and technology, you’ll find Dale  Peterson.  Dale’s 3-D work has been featured in the Art Speaks Gallery and also won an award at this year’s Art Speaks on the Bay juried show. He has a background in pottery and loves to dabble in a variety of media. Most recently, Dale has been sharing his talents as a teacher at the Christchurch School in Christchurch, Va.

If you missed Dale Peterson’s demonstration this past Saturday, we’d like to welcome you to stop in on Shop Local Day, this Thursday, August 18th from 10-4pm. Dale will be in the Art Speaks Gallery to continue his work with his 3-D pen and to speak to visitors about his process.


Shop Local With Rebecca Grow July 17 2016, 0 Comments

Shop Local is a monthly event held at The Bay School every third Thursday of the month. This month, we're proud to be featuring Mathews' very own, Rebecca Grow and her beautiful, functional 3D watercolors. 

              

Rebecca first discovered her love of watercolors two years ago in a class taught by Kathleen Noffsinger, right here at The Bay School. Since then, she's developed a unique way of displaying her watercolors in a 3D format. Come stop by The Bay School this Thursday, July 21st, to get to know Rebecca and experience her process first hand. Rebecca has also graciously offered a 10% discount on all of her work on that day only. What a wonderful opportunity to encourage and support our local artists!

For more information on Rebecca, you can visit her website: rebeccagrow.com and be sure to keep an eye out for an article featuring Rebecca in the August edition of Chesapeake Style Magazine.