Monday, June 11, 2018

“Recent Works” Exhibit by the "Reynolds Art Duo" 

Opens Thursday, July 5

If you don’t like “epic” outdoor adventures with tent camping, horseback riding and hiking in the wilderness, don’t go on vacation with “The Reynolds Art Duo,” Meredith and Tony Mullins. 

The Mullins are artists and professors of art at Reynolds, but they are also travelers and lovers of the outdoors. They both grew up in rural, “ruggedly beautiful” areas as Tony puts it, Meredith being raised near Shenandoah National Park outside Charlottesville, Virginia, and Tony in Rockwood, Tennessee near the Cumberland Plateau. This summer they will be taking the second part of an “epic” trip out west, driving across country to visit Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons National Parks. 

Before leaving on their adventure the “Reynolds Art Duo” has an exhibit of their work opening on Thursday, July 5 in Conference Center Gallery in the Workforce Development and Conference Center on J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College’s Parham Road Campus. Their exhibit, “Recent Works” includes approximately 20 of their paintings. It will be available for viewing until Friday, August 31.

Meredith Mullins says of her work, “In the evolution of [my] current paintings, the familiar female figure is studied within the contemplative moments of feminine rituals and routines. Ideas and symbols representing femininity, motherhood, childhood, growth and change appear in my work. My intent is for the figures portrayed to invoke a sense of familiarity, reminiscent of Woman, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Partner or Wife.” Meredith’s “women” are unadorned, and she most often captures them in “quiet moments of domesticity ad reflection.” She captures their essence in their natural state, before make up is applied or hair is arranged. Meredith has an incredible artistic ability to reveal the soft beauty present at that moment.

Tony Mullins says, “I have spent the majority of my painting career wrestling with color, mark making and other formal elements, all while exploring the possibilities of abstract painting. With this new body of work, I’m pursuing these same themes, only now I have recognizable subject matter upon which to build paintings. I’m more interested in retaining the expressive qualities of the painting process than in capturing a perfect likeness. The faces and heads of my subjects are armatures, skeletons of an image upon which to slash, drip and expressively apply paint.” Tony’s paintings are explosions of color and recognizable faces – Johnny Cash, Willy Nelson, and Prince to name only a few. He uses unlikely combinations of bright blues, reds, and even greens to add shadows and lines to faces, bringing them alive beyond the canvas.

Both Mullins love teaching art and find the students’ passion fuels their own passion. Meredith says, “The most rewarding gift is the surge of creative energy that I feel after teaching studio class classes. When students grow artistically, their excitement and pride is like a shared electric current.” For Tony, “Helping art students avoid all the mistakes that I made and getting them ready for their next steps is the most rewarding. I’m a former community college kid myself so I’ve walked the same path that they’re on now.”

The Mullins have been married for 19 years and have been teaching together at Reynolds for nearly 14 years.