By Mary Karr

Fall is in its glory now, and this is the perfect time to take a day trip in the countryside. The frost is on the pumpkins and the warm scent of cinnamon and apples fills the air along with the tantalizing smell of wood smoke. A perfect destination for an art lover is a two hour drive to Winston-Salem and Reynolda Village where at the Reynolda House there is a special exhibit of American Art entitled “Grant Wood and the American Farm”.

Thomas Jefferson said well way back in 1785, “Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens.  They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to its liberty and interests by the most lasting hands.”

The Reynolda House exhibition captures our renewed interest in knowing where our food comes from by celebrating American farms and farmers. A group of American artists emerged about 1930 as a major art movement. These artists chose their subject matter from local themes and used a representational style of painting. It was the main type of art created by American artists receiving government support from different federal art projects between 1933 and 1943. Among these major Regionalist painters were Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood. The famous painting by Grant Wood, “American Gothic” is recognized by everyone and is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. We enjoyed a visit to Winston-Salem a week ago and were delighted to view this special art exhibit.

There are many hidden delights in this wonderful gallery as well as in a tour through the Reynolda House itself. Other important artists of the period are also shown including Winslow Homer, Childe Hassen, Thomas Hart Benton, and Andrew Wyeth. These paintings situate these painters as artists responding to the tradition of the agrarian ideal and creating new pictorial pictures of that ideal.

You will find Reynolda Village a delightful place to visit the beautiful gardens, specialty shops, galleries, and restaurants while there to view the group of historical “Regionalism” painters.

Please visit our local artists displaying their works in various galleries, restaurants, and the Mountains Branch Library. Their art work will make wonderful gifts to give with the holiday season soon to arrive.