William King Museum of Art will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its founding this spring with a series of events, including a “birthday party” at the Museum on March 29; the opening of Connoisseur: Private Collecting in Southwest Virginia & Northeast Tennessee on April 6; “Hike the Hill,” a 5K + 3K run, walk, and active-lifestyle community engagement event on April 15; and the debut of WKMA’s collection of original O. Winston Link photographs, in the Findlay House, on April 29 as part of the Town of Abingdon’s inaugural Virginia Creeperfest. Information can be found at www.williamkingmuseum.org and on WKMA’s Facebook page.
Connoisseur will be on display in United-Legard Galleries from March 29 – August 13, and is sponsored by Food City. At 7 p.m. on April 6, as part of Abingdon First Thursday, the William King Society presents a special lecture on the exhibition by guest curator, Mary G. Haviland, Ph.D. A connoisseur is one who has developed an acute perception about a particular style or genre of art, one who has acquired a discerning knowledge about the characteristics of the works he or she collects. e twelve connoisseurs whose collections are represented in this exhibition are from Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. e exhibition is both eclectic and broad in scope, with the common thread that all the works reveal the passion of the collectors. rough them we can explore various cultures—Asian carvings and embroidery on silk, 18th century English silver, exquisite prints by Rembrandt, Renoir and Matisse, a French Rococo gilt table, contemporary art glass, early 20th century American social realist paintings, and more—all treasures found here in our region to celebrate William King Museum of Art’s 25th anniversary.
The inaugural “Hike the Hill” is an opportunity for WKMA to engage the active-lifestyle community in Abingdon and the broader Tri Cities region. For the 5K “hill loop” competitive run, prizes will be awarded in men’s and women’s open division for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, and for all 1st winners in 4 di erent age divisions. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place runners in all divisions will receive one-of-a-kind clay award medals created by WKMA resident sculpture Lynn Price. e 5K will begin at 1 p.m., and will be followed by a non-competitive 3K, family-, stroller-, and pet- friendly run/walk at 2 p.m. Entree fee for the competitive 5K is $25 (for those who preregister online by March 31) or $35 (register at WKMA the day of the event), and $15 for the 3K. Preregistration link is on WKMA’s Facebook page. Participants will receive a HTH tee shirt, car decal, bottled water to hydrate, and healthy snacks from local business partners. They can also purchase race tickets for the chance to win prizes, including Food City 500 box sit race tickets. Local health organizations, clubs, and businesses will set up information tables to promote their health-related products and services. We will also have a DJ and food truck. We Run Events is working with WKMA to manage race logistics. HTH is sponsored by Johnston Memorial Hospital.
As part of the Town of Abingdon’s inaugural Virginia Creeperfest, from 12-5 p.m., WKMA will debut A Day on the Abingdon Branch: e Photography of O. Winston Link, 1955 – 1957, in the Findlay House at 300 Green Spring Road (at the Abingdon-end Creeper Trail head). is rare photography collection captures the last steam train on the Virginia Creeper rail line. Of the Abingdon Branch, O. Winston Link said, “at times the locomotives are almost incidental to the picture. ey add to the rural scenery: streams, little bridges and country roads, trees, mountains, cows. ey would come by then be gone, leaving behind just a little whi of coal smoke.” Join WKMA and the Town of Abingdon as we celebrate the history of the Abingdon line and the vibrancy that the Creeper Trail brings to our area’s residents and visitors. is exhibit is made possible by a partnership between the William King Museum of Art and the Town of Abingdon.
William King Museum of Art opened its doors on March 29, 1992, following a two-year renovation of the historic William King School, and years of planning by local citizens who wanted to preserve the facility by using it to promote the arts in the region. What began as an artist cooperative and arts center has become a nationally-accredited fine arts institution, the only one in far Southwest Virginia. WKMA hosts over 15 exhibitions each year in its Cultural Heritage, World Fine, Contemporary Regional, Panoramic, and Student Galleries. In addition to its in-house programming, the Museum’s award-winning VanGogh Outreach program provides arts education to every second-grader in 12 Southwest Virginia school districts. In December the Museum plans to debut a new, permanent gallery that will house the Cultural Heritage Collection, the flagship asset of the Cultural Heritage Project, launched in 1994 by WKMA Founder and Director Betsy White.
For more information, visit www.williamkingmuseum.org or call 276-628-5005.