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Art is at the heart

Farmville is in the midst of a renaissance of the visual arts as evidenced by the latest mural students painted on the side of the j fergeson gallery downtown.

There’s much more evidence than just this single work — which stems from a Farmville Downtown Partnership-sponsored SOUP event spearheaded by Prince Edward County eighth-grade teacher Carley Fetty — to support my argument.

The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA) teems with programs and boundless opportunities for public involvement — many of which include public school students and young people who otherwise may not have opportunities to learn about the arts.

Its occasional Wine and Brew events draw large crowds to enjoy food and drink while supporting the arts by viewing the latest exhibitions and galleries.

Audrey Sullivan’s Red Door 104 continues to enjoy success on Main Street. Through her offerings, new friendships are made over conversation and during brush strokes on blank canvases.

Mainly Clay’s classes continue to draw participants, including many regulars who are now making their own pottery and other forms of art on a consistent basis.

One doesn’t have to look hard to notice some of the latest beauty that’s been added to the downtown district, including a mural at the corner of Main and Third streets — one painted shortly before the sole U.S. Vice Presidential Debate was held in Farmville last October — that celebrates Farmville as America’s first two-college town.

Another testament to this ongoing renaissance was seen during the 39th annual Heart of Virginia Festival earlier this month, where, through the hard work of Martha Pennington Louis and many others, artists packed the lawn in front of the Rotunda along High Street for the rejuvenated art show that brought more than 40 artists to the festival.

The very active Central Virginia Arts group holds regular shows and exhibits, many of which draw large crowds.

One of Farmville’s most popular events — the Summer Garden Opera — will soon be held, allowing the community to listen to works that have inspired generations of musicians.

There are more examples I could write about to support my argument of this renaissance.

I don’t want to spoil the enjoyment of this burgeoning activity by describing every piece of art in town, so take a walk through downtown Farmville and discover it for yourself.

JORDAN MILES is managing editor of The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Jordan.Miles@FarmvilleHerald.com.