With great excitement, I am announcing an ambitious project to raise awareness of the historic barns in our county, and perhaps raise funds to contribute to their preservation!
During my artistic journey, I have constantly been awed by the beautiful nature of Shenandoah County. But recently it became evident that there was something man-made to be inspired by: our historic and charming barns!
Residents of a rural community often become desensitized to the unique, historical treasure that is right beneath our noses. I know I was. But recently, a fleeting interest led to an obsession, and I am now on a path to help save these barns. I hope you will join me!
Along with friend and photographer, He-Kyung Park Barr, we are working to identify ten Shenandoah County barns of historical importance and visual charm. Then I will produce a large interpretative painting of each one, and He-Kyung hopes to create photographs of the barn's unique characteristics. The next step is to have a major exhibition somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley.
Along with this exhibition, I want to create an online campaign to provide funds for the preservation of historic and at-risk barns. A portion of the sales from my paintings will be contributed to the fund. And we will ask for ongoing donations to perpetually fund the project. If this project is successful, owners of qualifying barns will be able to apply for grants to help preserve them for themselves, their community, and posterity!
In my conversations with barn owners, I have heard more than once that many are just trying to find a way to keep their barns from falling down. Maintaining an historic barn is a daunting responsibility. And It is an expensive task. Most of the time, owners know the historical importance of their barns, but so often it is not practical to keep them maintained, and the decision has to be made whether to tear them down or not.
We hope we can help people NOT tear them down! If you or anyone you know is interested in becoming involved with this project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is just the beginning. A spark creates an idea, and with added fuel, much can be accomplished!