‘Barns of Shenandoah County’: Artist aims to save local history with her paintings of historic barns
WOODSTOCK – After a 25-year hiatus from art, artist Sally Veach is focusing on a project dear to her heart – the “Barns of Shenandoah.
“It’s very interesting how this collection began,” Veach, said. “I was never one who wanted to paint cute, pastoral scenes because I like to be somewhat edgy with my work.”
The avid painter defines herself as an abstract, expressionist who explores color on canvas and draws inspiration from her surroundings. She defines herself as a “freak about nature” and has thousands of photos of skies and clouds on her cell phone.
Veach, 55, has dabbled in all mediums but prefers oils, which she said gives her paintings the desired texture and raw emotion she wants patrons to experience when viewing them.
The walls of her Woodstock home and studio feature many of her own pieces, and it’s clear her muse is Shenandoah County and the valley.
History at risk: Local barn enthusiast begins Shenandoah County barn survey in hopes of preservation
STRASBURG – John Adamson, a self-proclaimed barn enthusiast and historian, admires and yet worries about the fate of the historic barns in Shenandoah County. Through his barn survey, Adamson aims to educate, document and ultimately preserve a vital image of American history one barn at a time.
“No one’s building barns anymore,” Adamson said. “At least not the ones I call historic.”
Nestled throughout Shenandoah County are over 1,000 unique barns built from the mid-1700s to the 1950s that reflect the changes in traditions and local customs the valley has seen since its early settlement. They range in size, color and building material.
“Barns evoke a sense of tradition,” Adamson said. “A sense of closeness with the people who built them and their land.”
Shenandoah County has seen its fair share of turmoil, but one thing remains: its barns.
“Shenandoah County barns provide a window into early settlement history, agricultural history and practice, and even our turbulent Civil War history,” he said. “Today they stand as testaments to the work ethic of our citizens and are part of Shenandoah County’s beautiful rural landscape.”