Shenandoah County Traditional Barns Project
"Humans: Apart and A Part of Nature"
Through my practice as an interpretive painter of Shenandoah County landscapes, I have become increasingly aware to our residents’ interaction with nature. I am interested in the fact that as humans, we are a part of nature but also distinctly apart from it. And there is a point where our human endeavors intersect with the natural world.
This intersection of people and nature is evident to me in our historic and decaying barns. Perhaps it is easy to make the connection here because these barns are in a state of slow demise. The weathered wood, textured stone, and off kilter stance have character and draw people in. They provide a romantic experience of a time-gone-by, with all the richness of human struggle and perseverance, survival, and the care of our small family groups. But for all of their charm, there is a sinister element looming.
Our traditional barns are slowly deteriorating and one day most will be lost forever. Modern barns are not constructed the same way--they serve a different purpose--and the traditional, family barn has become obsolete. Some day in the future, these beloved barns that have been with us for centuries will no longer exist. My endeavor is to raise awareness of the rich history of these barns, and possibly raise funds for their preservation. Those that are not to be saved, will at least be memorialized in my paintings, but what I want most is to establish a fund to assist barn owners.
In the very least, the project will serve as a celebration of Shenandoah County, its history and its people, and by extension the entire Shenandoah Valley. Honoring the old barns is a way to enrich the lives of our citizens, providing a meaningful reminder of the inherent value of our people and place.
If you or someone you know would like to be involved in this project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Shenandoah County Historical Society. To follow along with my project and other art news, please sign up for my newsletter here. Thank you very much for your consideration.
Sally Veach, Artist