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Lilyard-Mitchell, Francis and Hawkes works added to Anne S. Iott Permanent Collection

Corinne Lilyard-Mitchell artwork
Corinne Lilyard-Mitchell

Varied inspirations produced memorable work that is now part of the Anne S. Iott Permanent Collection at the Visual Arts Center.

Faculty members Corinne Lilyard-Mitchell, Ed Francis and Robert Hawkes each contributed pieces and were recognized by President Edna Baehre-Kolovani at a reception. The 44th Annual Tidewater Community College Faculty Exhibition runs through Jan. 5.

Art Professor Lilyard-Mitchell completed her painting as part of a class project in conjunction with the Bach B-Minor Mass performed by Juilliard415, Yale Schola Cantorum and Yale Baroque Ensemble last spring at the Roper Performing Arts Center.

Students and instructors from the VAC listened to the Bach masterpiece and created paintings that reflected some part of the score.

Lilyard-Mitchell’s mixed-media painting features ongoing themes found frequently in her work, including beads, insects, collage layers and numbers to imply the passage of time. The center of the painting is a detail from Jan Brueghel’s 17th-century painting “Basket of Flowers.”

Lilyard-Mitchell used pages from an old dictionary to create the background followed by acrylic paint, thinly layered on top, to add color and unity.

Ed Francis Personality Bottle series
Ed Francis Personality Bottle series

Oil paint completes the painting with the addition of insects, beads and flowers. She then used stencils to add circle patterns, numbers and a faint suggestion of netting, and added gold leaf to the circles and modeling paste to give the letters a tactile quality.

Francis created his Personality Bottle series using a detail-oriented glassmaking process he has followed for many years. A single cast piece can take as long as three months to complete. Much of his inspiration came from a face bottle on eBay designed by Erik Hoglund and made by Kosta Boda in the 1950s.

“Something about it really caught my attention, so, of course, the first thing I did was make one like it,” Francis said.

Robert Hawkes artwork
Robert Hawkes

Hawkes’ piece stems from what started as a memorial for several friends and relatives he lost recently. He began collecting weeds and thistles found along trails and roads. “It sort of became ‘flowers of poverty,’ not in a monetary sense but in a spiritual way.

Hawkes used Gall ink from ancient Greek times, Bistre, made from wood soot and Sumi-e, made from pine resins. He plans to make his own Gall ink from a 1595 recipe in time for the next faculty arts show.