The Peter Bullough Foundation’s last month of residents for 2022 started November 10 and included visual artist and printmaker Claudia Borfiga and interdisciplinary artist Anna Abhau Elliott. Over the course of their residency, Claudia and Anna traversed Winchester and Frederick County, attending the Virginia Gourd Show’s “Gourdigami” event at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, The Slave Dwelling Project panel discussion at Blandy Experimental Farm, Triange of Sadness with the Alamo Winchester Film Club Andy Gyurisin, and finally Preservation of Historic Winchester’s Holiday House Tour. Claudia also explored the natural beauty of Shenandoah National Park, while Anna experienced refinement of a different nature at Dinosaur Land.
On the evening of Thursday, November 17, Claudia hosted seven people for a mono screen printing workshop, the first workshop at the PBF to make use of the screen press graciously on loan from Valley Makers Association. The workshop was a success, as participants gleaned inspiration from Dr. Bullough’s book collection, then learned how to apply acrylic paint and medium to the screens, then apply them to paper using squeegees; creations included a galaxy, a peacock, and osteocytes under an electron microscope. Each participant went home with one or two different self-made pieces on paper. We’re so thrilled Claudia showed us the ropes and we look forward to more screen printing in the future!
While at the PBF, Anna examined the stories around her, learning about Ruth’s Tea Room, the architecture of Handley Library, Dr. Bullough’s friendship with Julian Glass, and more. Her work took a musical turn as she learned to play Dr. Bullough’s piano and as she sang with a local Shape Note Singing group. All of this knowledge was put on display on December 1, as Anna presented an interdisciplinary performance at Handley Library's Robinson Auditorium. Part comedy, part history, part interactive exploration, attendees enjoyed Anna’s take on the Ruth’s Tea Room playlist and her reflections of what she’d learned over the course of the month, from local Black and queer history to friends she made locally. As the presentation continued, audience members had the opportunity to try on two opera cloaks from the PBF’s collection, to view the cistern underneath the auditorium’s stage, and to check out the door that opens onto a concrete wall at the back of the hall. Participants could also share haikus and questions that they didn’t know the answer to, both of which were writing prompts from Anna’s performance. Truly, it was an evening that we won’t soon forget!
An enormous thank you to both residents and to the Marion Park Lewis Foundation for the Arts and First Bank who have generously sponsored events this season at the PBF. Their support allows the PBF to offset costs for materials to conduct low cost and free workshops and events throughout the season.
Photos above include: lecture participants in opera cloaks, viewing the cistern, watching Anna's lecture, the opera cloaks on display, finished mono prints, and class participants with Claudia Borfiga during the printing process