Wilson Downtown Gallery: Rebecca Pence

We are excited to welcome local artist Rebecca Pence to the Wilson Downtown Gallery for February and March! Learn more about Rebecca at rebeccapence.com. 

Be on the lookout for a Facebook album of her exhibit, as well as a video walk-through tour.

If you’d like to visit in person – the gallery is open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm at 83 S. Main Street in Downtown Harrisonburg.

This is what grew.

A tribute to glints of beauty.  Colors and feelings of the past and future.

Rebecca is a local artist in Harrisonburg whose work explores beauty, pain, dreams, and desire.  She is interested in the continual balance of fragility and power contained in the human experience, expressed in both physical and non-physical ways. Not coincidentally, this perspective has been significantly influenced by her work as a nurse.  Nursing provides a grounded and connected opportunity to listen and observe, with unsanitized perspective, the minds and stories of many individuals.

In “This is what grew”, she works to understand beauty, a topic she often finds to be a conflicting force when it mingles with purpose.  She often asks herself ‘what is the point of beauty?’  A conflicting question for the artistic career path!  “This is what grew”, a watercolor based group of works, seeks to revel in and explore, with others, the glints of beauty occurring in this disconcerting time we are in.  She used two sources to depict this journey.

First she created works from all the flowers she picked this summer, via her garden or walks along the side of the road.  She witnessed so much walking this summer.  Socially distanced circles, increased foot traffic, outdoor gym sessions, people making space for one another. The outdoors provided a space to figure out how to exist together, apart.  She, along with the world, recalibrated.

Secondly, she surveyed a random group of people on their favorite color, a color to pair with the past year, and a word for the coming year.  She used this data to inform contour line portraits of the individuals.  These works depict the inward growth and connection that the world did experience even amidst the turmoil and unknowns of 2020 and into 2021.

The human race has an incredible capacity to take care of each other, defend, advocate, and endure  hard parts together.  That is the beauty she witnessed this year in the midst of all the difficulty.  The spaces where humanity showed up.  Just like these flowers.  They pop up one day, show their faces, and say ‘I’m here. Here to bring you the beauty within me, just because.’  People can say that too.  Hearts have burst many times during this pandemic.  In sadness, anger, and in awe of the remarkable resiliency of humanity.

She wants to ask you to remember to look closely.  Take time to see the beauty in the smaller pieces of life.  The slow process of something growing.  Take time to look at those around you, deeply see them.  Not in how you normally do in relation to you, but in a more separate way.  What is it about this time, these days, that you are seeing new things?  Through these pieces, Rebecca tries to incorporate simple beauty and restorative hopefulness into more of a day.  To remind herself and others that there is purpose in beauty.  Beauty for beauty’s sake.  And that looking closely allows for space to listen better. ~ Rebecca Pence


About Claire Wayman

Claire manages details of real estate contracts, coordinates social media and the Wilson Downtown Gallery, and keeps the team organized on a day-to-day basis. In her free time, she enjoys playing flute in various area groups and participating in local community theater.

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