The Floyd Center for the Arts 2021 National Juried Exhibition, opening in the Hayloft Gallery today,
Saturday, Aug. 14, is juried by watercolorist Z.L. Feng of Radford and features the work of 85 artists
from 18 different states.
A watercolorist, portraitist, and international award-winning artist, Feng selected 85 pieces from more
than 275 submissions, including works from the Pacific Northwest, the Northeastern United States,
Texas, Wisconsin and many other points in between. Works submitted included painting, sculpture,
graphics, ceramics, textiles, mixed media, photography, time-based/new media, and installation pieces.
Growing up in Shanghai, Feng says he began painting at age 7 and never stopped, experimenting with
different mediums, including pastel, oil, and egg tempera, before choosing his favorite, watercolor.
“With watercolor, you cannot cover your mistakes, so you must know what you are doing,” Feng said. He
said he finds inspiration for his lovely landscapes in the countryside of the New River Valley.
“Usually I go around – to the river, the forest, the lake – to try and find interesting compositions,” he said.
Before coming to the U.S. in 1986, Feng received his BFA degree from Shanghai Teachers University
and taught in its art department for four years. He completed his MFA degree at Radford University
where he is currently a Professor of Art, in 1989. His work has received acclaim throughout the country,
garnering more than 300 state, regional, national, and international awards with many “Best in Show”
awards and Gold Medal honors in major U.S. watercolor competitions.
Local artists from Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Floyd, Radford, and Riner are among the artists in the
national exhibit. The 2021 National Juried Exhibition is one of three exhibits opening at the Floyd Center
for the Arts on Saturday.
In the Falcon Gallery, ‘Asylee Creations’ features work created by 21 new members of the community
who are being assisted by Floyd Friends of the Asylum Seekers. And at the Appalachian Center for
Photography, ‘Dear B.J.: Postcards from the Pandemic’ features photography by L.S. King of Pulaski.
“In March of 2021, Floyd Friends of Asylum Seekers began providing a weekly art class to new members
of the community,” according to the Floyd Center for the Arts. “With limited resources, the supplies used
at the first class were crayons and recycled cardboard. Within a few weeks, thanks to generous donations,
the group built up a supply of acrylic paint, canvas, paper and watercolors and brushes. With a more
diverse collection of supplies, the artists were able to create more types of art. The artists whose works are
in this show are from Mexico and Honduras. They have come to the U.S. fleeing horrible conditions in
their home countries. Their story is not unlike many of our families in America. Most American’s
ancestors came from other countries seeking a better life for their children and themselves. This is all they
Dear B.J.: Postcards from the Pandemic’ by Pulaski photographer L.S. King features a series of photo-
based, photopolymer gravures.
“Dear B.J. is a series of photo-based, photopolymer gravures and is my creative non-fiction interpretation
of life in Appalachia during the COVID-19 pandemic, as imagined through intimate postcard-sized
images and one side of written correspondence,” said King. “Each card features a black and white
photograph with a backside written to a mysterious B.J. and signed by ‘ME.’
“Through these vagaries, I invite you into the world we all have shared. Perhaps you wonder who B.J.
was, or maybe you know. Perhaps you relate to the “ME” who signed the cards. And as you think about it
all, possibly you overlay my visual narrative over your own.”
King acknowledges all the artists who provided art for the postcard stamps: Langley Anderson, Kate
Burns, Lauren Chapman, Frank Gilbert, Leah Gose, James Harman, Meg Greene Malvasi, Álex Moral,
Julia Osborne, Mary Ann Persinger Nease, Mary Lou Reed, John Ross, Fran Scher, Mark Scher, Jennifer
Spoon, Kenneth L. Smith, and Terrie Sternberg
An opening reception for all three exhibitions will be held today, Aug. 14 from 5 to 7 pm. The awards
ceremony and juror’s remarks will take place at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and a cash bar
will be available. Admission is free and all are welcome.
*A note from the art center: The health and safety of our volunteers, staff members, visitors, and entire
community is of the utmost importance to us. For this event, we will open doors for fresh air and request
that visitors wear a mask indoors in crowded spaces when not actively eating or drinking, regardless of
vaccination status. We also request that you stay mindful of maintaining a reasonable distance from
others not in your party.