One of the great things about Harrisonburg is the uncommon proliferation of high quality local art work that is easy for people from all walks of life to not only appreciate, but engage with. Local art seems to have been a staple and common place thing in Harrisonburg for some time now. With the First Fridays Downtown going strong for several years now, Harrisonburg’s, and the Valley’s natural beauty is matched by the creations of Harrisonburg’s local artists.
One especially extraordinary show of local art and talent is Brandy Somers’ art show on display at The Yellow Button (at the corner of Bruce and Main St.). Somers’ cut paper creations are colorful displays of common insects such as flies, ladybugs, praying mantises and even a couple spiders, which are technically arachnids.
Somers, an area high school art teacher, said the following about why she chooses this peculiar medium, “I like the challenge of making something look real with only paper. Since I’m an organized person, I like that it’s broken down into several tedious steps. I like that I can do it at home when the kids are sleeping because it allows me to do something I love while still being a good mommy. I love the clean, almost print-like quality it has.”
While her approach is mostly representational, she substitutes the uninspiring colors of the bugs she depicts with wonderfully bright, engaging colors that pop. Some of her bugs are also divided up into panels; the praying mantis is split across three equal sized panels for example. There is a dynamism created by the aesthetic color choices and division of space in her pieces that makes these ordinary insects very unique and interesting.
Art does not always have to be something that alienates people or has an unapproachable feel. As Somers’ show at The Yellow Button illustrates it can be quite the opposite: inclusive, inspiring, fun and engaging. Art also need not be unaffordable, and fortunately for Harrisonburg, and especially patrons of The Yellow Button, Somers’ beautiful bugs are actually surprisingly cheap. Original art can range a great deal in price, but rest assured if you fall in love with one of her bugs, it will likely cost under a hundred dollars to take it home.
So if you have not seen this show of bugs yet, you should take a stroll through Downtown Harrisonburg and stop in The Yellow Button before the end of May. You may also be interested in knowing Somers has upcoming shows of more cut paper creations, not bugs but animals, at The Turtles Back in June and Clementine Café in August.
This post was submitted by Paul Somers.