The Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center will join in with others in celebrating our county’s Bicentennial this fall and winter with exhibits that feature two well-known local artists. The first is featured work by Loretta Benham, opening on September 6 and running through October 7th.
When Loretta Benham died in 2019, the Highlands lost one of our most proficient and prolific artists. She grew up drawing and painting. Long before the internet, she studied by way of correspondence lessons with the Famous Artists School, widely advertised in periodicals and on matchbook covers of the era. “Learn to DRAW! they said-that is just what Loretta did. Later she studied in person with local artists such as Elisabeth Smith of Clifton Forge and Jeanne Shepherd of Millboro and also traveled for workshops and classes with nationally known artists. Loretta loved many different media and excelled in most- pencil, colored pencil, ink, oil, acrylic, watercolor and collage, working either abstractly or representationally as she needed. She worked diligently and explored all sorts of topics and techniques: rifle parts for a historic restoration at Fort Bragg, KY; reflections of the colorful characters that exist in all small towns, cowboy scenes, wild animals, chickens and lots of flowers. All of these and more came under the attention of her carful eye and clever brush.