Silent auction to benefit Northumberland Public Library to open at April Arts Alive!

With the mounting of an exhibit of paintings by artist Matthew Harwood at the Northumberland Public Library, the Arts Alive! reception Friday, April 12, will launch a silent auction of the 16 pieces on display.

The Harwood family has donated the pictures for auction. The proceeds will benefit the library’s Summer Reading program.

The decision to donate my artwork to the Northumberland Library was a family affair,” said Harwood. “The selection of prints and paintings is from my sister Ann’s collections.”

His sister and her husband were in the process of drastically downsizing all their possessions in order to move from a large home in Fairfax to a small cabin in Colorado and decided to do something special with the paintings that would have meaning to the family, he said. Both of his parents, Mike and Adele Harwood, have been active library supporters for many years, so the decision seemed like a good fit.

Once the offer was made, the Friends of the Library board was excited by the idea and took over from there, he said.

Matthew Harwood will attend the reception from 5-7 p.m. at NPL, 7204 Northumberland Highway, Heathsville. He will discuss his artwork. The pictures are from his many trips abroad, Italy and Greece in particular. All are welcome and refreshments will be served.

For most of my career, I would go with my wife on painting trips to places all over the world for inspiration,” he said. “I’d sketch and paint on site and then work on a series in my studio until the next excursion. I do most of my work before the public in my studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Northern Virginia.”

His artwork is inspired by the architectural hand skills learned while getting a bachelor’s of architecture at Virginia Tech, said Harwood.

The question I try to answer is what happens if I apply my design, rendering, drafting and model-making skills in a portrait, landscape or whatever genre I’m working in at the time,” he said.

He is doing computer-generated images with 3D Design software and printing the results on aluminum panels. He is working on an exhibition of new work scheduled for release the end of this year. The title of the show is “The Art of Prime Numbers, A Visual Journey into the World of Mathematics” which will go on display at the Art League Gallery in Alexandria.

Through his parents, he has had a long relationship with the Northern Neck. He has juried two Labor Day shows for the Rappahannock Art League in Kilmarnock and gave a watercolor workshop at Festival Hall in Reedville.

The auction

Visitors to the exhibit may place bids on one or more of the pictures by registering with name and contact information, said silent auction coordinator Shirley Haynie. There’s a number on the registration card that the bidder uses on each piece of art work he/she chooses to place a bid. The registration cards will be kept securely.

In addition, each art work is assigned a number that appears on the bid sheet near the display, continued Haynie. Then the bidder places his/her number on the bid sheet, along with dollar amount. There is no minimum bid set, but counter bids must be in $10 increments. Bidders may return any time during library hours to check the bidding sheets and make counter bids.

Silent auction bidding will stop at 5 p.m. April 30. Winners will be notified the first week in May and will have two weeks to pay for and claim the item by check or cash at the library. After that time, if the winner has not come forward, the person placing the next highest bid will be contacted, she said.

Information sheets will be available at the library.