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The Byrne Gallery is proud to present “Hunt Country Impressions,” a colorful view of equestrian sporting life in the Virginia countryside. Local artist Gail Guirreri offers vibrant new oil paintings in expressive colors with many layers of sheer pigment that are unique to her work. Gail’s signature brushstrokes evoke the mood of country life and capture the movement of the horse on canvas.  Subjects include polo, coaching, hunting, steeplechase, and pastoral scenes. The exhibition will begin on Sep. 1 and continue through Sept. 27.  There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 2-6 p.m. and a gallery talk on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 2-4 p.m.  The exhibition and gallery talk is free and open to the public.  Everyone is cordially invited to attend and meet Gail.

Gail Guirreri

Although the coloration of most sporting art is generally in a more classical palette, Gail’s love of color takes her paintings in her own new direction.  As a child, Gail  lived in Europe and spoke native French until coming back to the States at a young age. While visiting museums with her parents, the beautiful impressionist canvases of Matisse, Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Rodin made a profound impression and strongly influenced her to pursue art history in college in the U.S.  Later, as an artist, searching for the bright pigments of those early 20th century paintings, she explored and experimented with oil paint to develop a better understanding of transparent verses opaque pigments.  Deep pigments that frighten most artists away due to their high tinting strength have become her base colors.  Gail balances these pigments against each another, allowing her to paint quickly with more freedom and expression than if she used a more traditional palette.

Gail’s paintings are well known locally for visitors to Salamander Resort & Spa.

“Spring Races Outrider,” a portrait of a local huntsman Maryalice Larkin Matheson Thomas, is part of the permanent collection at Salamander Resort & Spa (it is hung behind the concierge desk).  And Gail’s painting “Thanksgiving Day” hangs in the stable lobby.  She has exhibited at the National Sporting Library & Museum in Middleburg as well.  “Blue Horse Matinee” was displayed in the NSLM exhibit “Chronicle of the Horse – Horses in Art.”   The large canvas “Sidesaddle Portrait” (48” x 60”) was also shown in the NSLM during the exhibit “Sidesaddle, 1690-1935.”  That exhibition showed the evolution of sidesaddle as depicted in art history. Gail was the only living artist of that exhibition representing present-day sidesaddle in art.

Gail’s art has been featured on many covers and in magazines such as The Chronicle of the Horse, Covertside, Sidelines, Horses in Art, Middleburg Eccentric and The Post.  Major sporting events have invited her to exhibit her work, including MFHA Centennial Tour, Kentucky Derby, HITS, ASHA World Championships. She has also exhibited her paintings in the Virginia State Senate among other venues.  Gail donates her efforts to many charities supporting hospice, therapeutic riding, humane foundations, youth development, equine rescue/retirement and land conservation.  She also breeds Holsteiner sport horses and is a computer programmer.

Please come to visit the Byrne Gallery in September to see and enjoy “Hunt Country Impressions” on exhibition all month. The Byrne Gallery is located at 7 W. Washington St. in Middleburg, Virginia. Gallery hours are Monday and Tuesday by appointment only, Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Contact The Byrne Gallery for more information at 540-687-6986.