Youngblood Art Studio

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New Show in February: Art of the Piedmont

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 9.20.58 AMMy work will be on display at the the Middleburg Community Center on Friday, February 20, 2015, for Art of the Piedmont, an auction of original artwork from select local artists. The evening’s proceeds will benefit Middleburg Montessori School.

See more at:

The show promises a long list of distinguished local artists, including Anthony Barham, Misia Broadhead, Charles T. Matheson and Antonia Walker.



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Youngblood Artist Profile: Gomer Pyles

Gomer Pyles (left) with Lilla Ohrstrom

Gomer Pyles (left) with Lilla Ohrstrom

Gomer Pyles not only approaches life with gentleness and imagination, he also has a lovely sense of humor. Part of healing is having a sense humor.

There are many intelligent paradoxes in many of Gomer’s titles, which often shed an understanding and insight alongside his wonderful photographs and wood drift sculpture.

Gomer walks his own path. So much so that he walked here from California a long time ago with his now grown-up baby (you may have heard her play music) and his walking stick, which has its own story.

While Gomer never fought in a war and has even falsely been called a hippie — you will have to have him explain why that is false — I felt he had both an extreme contrast to Michael Heufelder, yet remarkable similarity. Gomer’s father was a veteran of World War II, and his purple heart is displayed here tonight in beautiful driftwood hands carved by Gomer.

Both Michael Heufelder and Gomer explore similar media in different ways. Gomer writes with his left hand — an adaptation resulting from a stroke some years ago — and Michael writes as he seems to think, in a systematic, calculated confident manner.

Both men are keen observers of nature and their surroundings.

Most importantly both seek Peace and I am interested in facilitating peace and healing.

Chairs by Gomer Pyles

Chairs by Gomer Pyles

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Youngblood Artist Profile: Michael Heufelder

Artist MIchael Heufelder sells his work to Peggy Arundel

Artist MIchael Heufelder sells his work to Peggy Arundel

During the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the three artists who showed at our recent Contemplating Peace show at Youngblood Art Studio in The Plains. This week, we’ll begin with Michael Heufelder.

I met Michael while he was giving a “show and tell” to the kids at A Place to Be. When I saw what he was doing, I was very moved. The concept of this show was born out of that day.

Michael is a veteran who served in the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Since his return from an extended service, where he went above and beyond his original call to duty, Michael has used the arts for self-induced therapeutic purposes.

Art therapy is a particular interest of mine, so I was happy to meet this amazing man, who so beautifully lives the benefits of self-healing through the arts.

Michael now captures peace with his iPhone, implementing similar strategies of focus and timing that he needed in his life as a warrior. He also spends hours burning detailed wood carvings of animals to give himself a reason to focus for long, intense periods of time. His astute training in observation shines in his artistic endeavors. He has found a new way to use the skills he developed as a soldier and beautifully he captures peaceful moments, transforming them into images he can share with you.

Michael’s work caused me to reflect on how very close war and peace really are. Getting to know him has heightened my respect and gratitude for his efforts that were made at his personal psychological expense. I want to show support for his healing efforts and help his artwork be even more effective than acts of war.

A Selection of Michael's Works

A Selection of Michael’s Works

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Contemplating Peace: A Recap

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 4.40.45 PMContemplating Peace was an important event for Youngblood Art Studio. We gathered together as a community and validated the efforts of people taking the time to be peaceful. We encouraged not only our artists, but everybody to stop and take the time to look at the world around us.

I hope everybody that took the time to look remembered and noticed a few things.

I will take the time here to point out a few things you might have missed. Aside from myself, we had two artists, both men. These two men had very different lives. Michael Heufelder has lived a life of military service, demanding extreme focus vigilance, structure and courage. Gomer Pyles has had a less structured life of foot travel, exploration, acceptance and discovery, also courage.

The show was set up so that each man had three walls and they met on each side. Thus, the two met at mutual chair series pictures. Each had taken pictures of chairs. They ended meeting again at sunsets as each had taken many pictures of them.

For me, the chairs reflect a place to sit and think or stop and be. The sunsets reflect the universal light that we all relate to.

I felt that the images were ones that we could all recognize as peace. They are there for each of us regardless of our politics and personal beliefs. We share commonalities that are profoundly similar.

While Gomer has lived the life of a free spirit, his father earned a couple of purple hearts in WWII, one of which is beautifully displayed in two joined hands carved in Driftwood by Gomer. He also traveled on foot from LA. to the east coast with his partner and their baby 30 years ago, with faith in his heart, that things would work out. Tremendous courage.

Michael, who was in special forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for 7 years in the front line of duty, helped to rebuild Turkish villages, has been in the midst of hell on earth and experienced what many never recover from. His ability to survive and rise above the crowd is astonishing, and he has the wisdom to know that he now needs to heal. Part of that healing is capturing peaceful moments with his iPhone. He takes the time to stop, look and be. He also focuses for hours doing his wood burnings of animals.

A Place To Be was well represented during the event by Kim Tapper, Tom Sweitzer, some of the kids who enjoy and mentor, as well as some of the board members of A Place To Be.

The Contemplating Peace event was a big success. As usual we had a nice crowd of over 100 people, representing many aspects of our community. People seem to love the arts and hopefully we all left YAS inspired and awake, observing the world around ourselves and taking time for introspection, sharing and supporting one another’s quest for peace.
The show had a great energy and there were continous sales throughout the evening. The proceeds of the show support A Place To Be. We were thrilled to have some of the kids, parents, board members and leaders of APTB present at the event, including opening remarks by Tom Sweitzer.

People interested in following events at Youngblood Art Studio can sign up for updates by clicking this sign-up link.

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Join Us This Sunday at Youngblood

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 5.17.41 PMOct 12 from 5-8 I will have an exhibit at Youngblood Art Studio called “Contemplating Peace.

We will have talks by the artists at 6:00; War veteran Michael Heufelder, Foot traveler Gomer Pyles, and Pease wisher Lilla Ohrstrom who will show works in mediums photography, wood and Clay, all capturing peace and peaceful moments.

Please come. Proceeds will support A Place To Be, an expressive arts organization which helps kids and adults with special needs. Your interaction with Contemplating Peace will be part of the peaceful expression of the evening.

This will be beautiful, interesting, fun and possibly profound.

6480 Main Street The Plains VA.


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