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- Grace & Gravity: Visual Reflections on Human and Mother Naure

Paine Gallery Exhibit
Starting: October 5, 2023

About Ellen Elmes

Ellen Elmes’ paintings have been acclaimed for their unique, collage-style blend of symbolic imagery and flowing naturalism. A muralist, watercolorist, author of her memoir An Appalachian Labyrinth: Painting to the Center, and retired community college teacher, Elmes has enjoyed five decades of creative exploration with her husband Don from atop Jewell Ridge in Southwest Virginia.

Watercolor painting themes featured in Elmes’ work produced in recent years include the Covid epidemic sojourn, the January 6th insurrection, and her ongoing exploration of the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. She continues to design and paint murals and large-scale acrylic paintings, with the most recent being the community-created mural “Standing Tall and Proud” honoring through portraiture sixteen Tazewell County, VA, African American leaders from the 1850s-2000s. This public art project was supported and funded by the county’s Board of Supervisors and has been permanently installed on a wall adjoining the Tazewell County Courthouse property on Main Street


About Don Elmes

Don Elmes has been exploring his environment through his camera lens for over forty years, both professionally and for personal fulfillment. His images, often ephemeral in nature, are of things all around, often overlooked or ignored. His work using Photoshop and InDesign has merged his skills in photography and computer graphic design. 

During the last few years, Don has utilized these skills to design and layout a book of his wife’s artwork and writing. More recently, he has prepared the digital imagery of several of her mural designs for large-scale reproduction and installation on outdoor walls in Tazewell, VA, Johnson City, TN, Princeton, WV, Grundy, VA, and most recently, a second mural in Tazewell, VA. Don retired as office manager at the Appalachian Arts Center several years ago where he prepared imagery for publication and website construction. As a teacher and self-employed crafter of matting and picture framing, Don has provided classes, seminars, and workshops for regional artists and students on photographing their artwork and matting and framing it, as well.


Ellen & Don Elmes
- Grace & Gravity: Visual Reflections on Human and Mother Nature

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