“Nobody knows toys like Grandma,” according to Virginia Pendergrass, Sandra Brugh Moore, and Sahar Fakhoury — all of whom are grandmothers.

They are mounting a group show of paintings of toys from Dec. 2-30 at Trackside studios, 375 Depot Street, in the River Arts District of Asheville. Trackside Studios is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. A reception open to the public is scheduled Dec. 8 from 4-7 p.m.

Through a lifetime, these artists have loved their own toys, purchased toys for siblings, children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, children of friends. and charities. They know which ones were loved through the years until raggedy or broken, perhaps replaced more than once. They know ones thrown in the corner and forgotten after parents urged a polite “thank you.” They know that the boxes the toys come in can be more fascinating than the toy itself. They have shared in the joy of watching children play, and playing with children, with their toys.

The paintings in this show, and similar works, are sometimes painted as gifts to children or their families, sometimes as remembrances of moments shared with the child to whom they gifted the toy, and sometimes reminded the artist of a shared family experience.

Fishing Buddies recalls a fishing expedition Pendergrass took with her nephew, age approximately 8 y.o. “He used a woolly booger (very large, furry fishing fly designed to ‘crawl’ along the water’s bottom) to haul in a minnow that day. The minnow was smaller than the fly. It was nevertheless a thrill for us both that he caught a real, live fish,” she relates. “ Catch and release, of course.”

The Quest by Sandra Brugh Moore explored a very different subject matter from her well-known watercolor landscapes.

Moore says, “These toys were my late husband’s and the dragon is from a old drawing of his. I combined these elements as I saw in my mind’s eye. Toys from our childhood brings back joyful memories of times past.“

Fakhoury paints toys belonging to her grandchildren and children of friends. “As in Big and Small,” she explains, “I use the child's favorite toys and wooden blocks to spell their names. That makes the painting even more special.”

Virginia Pendergrass is a Brevard, NC artist known for her plein air landscapes and still life impressionistic paintings. Her work has been selected for many regional and national exhibitions and has garnered recognition for excellence through multiple awards. Her paintings are shown locally at Trackside Studios in the River Arts District, in HeART of the Matter Gallery in Brevard, NC and at Art Mob in Hendersonville, NC. Her website is www.virginiapendergrass.com. Her email address is pendergrass.v@gmail.com.

Sahar Fakhoury paints figures, portraits, landscapes and still life in a realistic style. Her work can be seen at Trackside Studios in the River Arts District, Asheville Gallery of Art in downtown Asheville, and A Walk in the Woods Gallery in Hendersonville. She accepts commissions for toy paintings and wedding events, and teaches in her studio at Trackside. Her website is www.sahar-art.com.

Sandra Brugh Moore paints watercolor, watercolor pen and ink and acrylic plein air landscapes, as well as in her studio. Her work is shown at Trackside Studios in the River Arts District, at the Asheville Gallery, and she also posts frequently on Facebook at Sandra Brugh Moore Art and on Instagram at ncsandram. She teaches watercolor classes regularly at AB Tech. Her email address is ncsandram@gmail.com.

For further information about this show, please telephone Trackside Studios artist/manager Julie Bell at 828-545-2904 or visit Trackside during regular business hours.

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