"Are you going to sit there for three hours? Come paint with us!"
That was Cheryl Fiedler, the Virginia Beach art teacher inviting Amor to join her daughter Alizza's first private art class on May 2011. Fast forward to May 2018: mom and daughter are having their very first exhibit together!
" I come from an artistic family. My parents and my sibIings are all artists. I, however, was a maestro in stick figures. Long before emoticons were in, I could express how I felt with those little yellow faces. Because I am a writer, I always painted better pictures with words! It was only in 2011 that I realized I could paint!" Amor declares. "Alizza, however, is an artist from the get-go. She has been drawing since she was little. Her first doodle was a school of fish dots drawn with crayons. Another is of her dad scuba diving - all just simple lines with a marker. She also created her first illustrated "book" in First Grade and I have kept it to this day! Her homeroom teacher encouraged her students to express themselves in pictures so every day, the kids would draw and caption their illustrations in a composition notebook. She has a vision and she can translate it. Every single work she puts out amazes me."
The Damaso family moved to St. Mary's County in the fall of 2017. On their drive here, Amor noticed signs of PleinAir paintings to be held at the Solomon Islands. She also observed that the art community is very much alive in the county. Her husband actually encouraged her to submit a piece in the county fair contest. "We were still settling in, barely unpacked, so it was something I didn't even consider." While browsing Facebook one February morning, Amorfound a poster in the St Mary's Art Council Facebook page calling for young people to submit their work for Youth Art Month and the deadline was almost up! Being a homeschool family, Amor thought it would be a great opportunity for Alizza to showcase her talent. And showcase, she did! Her work "Kell and Ruby" bagged first prize in the contest!
For Amor, painting is a way to relax, an avenue to express her artistry. It was her "me" time, a place where she can take a breather from homeschooling, domestic chores and writing. For Alizza, art is like air. She breathes it. "There is not a day that she doesn't create something. Whether it be painting, crafting, sewing, upcycling, embroidery. You name it. She even makes her own journal, from dyeing the paper with coffee, shaping the cover and spine, sewing the pages together and putting it all together."
Both are grateful for the blessing of homeschooling as this has afforded them to learn to paint together. "Our friends and family have asked us when we will showcase our talents together. And now it is here! We are incredibly blessed to have been presented this opportunity. I want to thank Cheryl Fiedler for busting me out of that waiting chair! " Amor recalls with glee. "I want to encourage moms (and dads) out there to pursue something with your kids, together. It doesn't necessarily have to be painting, but it would be ideal. The St. Mary's County Art Council opens up avenues for that since the art community is very much alive here. Sign up for classes together! Just do it! It's fun to create!"
Both Amor and Alizza are readers and writers, so they are always seeing the world in black and white, on paper. Now, painting has opened the door to a world bursting with color and new opportunities. "We are both so excited about this exhibit! We hope everyone who sees it can see the world from a different vantage point. Inspiration is all around. Art is everywhere. We just need to keep our eyes peeled and be ready to embrace its wonders!"
Make Art part of your next Library visit!
Check our the Library website for other programs and events
Lexington Park Library Gallery
Damaso: Creating Art TWOgether, A Mom and Daughter Art Showcase
Amor & Alizza Damaso
Show is now open and will run through
July 1, 2018. Special Reception to meet the artists will be at the library on Thursday, June 21 from 5-7 PM, all are welcome!
This Art Gallery is proof of the power of one woman’s hard work! Candy Cummings had a vision to create an exhibit space in the Lexington Park Library, which would display the artwork of local artists.
The Library Board agreed that this would enhance the library experience by exposing library customers to the beauty and power of original art.
In 2005, the Lexington Park Library Art Gallery was created and through Candy’s hard work and dedication her vision became a reality.
In 2014, the St. Mary’s County Arts Council agreed to take over the coordination of the Gallery and Candy donated funds to create an Arts Council Library Gallery Fund which will provide for its ongoing support.
One woman who has truly made a difference to our library and to our community.
If you are interested in displaying your art in the Lexington Park Library Art Gallery, contact Nell Elder at email@example.com or 240-309-4061