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Summer concert with singer Gennine Francis, photography, art quilt exhibitions

PETERSBURG – Petersburg Area Art League has exciting opportunities this month. Did you know that PAAL does not charge any fees for viewing the art exhibitions? If you haven’t been yet, you really need to make a trip to Old Towne to check them out.

Michelle Wilkie, born in New Zealand and now living in the US, will show her art quilt exhibition ‘Eyes Wide Open’ at PAAL in the Main Gallery from Friday 14 June to 3 August. The gallery will host an opening evening with the quilt artist present on Friday, June 21 from 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

“The move to the United States led to a deep exploration of connection, community and cultural identity. There are many nuances, social and political, in this new landscape (of the US) that are not always easy to overcome, but quilting is my bridge to connection and community and now drives my art practice,” says Wilkie in her biography. “I relate to this traditional women’s craft because it is essentially a way to connect the community, the creator and our history. I have been exploring how I can continue this through my work, while pushing the boundaries of expectations of people about what a quilt can be.”

Michelle Wilkie's art quilt exhibition "Eyes wide open" will be on display at the Petersburg Area Art League from June 14 through August 3, 2024.Michelle Wilkie's art quilt exhibition "Eyes wide open" will be on display at the Petersburg Area Art League from June 14 through August 3, 2024.

Michelle Wilkie’s art quilt exhibition “Eyes Wide Open” will be on view at the Petersburg Area Art League from June 14 through August 3, 2024.

Wilkie’s artistic practice revolves around modern quilting, seamlessly combining traditional techniques with a contemporary twist, embracing both improvisation and minimalism. Her artistic story unfolds through a lens that captures her experiences – a visual dialogue shaped by photography, translating moments into textile works. Each quilt becomes a canvas where emotions and connections are intertwined and a story is told.

PAAL encourages group visits from quilt guilds from the region. Groups can contact Martha Burton at Petersburg Area Regional Tourism at 804-731-1672 or [email protected] to inquire about lodging and dining. For more information about the artist and designer of modern quilts, visit mlwilkie.com.

"The destination ahead of us" by Gary D. Jones.  His mother Azzie L. Jones peers out the window as she sits on a bus at the Museum of Bus Transportation in Hershey, Pennsylvania."The destination ahead of us" by Gary D. Jones.  His mother Azzie L. Jones peers out the window as she sits on a bus at the Museum of Bus Transportation in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

“The Destiny Before Us” by Gary D. Jones. His mother Azzie L. Jones peers out the window as she sits on a bus at the Museum of Bus Transportation in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

The Upper Gallery will exhibit “The Photography of Gary D. Jones, A Collection of Images and Memories of Petersburg, the City where I Grew Up.” In January, Jones won the prestigious Professional Photographers of America (PPA) 2024 Grand Imaging Award. This show includes the award-winning entry “The Destination Ahead,” which earned him the top prize, praise and a $10,000 cash prize. Don’t miss his exhibition, which can also be seen at PAAL from June 14 to August 3.

Jones was born in Petersburg and moved to DC at the age of nine. He returned to the area to attend Virginia State University (VSU), where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Commercial Art and Design. As reported by The Progress-Index in February, Jones has been a member of the Petersburg-based Cockade City Camera Club for the past decade. He has taught courses in Off Camera Flash, Constant Light and Print Competition. The Club currently meets monthly at PAAL.

The community is invited to PAAL’s “Friday for the Arts!” opening evening, Friday June 14 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Petersburg Area Art League is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Art lovers can visit the gallery for free, but a contribution is appreciated. PAAL is located at 7 E. Old Street in Petersburg. For more information about the nonprofit’s programs, history, PAAL membership, gallery hours and more, visit paalarts.org and follow the Petersburg Area Art League on Facebook.

Petersburg Area Art League presents singer Gennine Francis on June 29, 2024 at the Old Towne Civic Center.Petersburg Area Art League presents singer Gennine Francis on June 29, 2024 at the Old Towne Civic Center.

Petersburg Area Art League presents singer Gennine Francis on June 29, 2024 at the Old Towne Civic Center.

Petersburg: Gennine Francis performs

At the Old Towne Civic Center in Petersburg, PAAL will present singer Gennine Francis on Saturday, June 29 at 7:30 PM. The California native will perform hits by Whitney Houston from her one-woman show “the Essence of Whitney,” as well as hits by Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, Sade, Norah Jones and Marvin Gaye and many more.

Years ago, Francis and her sisters had a pop singing group, The Jacksonics. They were blessed to perform with Billy Paul, Bill Cosby, Eddie Kendricks, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Three Dog Night, The Pointer Sisters, The Whispers, The Manhattans, Sisters Sledge and more. Since September 2001, she has completed five CDs and is currently working on number six. For more information about Francis, who has been performing since he was eight, visit genninefrancis.com.

To purchase tickets for PAAL’s second concert of the summer, sponsored by Bill Nicholson, visit paalart.org. Tickets cost $30 for general seating and $50 for VIP. The VIP tickets with preferred seating also include a Meet and Greet with Francis. Old Towne Civic Center is located at 136 River Street in Petersburg.

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Kristi K. Higgins, aka The Social Butterfly, an award-winning columnist, is the trending topics and food Q&A reporter at The Progress-Index, voted Tri-Cities Best of the Best Social Media Personality 2022. Have a news tip about local trends or companies? Contact Kristi (she, her) at [email protected], follow @KHiggins_PI on X and @socialbutterflykristi on Instagram.

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This article originally appeared in The Progress-Index: Petersburg: PAAL’s summer concert, photography, art quilt exhibitions