Visit the Old Town Welcome Center at 33 E Boscawen St. just off the downtown mall to see our new exhibit of watercolor works from local artist Kira B. Skala. Her pieces explore botanicals and landscapes with color and purposeful brushstrokes and are not to be missed.
Kira has always been an artist, using different mediums throughout her life. Growing up in the Hudson Valley of New York State, she was fascinated by the shape, color and movement of rivers, trickling streams, hemlock forests, flora and the breezes of the Shawangunk Mountains. Kira spent endless hours and days outdoors, cultivating her natural curiosity and awe of how the earth lives and moves. Rhythm, movement and shape, line and light wound itself into Kira’s life as she studied ballet.
Through her love of dance, she moved to VA and received a BS from Shenandoah College and Conservancy of Music in 1985. She stayed in the field of dance for 12 years as a faculty member and choreographer at Vostrikov Academy of Ballet and the Virginia Youth Ballet. Through her work, she explored themes celebrating her early curiosity about shape, color, rhythm and movement.
Working with dancers led to a desire to explore life’s spiritual movement and answering a call to the ministry. She completed her Master’s of Divinity at Virginia Theological Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church at Washington National Cathedral in 2001. She continued to serve two parishes in the Piedmont Region until her retirement in 2009. Her medium through her ministry serving God and the community was the power of words, liturgy and the sacraments.
Retirement has included many mediums! She creates beautiful artwork through quilting and hand embroidery. She is also an artful cook, gardener and photographer. She took an introduction to watercolor class with Kris Loya at Round Hill Arts Center in 2017 and she continues to paint on a daily basis. Her inspiration is the culmination of life experience and the natural world. Her current work focuses on the numinous and miraculous beauty found in nature.
Kira is inspired by the work “Silent Noon”, music by Ralph Vaughan Williams and poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti*. The poem and music describe a moment of infinite beauty amidst silence, an idyllic garden and quiet intimacy. Her work captures a moment of quiet beauty in this busy, noisy, terror-filled world. She hopes that you, the viewer, gain a moment of peace, clarity and groundedness.
This show is dedicated to Jeanne Aulaire Mischo, 1963 – 2015: friend, artist, activist.
*Silent Noon (No. 2 from The House of Life)
Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams and poem by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1903)
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass,
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
‘Neath billowing clouds that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden king-cup fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn hedge.
‘Tis visible silence, still as the hour glass.
Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky:
So this winged hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! Clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.