Author: WPA

Smithfield Retreat

smithfield-retreat-view-01WPA was hired to work with a local family to design a retreat house on the James River in Smithfield, Virginia. The Clients came to us with an idea for a modern barn and a desire for a place where family and friends could gather, read books, play games, and get away from the hustle and bustle of the work-week. The above drawings reflect our first-pass at a schematic design for a house that invites guests to gather in one open room, relax in front of the fire, and hang out on a bluff above the James River.

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Tim Bearse “Bed Nappings and Fruit Off the Vine”

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Tim Bearse

Bed Nappings and Fruit Off the Vine

Opening Reception: Friday December 5th 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Tim Bearse’s sculptures and mixed-media artwork reference the composition, form, and velocity of skateboarding videos. His objects, which at first glance appear to be modernist abstractions, borrow their shape from concrete swimming pools and community-built ramps. The referents, and their larger culture, are specific, though they ultimately point toward something larger: the built environment’s capacity for intervention, collectivization and empathy; the creative potential of kinesthetic awareness; the complexities of tactile, modular forms; and speed as a method of non-lingual communication.

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Paul Simmons “Situation Comedy”

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Paul Simmons

“Situation Comedy”

Opening Reception: Friday October 10th 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Paul Simmons approaches his paintings like a handyman plying his trade. His work imagines a dialogue between crafted objects and fragmented forms, embracing experimentation. Paintings and drywall objects reference the architecture of the viewing space by treating them both as conceptual and concrete terrain to be explored.

His work has been shown at numerous venues including Sculpture Center, Cleveland OH; Golden Parachutes, Berlin DE; Moscow Biennale for Young Art, Moscow RU; and recently at Parallel Art Space, Brooklyn NY. Simmons received his BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from The Ohio State University. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Renovations to a Residence in Western Branch


WPA is proud to continue to work with our Clients in Western Branch on small renovations and interventions in their home.  This new covered entry sets the stage for procession into the recently renovated entry foyer, music room, living room, dining room and kitchen. Custom glass and steel elements match profiles used on the interior of the house, and solid wood columns are reminiscent of heavy timber columns on the interior, recycled from the now demolished Norfolk Boat House concert venue.

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John Edward Welch “I Cannot Accept This Wonderful Gift…”

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John Edward Welch

“I cannot Accept This Wonderful Gift…”

Opening Reception: Friday September 5th, 6:00 – 9:00 PM

John Edward Welch (1918-2011) was a self-taught sign painter and artist, and longtime resident of Newport News, Virginia. His mixed-media paintings combine African-American history, biographical portrayals of cultural figures, and social commentary. Working in obscurity until 2010, Mr. Welch garnered the art world’s attention at age 93 when his artwork was exhibited at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York City.

This exhibition was co-curated by Thomas Moore, who is an artist, and Senior Curator of Photography at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

Special thanks to Michelle Erhardt, Anna Holloway, Thomas Moore and Elaine Viel for loaning artwork for this exhibition.

Learn more: History, Art and Experience Collide | Mark St. John Erickson, Daily Press

400 Granby Street  Suite 301 Norfolk, VA 23510 Studio: (757) 227-5310

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400 Granby Street
Suite 301
Norfolk, VA 23510
(757) 227-5310
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