The Scene, Take Three

by Shannon Bowman

Launching April 6th, The Scene takes on a third season highlighting artists in the 757. This season, we follow the follow the lives of local artists in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News and now Williamsburg with 14 videos. Their stories are as varied as the type of art they create.


In Williamsburg, through a grant funded by the Williamsburg Area Arts Commission, The Scene will be exploring a bronze sculptor and a singer (details on the artist to be revealed very soon). Both artists' stories are as unique as the other.

Merrilee Cleveland's work is mostly cast bronze and ranges in scale from miniature to monumental. Cleveland's work often times showcases imagery of mythology, cast on sculptures of animals, man-like hybrid objects and sometimes even food.


The Norfolk Arts Commission continues their support for a second year as we delve into the world of a photographer, an illustrator and sculptor and a juxtaposition between two artists that are more alike than anyone would think.

Greta Pratt studies the issues of national identity and American myth through photo essays. Pratt’s work is included in major public and private collections and has been shown in Art in America, New York Times Sunday Magazine and The New Yorker, along with numerous books and catalogs nationally as well as internationally.

Sam Hundley is a professional designer and illustrator, working for the VA Pilot during the day. At night, Hundley searches out found objects, mostly junk, to create colorful and personality-filled characters that almost seem to come to life.

Heather Bryant and Lorraine Fink are two artists who, by most accounts, would appear to be very different. However, after a closer look, the two have much more in common, not only in life but also the journey that their art has taken them.


The Chesapeake Fine Arts Commission joins the scene for a second season of support as we look inside the studio of a clay sculptor, watch a young family melt and mold glass and a family of musicians.

John Tobin is local artist and sculptor who works in clay and mixed media out of his home studio. Tobin and his wife, have been artists, working together since they met in college, over 50 years ago.

Robin and Julia Rogers met in a small hot glass studio in Western Montana in 2001, where their paths intersected and eventually merged in glass and art.

The Hunts are an indie-folk band from the southlands of Chesapeake, Virginia. These seven brothers and sisters have a passion for creating compelling music and so, have collaborated one another’s gifts of writing, composing and musicianship to endeavor that.


Portsmouth Fine Arts Commission and Newport News Arts Commission also lend support for the second year with videos from a quilter, two painters whose art is as different as night and day and two singers with roots steeped in family and community.

Sandy Curran is an award winning artist, who took the traditional form of quilt-making and made it her own by adding paint, texture and complete story-lines to her work. We will share the story of how she came into her craft.

Randy Hess is a local framer, furniture fabricator and antique restoration. Hess has started working with paints and gearing more of his work towards larger scaled abstract paintings.

Sunny Gicz is the daughter of a local accordion player and co-collaborator in the band Sunny and Gabe. In this installment of The Scene, we watch as Gicz sets out on her own, with the help and influences of family and friends.

Ramel Jasir describes his work as "my ever evolving voice in color." Jasir uses his art as an expression of his journey to retrace his cultural and ethnic roots that span that span several continents.

Bobby "BlackHat" Walters is an award winning recording artist, vocalist, harmonica player, songwriter and even actor. While a member of the Black Rose Blues Band he had the honor of opening for Blues Legends B.B King, Taj Mahal, and Steady Rollin Bob Margolin.


Along with the city arts commission grants, we also are supported by The Virginia Commission for the Arts and local underwriters, Virginia Museum of Contemporary Arts, Peninsula FIne Arts Center and newcoming, Glass Wheel Studio in Norfolk.