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New P. Buckley Moss Paintings Celebrate Reynolds Homestead

For more than 50 years, Virginia Tech’s Reynolds Homestead has brought fine arts and crafts to rural Patrick County. Now, the historic property itself is the subject of two new paintings by renowned artist P. Buckley Moss.

She became inspired several years ago after touring the former Rock Spring Plantation in Critz, Virginia, about 70 miles southeast of Blacksburg. “I liked the idea of living there and imagining what life was like for the people to have lived and worked there in the past,” Moss said. “Between the house and the engagement center, there is a beautiful tree with a twisted trunk that is fascinating!”

“The Catalpa at Reynolds Homestead” by P. Buckley Moss features a tree estimated to be at least as old as the 1843 restored brick home at the former Rock Spring Plantation.

Moss highlighted that twisted tree, estimated to be at least as old as the 1843 restored brick home, in “The Catalpa at Reynolds Homestead.” A second print features the historic house where tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds was born. Both paintings were created to commemorate the homestead’s golden anniversary — five decades since Nancy Susan Reynolds gave the property to Virginia Tech. Several days of festivities to mark the anniversary will be held in June 2022.

Limited-edition, hand-signed prints of both paintings are available exclusively through the Reynolds Homestead website. Half the proceeds will go to support the center’s continued arts programming.

Prints can be purchased online and picked up at the Reynolds Homestead or shipped for an additional charge. “The Reynolds Homestead” is 15.75 by 10.15 inches, and “The Catalpa at Reynolds Homestead” is available in 21-by-10-inch or 30.5-by-13.25-inch prints. Prices range from $100.04 to $342.23, including tax.

“P. Buckley Moss has long been a friend of the Reynolds Homestead,” Director Julie Walters Steele said. “As we celebrate 50 years since the gift to Virginia Tech, we are honored to have the historic home and property depicted in two of her beautiful paintings. The money raised by the sale of these prints will help us continue offering art classes to both young and old here at the homestead and at our Creative Arts Center in Stuart.”

In addition to a celebrated artist, the 88-year-old Moss has been an advocate for arts in education for many years. She is also the namesake of the university’s Moss Arts Center in Blacksburg.

P. Buckley Moss (right) and her daughter, Becky Ghezzi, hold up the 2020 Best in Show winner of the Reynolds Homestead’s annual art show. Photo by Julie Walters Steele for Virginia Tech.

Last year, she and daughter Becky Ghezzi judged the homestead’s annual competitions for local artists. “It’s really nice that everyone has creativity and that all are encouraged to express it,” Moss said. “It’s so important to show work with other artists and see how people progress, experiment, and grow.”

Arts education remains a central piece of the programming at the homestead, part of Outreach and International Affairs. Its community engagement center serves as a regional hub of learning and culture, following the vision set at the homestead’s dedication in 1970. It offers art classes, hosts exhibits, and welcomes artists in residence.

“From our very start, the Reynolds Homestead has been using art to build community,” Walters Steele said. “Our programs give local residents a chance to interact with artists, take classes, hone their own skills, and build enduring connections.”

Written by Diane Deffenbaugh

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