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Herndon Chosen for Italian Artist Exchange

Fredericksburg-Este Association

P O Box 157 Fredericksburg VA 22404

Kathryn Willis: 540-903-3186


Herndon Chosen for Italian Artist Exchange

Cathy Herndon has been selected as the 2022 Artist Exchange Honoree by the Fredericksburg-Este Association. She will travel to Este, Italy, in April and May, to create and teach art for three weeks. Herndon is designing a wall mural to be completed in Este. She will teach in Este’s academic preparatory high school, as well as in an institute for the disabled, an assignment which she requested.

Herndon will also show her work in a joint exhibit along with an Este artist and sculptor, Andrea Rimando. Two recent Herndon series, “Portholes” and “Flattening the Curve,” make up the bulk of Herndon’s work for the show, but previous works, with neon and with arching, golden semi-circles, will be included as context.

Herndon is a familiar presence in the Fredericksburg arts scene. She taught art in both Fredericksburg and Stafford schools for many years. For over a decade, she taught as an adjunct in Art Education at the University of Mary Washington. She also continues to exhibit in local shows and venues: Exposure Unlimited, Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts, LibertyTown, Art First Gallery, and numerous others.

photo credit: Franco Rubini

Herndon is an ardent supporter of all of Fredericksburg’s sister cities, having travelled to each. Retired in 2011, Herndon continues to teach privately, to exhibit regularly, and to continue her cultural civic involvements.

For almost 20 years, early in her career, Herndon applied her art skills to airbrush motorcycles, boats, and the like; and to create large murals, while also working on her assemblages and paintings. The immediacy of airbrush and the bold design of murals helped shape her mature style.

Herndon’s art also reveals her interest in “primitive cultures and folk art, re-imagined through a 21st century lens. The influences of Dada and Surrealism are evident,” she explains. She often incorporates discarded items and found objects. Collage, painting, and sign design techniques are apparent, most notably the use of cast-off neon, which she says “makes it come alive again. The color of its light gives you a rejuvenated energy.”

Andrea Rimondo is Este’s honoree to exhibit with Herndon in Este. Rimondo has exhibited widely in Italy. He works in both painting and sculpture. A description of his artwork, from his website, gives insight into his process: “He flips reality upside down with painted and sculpted faces that greet the viewer from different and unexpected angles. His works additionally focus on the study of the materials themselves, ultimately forming an overall aesthetic marked by impactful expressions, bold colors, and powerful perspectives.”

Este is the Italian sister city of Fredericksburg. Founded in 2015, the Fredericksburg-Este Association offers numerous programs to broaden cultural experiences, both in Fredericksburg and in Este. Herndon is the second Fredericksburg artist to be chosen for the artist exchange honor. In 2018, local potter Neal Reed was the program’s first honoree chosen to travel to Este. In 2019, Este visual artist Nadir Frizzarin was hosted in Fredericksburg. The program was suspended in 2020 and in 2021.

Herndon received her B.A. from Radford University in Art and Drama and her M.A. in Art Education from VCU. She continued her training in regional universities, such as VCU, James Madison, George Mason, Longwood, and Radford. Her interest in international culture drew her to study in far-flung locales, including the Mexican Cultural Workshop in Mexico City; the Chicago Art Institute; the Savanna School of Art and Design; the Corcoran, the Phillips, and the Smithsonian, in Washington, D.C., and Kingston University, London.

In 1997, she exhibited a one-person show in Frejus, France. In 2001, she received a Fulbright Teacher Award to teach and exhibit in Tokyo, Japan. In 2003, she received the Chicago Teacher Institute of Contemporary Art award. In 2006, she was chosen for summer residency in Auvillar, France, by the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. In 2011, she was included in the Sienna Group Invitational in Sienna, Italy.

In addition to arts honors, in 1997, she was named Fredericksburg Jaycees Educator of the Year; in 1998, she received the Geico Educator of the Year award, and in 2004 she was chosen as the Virginia State Middle School Teacher of the year. In 2009, she was voted Gayle Middle School Teacher of the year.

Help defray the cost of Cathy Herndon’s artist exchange to travel and work in Este!

Long-time regional artist and teacher Cathy Herndon has been selected as the exchange artist by the Fredericksburg-Este Association. She will travel to Este, Italy, in April and May for three weeks. While in Este, she will create a wall mural as a gift to Este, as well as produce her own art. In addition, she will teach in Este’s academic prep high school and at a facility that works with the disabled, an assignment that she requested.

Cathy will also mount an exhibit of her art alongside Andrea Rimondo, an Este artist who has widely shown both painting and sculpture in Italy.

Contributors to the Arts Exchange Fund will be eligible to participate in a drawing for one of Cathy’s original works, during an exhibit and talk when she returns.


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