A Memorial Tribute to Wilson Whitney
We first met Wilson in 1995 when he called us up after seeing our “Wake up and Smell the Roses” mural on his drive to the site of the future Rhodeside Grill. He simply said “It looks like you can do what I’m looking for”. He went on to say he wanted a mural with lots of people, eating and drinking, and the feel of the city. Thus began one of the most exciting projects Mullany Art Studios had ever had up to that point.
Over the years we would go on to work with Wilson on many major mural projects as well as commissioned paintings of all sizes (we’ve counted over 40 various painting commissions). We were always excited to get that phone call from him as he opened restaurant after restaurant including Rhodeside Grill in Rosslyn Va., Rhodeside Grill II in Fairfax,Va., Argias in Falls Church, and William Jeffries Tavern on Columbia Pike in Arlington, Va. His success in the restaurant business was without a doubt. He was also the best of the best in terms of the kind of people to work for when art is being commissioned. He would come to us with his concepts and then listen and trust our ideas as well.
Tom worked closely with Wilson on each project and always enjoyed the process.
“I owe so much to Wilson. Professionally, he is rightly renowned as a restauranteur, but I’d like to call attention to his role as a Patron of the Arts. I once called him that and he, of course, rolled his eyes and shrugged it off. He had no patience for pretention and I loved that about him. I’ve tried, with no luck, to emulate some of Wilson’s most admirable traits: his great mixture of high energy and calm steadfastness, his thoughtful brevity in speaking. I still can’t believe he’s gone.”
Looking back on what Wilson accomplished and hearing other’s stories about him it’s clear he brought a joy of life to everything he was involved with; family, friends, business, music, and art. He made his world a better place and he will be missed.
-Tom and Kerrie Mullany
Below are some photos of the restaurant murals he commissioned.
for more info:
Last weekend was our annual 3D/ 3 Day ( Lightweight) Cement Garden Sculpture Workshop with Candace Clough and we hosted artists from near and as far away as North Carolina, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Florida! We had a great time, three days of carving and sculpting polystyrene ( aka styrofoam) , wrapping in mesh, and then applying layers of cement. Lots of fun spending time with new friends and old acquaintances! So great to have all these amazing artists in the studio, bringing their energy and creativity to their projects. You can check out this video for quick inside look at some of their work. https://vimeo.com/272581255
Before I do any recap of the summer’s activities or list our new fall/winter classes, the first thing on my agenda is to invite everyone to come join us to celebrate our 5th anniversary and view a new show of artwork on September 30, from 5pm- 8pm! Along with a show of paintings, mosaics, drawings, collage and sculptures made by students who have participated in our classes over the years, we will also be trying out some art games, holding a drawing for a drawing, giving away other free stuff, and of course, there’ll be food, music, and drink. We hope you can come by and see the show and have some fun.
I’m also putting together a slide show of studio photos from over the years that I’ll show sometime later but for now here’s an interesting pairing: On the left side, Then (a lonely me painting studio walls, pre-opening, Aug 2012) and on the right, Now (a studio full of new and old friends making art during last week’s mosaic workshop, Sept 2017) . I like now better!
For those interested in looking at what’s on the schedule so far ( more will be added later) you can have a look on our Workshops and Classes page. As always, thanks for looking and we hope to see you in a class this year, whether it’s your first, or your fiftieth. ( yes, some of our students have been to 50 classes, or more!)
And one more thing. If you’re not sure how to be an artist here ‘s a sweet little graphic I found to help you figure it out 😀 ( sorry could not find attribution) See you in the studio! Kerrie M.
As we enjoy these first few weeks of spring the need for planning ahead requires that my thoughts already lean towards summer. But the school year really is winding to a close, final exams are on the horizon, graduations and transitions are upon us.
So with that, and not a moment too soon, here is our summer schedule, hopefully there are some of you out there looking for a chance to get into the studio and make some art! For kids we are again offering the Art Mini Camps on Wednesdays and Fridays. These sessions are mainly for ages 6-12. We also have Studio Art Tuesdays for older kids who are interested in studying art in a bit more depth. Let us know if you are interested in these! Class sizes are limited.
For much older kids ( adults 😀 ) we have numerous mosaic classes scheduled as well as a couple of great watercolor classes in May and June. Might add a bookmaking class in there -date yet to be determined, and Candace Clough and I are planning a wine and paint party for one of these summer nights- date and time also yet to be determined.
We also have the ongoing painting classes with Tom Mullany, Thursday and Friday evenings, and a Spontaneous Painting Workshop in July with Barbara Heile.
Add to that a bunch of Open Studio Sessions this summer. Stay tuned and check our Facebook Page for current info. You can also follow studio happenings on Instagram (@kerriemullany)
Hope to see you this season!
One more thing. We will be closed for a couple of weeks in August doing some renovations and updates on the space in anticipation of an open house and 5th anniversary party in September! (yeah, hard to believe it’s been 5 years! ) more on that later!!!
So much going on in the studio, (and in the greater world too), that somehow we’re already well into the second month of this new year. And with the warm temperatures, it feels like spring? So confusing. At the start of each year I usually like to do a mini retrospective of the previous year’s activity. It’s always fun to review and remember all the cool stuff and fun times we’ve had together. It’s late but I’m going to do it anyway.
First off though, if you are mainly interested in the classes and workshops coming up, please see our Studio School page for current information. We hope you can find something of interest so you can come join us this year!
Looking back at all the great stuff that went on at the studio last year, I can definitely say our community is growing! Tom’s Thursday and Friday evening painting classes had new painters joining the regular crew. Mosaic classes continue to be a favorite. Open Studios on Sundays after workshops, and once a month Wednesday Night Mosaic Meet- ups have expanded our mosaic studio time. Candace knows a lot of mosaic artists from all around the country and some have travelled from as far as Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina and New Jersey to take her classes! We have scheduled at least one mosaic workshop each month.
Barbara Heile has a new format for her Spontaneous Painting classes. It is now two morning painting sessions in one weekend, and it seems to be working great. Nina Sheperdson is still doing her incredible Pysanky , her next class is March 26th. Donna LaPré joined us for needle felting, and for the first ever in our studio, a flower printing class, which was loads of fun. Having the studio filled with huge piles of colorful flowers for printing was amazing.
I expanded the number of children’s classes I teach too, with Wednesday After School Arts and Crafts class, private lessons, and twice weekly Mini Art Camps in the summer. I really do love working with kids, especially now that mine have grown up and left home ( sniff sniff).
Add to all that, the new ARTIST Thrift Shop ( for secondhand and surplus art supplies) , a couple of Front Room gallery shows of student work, and the 2016 RAAC Art Tour, and I’d say we had an awesome year!
Finally, here are the photos I pulled from this last year’s activities. Seriously, too too many good ones to sort through so I ended up just picking a bunch at random. They all make me smile. A heartfelt thank you to all the folks who have been with us taking classes, and to those who have been thinking they’d like to – do it!
We look forward to adding more classes and workshops this spring, summer, and next fall. Also in the works are a couple of exciting projects, more info will be announced down the road a bit. STAY TUNED.
I think we finally have ourselves a true fall day! High 82 vs 92? I will take it! Running three fans in the studio only goes so far. Despite the summer heat, we had a great summer in the studio with several mosaic and cement casting workshops, and some of the most successful, well attended, art mini camps ever! ( will post some pics soon).
Also this summer, the Front Room Gallery featured an exhibit of artwork from the studio called” The Animal ART Show” Many of the pieces are still on view so feel free to stop by and check it out.
One more thing I must mention is that the studio just celebrated our 4th anniversary which means we are beginning our 5th year as a studio in Flint Hill! We are more excited than ever to keep moving forward, adding new classes, and working to maintain and even expand this wonderful space where we can share our processes and techniques, and be creative within a community.
And now, on to a few new things….
We are excited about all that we have to offer this fall! Mosaic workshops with Candace Clough, Figure Sculpture in Clay with Charles Flickinger, Landscape Painting with Tom Mullany, Pysanky with Nina Shepardson, Needle Felting with Donna LaPré, Spontaneous Painting with Barbara Heile, and a variety of children’s classes with me, and Tom continues to teach painting classes Thursday and Friday evenings.
Also, mark your calendars for the annual Artists of Rappahannock Gallery and Studio Tour the first weekend in November!
Hope to see you in the studio one of these days…