Retired PAHS art teacher, the late Jean Rawls, is celebrated in new retro exhibit

September 23, 2019

A retrospective exhibition of paintings by Jean Rawls, "Nature's Palette," is on exhibit now through Nov. 25 at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach.


A free reception is set for Monday, Oct. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m.


Rawls, a Norfolk native and Virginia Beach transplant who passed away recently, held a lifelong interest in art.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in education, with a concentration in art, and a Master of Arts in humanities, with a concentration in painting and art history, both from Old Dominion University.


After graduation, Rawls taught in Norfolk briefly before moving to Virginia Beach, where she taught art in Virginia Beach City Public Schools, retiring in 2002 from Princess Anne High School, where she was the Fine Arts Department chair and taught studio art and AP Art History.


The late Jean Rawls. (Courtesy photo.) 


She also served on the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, chairing it from 2009 to 2011.


Most recently, she served as chair of the board of directors of the Virginia Beach Art Center and was a major force in raising the funds to complete the new building that has become the residence of The Artists Gallery and the Pottery Arts Studio. Mainly because of her efforts, the Virginia Beach Art Center became a reality.


Her paintings have been shown in the New Waves Exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the Tidewater Virginia Art Education Association's Annual Juried Exhibition, Pembroke 4 Gallery, Beach Gallery and The Artists Gallery.



Her love of nature, especially her love of Back Bay marsh lands, the Lynnhaven River, the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains and South Carolina Lowcountry is expressed in her paintings.


Her palette reflects her unique response to the expressive colors found in flowing fields, majestic mountains and reflective streams.  She sought to capture the ever changing patterns created by the reflection of sunlight on natural forms. Her explorations of color, texture and value embraced the whole of nature. Through her paintings, she illustrated her compassion for our earth and all its beauty.


The exhibit will be on view in the center's second- and third-floor lobbies. 


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