All My Travels Exhibit

All My Travels Exhibit
June 21, 2021

Of Truck and Tree, Auto Artifacts Series, Syria, VA, acrylic by Ann Millard

All My Travels Exhibit
June 21 – July 19 • Jo Ann Rose Gallery


Reception: Sunday, July 11 • 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.


Mixed Media Works by Ann Millard

Ann Millard, an accomplished acrylic and mixed media artist, and her daughter, Elana Ann Botts, a talented young performance artist who also creates collage-style impressionistic photos, are exhibiting in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at RCC Lake Anne from June 21 to July 19. Both have traveled extensively, with Ann creating paintings from her travels to remote areas of Florida, Virginia and New England during the pandemic, “cooler, mask and sanitizer in hand.” Meet the artists during the Sunday, July 11 reception, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the Jo Ann Rose Gallery.

In 2020, Ann Millard coped with the pandemic by taking several car trips to picturesque, remote locations up and down the East Coast. “With my cooler, mask and sanitizer always at hand, I wandered, took photos and hiked the mountains in Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. I traveled south to Florida and wandered the beaches on Anastasia Island along Route A1A in Florida.” On display in this show are acrylic paintings and mixed media artworks inspired by her travels. The work varies from realistic and impressionistic to abstract with collage elements. Her mixed media collage work evolves towards landscapes and flora and fauna.

“Art runs in my family. I am the eldest of eight children: four sisters and three brothers.  My four sisters all create some type of art. My siblings and I were fortunate to be encouraged in our creative endeavors by our grandmother, Beatriz Muse, one of Reston’s first residents. We grew up in Manassas, VA, where our father, a “wannabe” farmer, owned and farmed 40 acres. He earned his livelihood as an attorney for the IRS. My siblings and I spent many happy hours exploring the woods, fields, untended apple trees, and a pond made infamous by a snapping turtle.

I have lived in Reston for 14 years. I first experienced Reston at age 15, while visiting my grandparents, Benjamin and Beatriz Muse, and my aunt, Katie Furcron, all early Reston residents. I am told Reston is historic, so I guess I am too.

In the 1970s, I studied art as an undergraduate at George Mason University. I completed a master’s degree in Social Work in 1982. As a clinical social worker and mental health therapist for more than 30 years, I often use art as therapy with my clients. In 1995, I completed graduate courses in art therapy at George Washington University. 

I began painting again in 1995 with the goal of being the best artist I could be. As the beneficiary of many Reston Community Center painting and mixed media classes, as well as scarf making and jewelry making, I can’t speak highly enough about the wonderful opportunities for creativity offered by RCC. I am very grateful to the Arts Education staff for their untiring hard work and enthusiasm organizing classes and exhibits. I am also grateful for the gifted teaching of arts instructor and artist Arnold Lopes and his assistance with framing and hanging my artwork. Below are some highlights of my travels, along with a few images.”

Florida. On Anastasia Island, I painted a windswept view of the dunes as a storm approached. I was struck by the strange orange light usurping other colors in the atmosphere as churning gray storm clouds emerged. The marsh seemed to go strangely yellow and chartreuse. At sunrise at Salt Run Marsh, the sky was brilliantly striped with yellow, orange, red and shades of purple, inspiration for a set of paintings.


Windswept View of Dunes, Anastasia Island, FL, acrylic by Ann Millard


Salt Run Marsh at Sunrise, Anastasia Island, FL, acrylic by Ann Millard

Auto Artifacts Series, Syria, Virginia. While staying in isolation at a motel owned by Graves Mountain Lodge, I explored their many acres. I discovered an old family graveyard, and beyond that, an auto graveyard. I found aged vehicles with bluish metal visible beneath the burnt sienna and red oxide rust. The vehicles were enveloped by vegetation.  I wondered who the drivers were in their glory days? What had happened to these auto artifacts on that last day of travel?  Nature had gained the upper hand with the passing of time and brought beauty for me to behold in this final resting place.


Ancient Jalopy, Auto Artifacts Series, Syria VA, acrylic by Ann Millard 


Impressionistic Photos by Elena Ann Botts

Elena Ann Botts, Ann Millard’s daughter, is showing some of her collage-style impressionistic photos. Elena’s photos are inspired by her work as a performance artist. Prior to the pandemic, she was on tour doing performance combos of sound, video and photos, accompanied by her own lyrical voice. Like mother, like daughter; Elena, now 24, shares the wanderlust spirit and travels by train, bus and plane. Some of her photos are evocative of the Hudson River Valley and New England. In October 2020, she purchased a vintage home in Cocksachie, NY.

Elena has also lived in South Africa, Europe, New York City, DC, Philadelphia, Maine, and many other places.  Her poems have been published in more than 100 literary magazines. She is the winner of four poetry contests and has had many books published. Elena's visual artwork has been exhibited widely, where she has won numerous awards. Elena has also collaborated on and installed sound and moving image artwork, as well as multimedia and conceptual art projects, and has formed a multimedia collective for this purpose. Her filming process dovetails with her travel impulse.

“I’m interested in filming very visceral aspects of human interaction and the beauty of nature. I like to create settings, stories and moving images for music to illustrate the interiority and therefore, magic of real life. I create many collages layered on top of one another, with occasional human subjects. This is to illustrate the transient nature of existence while noting the environmental beauty. I compulsively film my travels, which are themselves, nearly compulsive, because I am always restless and seeking “a new world.”

“I attempt to show the faraway in these moving image collages, but also I aim to depict my interior world, which offers a sort of mystical view of the landscape as always moving, yet in a way that is nearly still, where panoramas fade dreamlike into other panoramas, or alternately, glitch and mold into the unrecognizable.


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