Montgomery Museum Invites Public to Reception Uniting Art, History, and Dialogue that Celebrates Beauty, and the Past and Future of NRV Rail

The public is invited to attend a reception and program on Thursday, July 13, from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. that will unite art, history, and community dialogue. This unique event will open a new exhibition by local artist Patricia Bolton, as well as an exhibit focused on the history of the railroad in Montgomery County, an exhibit of works by noted photographer O. Winston Link, and a panel discussion about the future of NRV Passenger Rail.

Patricia Bolton’s new exhibit, “Celebrating Beauty,” showcases a diverse range of artistic media, including alcohol ink, pen and ink, colored pencils, pastels, and photography. Bolton’s mixed media pieces often combine various techniques, with her own photography serving as inspiration for her paintings. With a lifelong passion for art, she believes practice is the key to success and is constantly sketching and doodling. One of her most exciting pieces, “Bicchiere,” which is Italian for drinking glass, began as a restaurant doodle. The reflections off the glass and images seen through it in parallax are beautiful. Known for her meticulous attention to detail, Bolton’s work demonstrates precision and beauty, particularly evident in her pen and ink drawings and colored pencil works like “Howling Wolves.” The exhibit, “Celebrating Beauty,” will be held at the Montgomery Museum of Art and History in Christiansburg, starting July 6, with the reception taking place from 4:30-6:15 p.m. on July 13.

Also opening at the Montgomery Museum is “O. Winston Link: Capturing the Last Steam Railroad.” The exhibit features prints from Link’s 1955-1960 work, including some signed by Link himself. These were donated to the Museum in 2022 by Link’s nephew, Robert Zider. The exhibit will focus on Link’s artistic process and his important role in the history of art photography. Giving context to the O. Winston Link prints will be a separate exhibit, “Let’s Go to the Depot! How the Railroad Changed Montgomery County and Cambria.” The railroad, completed through Montgomery County in 1854, was a social center where sweethearts ran off to get married and where fresh-faced draftees set off to serve their country. It was also a point of commerce, where goods and harvests from the county were shipped and products from around the world entered into Montgomery County, VA. These two rail heritage exhibits will open the evening of July 13 for the reception and program.

From 6:30-7:30 p.m. the museum will feature a panel discussion that will focus on the NRV Passenger Rail that is coming to Christiansburg in 2025. Listen to passenger rail updates and an opportunity to ask questions about rail coming to Christiansburg, VA. This panel will consist of experts in passenger rail including Collin Burch, Planning Manager of Virginia Passenger Rail Authority, Raymond D. Smoot Jr., Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board, Sandra Davis, Co-Chair, New River Valley Passenger Rail, and Kevin Byrd, Executive Director, New River Valley Regional Commission. This event will be moderated by Ann Cassell, President of The Blacksburg Partnership.