First Friday Artist: Janine Aberg

Janine Aberg’s art will be featured during the First Friday Gallery Opening on September 2nd.

In September, we are excited to share another talented local artist, Janine Aberg. Janine is one of two artists who will be featured during our First Friday gallery opening on September 2nd, from 5-7pm. To learn more about the event and RSVP, visit the event page here.

Janine (South African) and her husband Simon (Sweden) met in Hawaii.  They lived in Harrisonburg for a number of years and now they own a small farm in Keezletown, VA where they run River Mountain Farm And Life Center (See more at Janine and Simon have three beautiful girls Arowin, Katanyah and Soercha.

Janine is a passionate artist. She processes life through art and finds true solace in her times in front of a fresh canvas or wall. Art is a form of meditation for Janine and gives her time to connect the spiritual and physical aspects of life. Janine gives herself fully to whatever she sets her mind to and she finds satisfaction in a life fully lived. 

Janine is a fine artist, muralist, and dancer. Her art is strongly influenced by color, light, and by her love for dance, movement, and animals. Her work expresses the wealth of beauty and feeling that is born out of the confluence of suffering and the joy of life. This coupled with complexity in design makes Janine a truly unique artist. She is  deeply influenced by her country of origin (South Africa), living in Hawaii, and travelling around the world.

In their time in Harrisonburg Janine painted murals in every room in their town house, creating a taste of different countries and otherworldly places. She has also painted murals in a number of Harrisonburg homes and businesses including Dick Myers, Sentara RMH wellness center, J. Frank Hillyard Middle school to mention a few.  Janine loves to connect her many passions, like her passion for psychology, peacebuilding, animals, and dance. She has found joy in her art being used on the cover of books especially “to stir &” by Nikia Chaney. Her art also hangs in Eastern Mennonite University. 

Her preferred mediums are oil and acrylic. She loves to experiment with the intersectionality between fine art, dance, theater, music, and healing. She does portraiture, landscape, murals, body painting (especially for pregnant mothers), and social justice pieces.

The artist holds a BA in Performing Arts from the University of the Nations, and an MA in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding. Janine has won prices at fine art competitions on the Hawaiian Islands, including the Kona Coffee Arts Festival and the Waimea Arts Council. She has worked for a summer with Philadelphia Mural Arts and has exhibited with a group of fantastic artists at the Olympic games in the UK 2012.

Her art hangs in many countries including the USA, South Africa, China, Germany, Sweden, and England.

First Friday Artist: Saloma Furlong

Saloma Furlong

Our second artist we are excited to feature in September is Saloma Furlong. To learn more about the First Friday art gallery opening, visit the event page here.

Saloma Furlong was born and raised in an Amish community in northeastern Ohio. With the eighth-grade education of her childhood, she acquired her GED, enrolled in community college courses, and became an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College. She studied at the University of Hamburg in Germany for a semester. At fifty, she graduated with a major in German Studies and a minor in Philosophy. Furlong is the author of three books, and her story has been featured in two PBS American Experience films, “The Amish” and “The Amish: Shunned.” She is the mother of two grown sons and lives in Virginia with her husband, David.

Saloma will share her book, Liberating Lomie at the gallery opening. In this personal and moving memoir, Saloma (Lomie) traces the genesis of her desire for freedom and education and chronicles her conflicted quest for independence. She recalls her painful childhood in a family defined by her father’s mental illness, her brother’s brutality, her mother’s severe punishments, and the austere traditions of the Amish—traditions she struggled to accept for years before making the difficult decision to leave the community. Eloquently told, Liberating Lomie is a revealing portrait of life within—and without—this frequently misunderstood community.

Also available at the gallery opening will be her book, Bonnet Strings: an Amish Woman’s ties to Two Worlds. In this poignant coming-of-age memoir, Saloma’s freedom allows her to thrive in her new life in Vermont. Then late one night, her freedom comes to an abrupt end when members of her Amish community arrive to take her back into the fold. Thus begins a years-long struggle of feeling torn between two worlds. Bonnet Strings offers a universal story of overcoming adversity and a rare look inside an Amish community. Readers will find a story of competing desires between freedom and belonging.

Aside from writing books, Saloma is also the creator of handmade rugs. These beautiful works of art will be available at the gallery opening.