Art Gallery in Langley

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Writings, Reflections & Pictures!



Why medical schools are training doctors in literature and art



2017 Spring Exhibit at The Art Gallery in Langley

On Sunday April30th the Art Gallery in Langley had an opening reception for about 20 visitors who came to see the Spring Show: Cartography, Engineering, Architecture and Ceramics. The cartography room has on display, beautiful hand drawn maps of land surveys in eastern Kentucky and mining engineering drawings by the late T.A. Combs who practiced engineering with his late father and also with his late brother. On display is a bush whacker to cut line, so the surveyor can align his instrument and see the rod on the other end of a line, a chain which is a 100 FT steel tape measure, antique engineering calculator, fossils, types of rock surrounding coal seams, and remnants of coal mining engineering and surveying. Surveying mountain tracts of land was hard work and required an early morning train ride to a point where the trek into the mountains could begin, lugging all the equipment needed. Today, surveying is done using laser light instruments, that can deliver a 3-dimensional survey of a plat by setting up on 4 points usually, and the output is digital.

On display is the training of an architect, through school, internship, and eventually licensure. On the wall are designs of structures in isometric perspective that sparked many questions for discussion. If acquainted with floor plan diagrams, seeing what the architect imagines and draws to develop a building design can be a big shock. Sketch level ideas for architectural projects can be quite different than the resulting floor plan, but if done with consistency and integrity, those initial poetic sketch ideas will emerge through the final constructed building. From a sketch idea, the architect takes the project to the next level called Design Development and adds more specifics to the 3D model, exterior elevations, building sections, and wall sections and floor plan such as FFE (fixtures, furnishings & equipment) and a rough layout of the building systems which include electricity, water, sewer, telecom and detail specifics of how to build the structure. Observing myriad lines intersecting, receding, advancing, one eventually begins to see perimeters and spatial constructs. Andrea Combs, also did a 5th year thesis to receive her Bachelors of Architecture Cum Laude from University of Kentucky. She did a proposal, researched the origin of the window aka wind-eye from Greek origin. One patron of the gallery was surprised that students of architecture write research papers. Visitors will see the training required to become an architecture graduate and also the “real world” construction documents that contractors use to estimate cost, bid on the project, win the bid, and erect the building. What you won’t see are the exams required to receive an architect’s license. The exams include multiple choice questions about structures, calculations, building systems, materials & methods of construction, building and site planning, to name a few.

Also, ceramic vessels by Angela Combs Baseman are on display and DV Combs’ aquarelle and acrylic paintings continue to sell and grow as she’s a working artist, producing new paintings each week. To see an online slideshow of the exhibit, go to:

Come see a lifetime of works in Cartography, Engineering, Architecture and Ceramics. Open every Sunday from 1 P.M. – 4 P. M. This exhibit will be on display through early fall. Openings are usually announced in the local newspapers, and you can check the website for openings:


Spring 2017 Gallery Show - Opens 4/30/17 (1-5pm) and continues to Sept.

Painting, cartography and architecture share commonalities both in the components and production thereof. Line, a measurable distance between two points, defines both expressive art and analytical drawings. Painting can be both analytical and expressive, however engineering must be mathematical, analytical and precise in measurement. Architecture can start with an expressive sketch that later converts the sketch idea for the space layout and shape into precise delineation of the space designed. While line may be the element that correlates engineering, painting and architecture, each discipline’s output and meaning of the lines varies greatly.

At the Art Gallery in Langley, visitors can see how line is employed in these three disciplines. For example, mining engineering maps show a plan for heading the direction of the mining procedures, the construction of roof supports and columns of coal to remain to keep the mine roof from falling down. There is a huge liability for people’s lives in any structure designed for human occupancy. On display, there will be maps and antique engineering instruments of the late T.A. Combs, PE.

The many drawings, writings, models and paintings, a student must do in order to earn a bachelor degree in architecture will also be on display. This should be of interest to youth aspiring to a design career, whether in building architecture, structural engineering, biomechanical engineering, industrial design or drafting for CNC Machining, even 3D rendering. Truly one will be surprised at how line is employed in this profession.

Thirdly, aquarelle and acrylic paintings show line in all of its manifestations, from point to post to shape to direction in space to value but with color added. Albeit, painting can also be precise and naturalistic, but does not have to be precise, but can be a kind of poetry that touches one’s non- measurable entities: the surprise in the exhibit is to see all of the many ways that line is employed.

Co-authored by Duna & Andrea Combs

The showing will begin at 1 p.m. and run until 5 p. m. at The Art Gallery in Langley. The public is invited.

WORDS impact ART


Words constantly informed and developed my visual/architectural design work. In my work I developed formal (3d) and visual (2d) design ideas from a written program of spatial requirements for human activity in a "building". I also did the reverse, by first developing the formal/visual thing and then giving it a name and program for human occupancy. My approach to design comes from many sources of inspiration, curiosity, memory, thoughts and the informative play between verbal and visual ideas about human existence.


Words evoke images in my mind, and when I use word-play to describe things in everyday life, my response and others really "get it". Words have a huge impact on how a person interprets images by influencing their thoughts which evoke emotional responses in the mind and body. Word-play can connect several images in one's mind  and thereby increase the emotional impact of the visual realm.


Words can drive one's thoughts in a certain direction, yet don't have absolute power to override that individual's unique perceptive experience of life that counter-informs what they're experiencing. In a nutshell, words can lead people to water, but they can't make them drink it.


I like to watch commercials on mute, and later watch them again with the speakers on, to see how different my interpretation is between the two modes. My visual interpretation is often different than the message the advertising agency intended through the audio language of the advertisement. No doubt, words enhance one's experience of art by meshing the language side with the visual side of the brain to create an intended emotional response. But, people are so different, no matter what the intent of the message, each person has their own unique experience of art and words.

Andrea Combs, NC Registered Architect


Anyone can invest in Original Works of Art


      Never assume you can't afford to hang or purchase original art to enjoy and create ambiance in your home or office. You can afford original artwork, and there are a few good reasons why you would want to.

       When you buy an original, or start a collection of originals, you're making an investment that will likely be of greater value in the future. The original is always of the greatest value, compared with reproductions. In addition, because of the maker's hand on the artwork, original drawings, paintings and collages are arguably more engaging than reproductions on poster paper. Remember, don't let the price hinder you from acquiring and investing in original works of art.

       The difference between original and reproduced works is the value. Like buying a site-built home, the value is expected to increase over the years; you’ll build equity and increase your profits upon sale. The original artwork also shows the collector's taste in art, and greatly enhances their home or office. With a reproduction, one gets a picture on poster paper, but not the artist's hand, mind, or medium used to cause an image to emerge from a blank surface. The artist's hand embedded in a one-of-a-kind work, is what makes the original the most valuable. The strokes of paint and clarity of color, made by the artist’s hand, reveal their creative mind, texture, direction, attitude, energy, patience, color palette, and mixing and layering of medium and materials or paint. Look for subject matter, style of painting, texture, depth, materials, and non-reproduction for one-of-a-kind works; all aspects that cause an art work to increase in value, especially if the artist gains notoriety.

       I know from personal experience that it's possible to own even famous artists' works. Years ago, I bought an original painting from the American artist Frederic Thurz, now deceased, for $200. He agreed to sell it on a layaway plan at $10/month. I paid it off, claimed it for my own, and hung it on my wall to enjoy and watch it grow in value!

       If you want the difference between a reproduction and an original, seek out local artists' works. There are many working artists who depend on the sale of their original works for a living. Appalachian Artists are highly collectible. You also earn bragging rights when you buy direct from the artist! Enjoy the adventure of seeking out artists in your area, visiting their shop or studio, and possibly finding piles and shelves filled with their creations, that they haven’t had time to frame or take to market. When you go to the artist direct, you can select what appeals to your taste, and negotiate an agreeable price for one, two or a few of their works.

       Invest in original artwork just for the adventure of it. Go to galleries and art festivals. Check arts & entertainment postings for shows, gallery openings, student exhibitions and look online too. Both, you and the artist, will appreciate the exchange of ideas and original, local works of art!

       Start your adventure at the Langley Art Gallery, view the Slideshow Gallery, come to an Opening Reception, navigate with Google Maps for directions, and enjoy the journey! You'll thank yourself for getting out and about! 

                                                                                                                              by DV Combs, edits by AM Combs, webmaster


Galleries are a Great Place to Meet People!


I'm back home from North Carolina for a visit. Mom and I go to the McCall Gallery at the Prestonsburg Campus of Big Sandy Community & Technical College. I got to meet a professor who procured one of her Spatial Odyssey paintings, which is on display there. We discussed our views of it and how each of us see something different and what we each like about it. Then we met a student and carried on another discussion about art and life.

The student said she moved to the mountains from Lexington to live with a family member. We talked about our possible family ties to hers through the May Family and Maytown. She spoke of her career and art interests. She asked my mom about pursuing art as a career. Her passion is dance. We came up with some great ideas for teaching dance, did some networking, and suggested coupling a foundation career with teaching dance.

It was a pleasure to meet the doctorate professor and young student, one seasoned and wise, the other full of potential and hope. "Thank you" to the Professor Puffer, owner of Spatial Odyssey in the BSCTC Show, and the Student, Darien May, for the lively, enthusiastic discussions we had! 

by AM Combs, webmaster