|The Isle of Wight Arts League
Meet the Resident Artists of The Arts Center @ 319
Several artists maintain working studios in the Arts Center @ 319, making art works and artists uniquely accessible to
members and visitors.
Priscilla Barbour is a native of Winston-Salem, NC, and has always had her hand in some sort of artistic endeavor. Early on,
she spent every summer at the NC School for the Arts and won an art contest in the first grade for a colorful and imaginative
“creature” made up of different animal parts. Continuing to draw and dabble in other art forms, it was not until a milestone
birthday – unmentioned – that she decided to pursue her own art career.
After fourteen moves as a Navy wife of 23 years, Priscilla Barbour settled in Smithfield 12 years ago, enjoying growing success
with her art in acrylic painting, murals, faux finishes, and painted furniture.
She has had paintings in the Smithfield Duck Unlimited auction for the last three years, t-shirt designs for the local Yogi’s Run
and the 2004 Hog Jog 5K Fundraiser, and the marquee poster for the Smithfield High School production of “It’s a Wonderful
Life.” Priscilla was also a decorative artist for the Harbour View 2000 Parade of Homes in Suffolk, VA.
Priscilla is a member and four time Vice President of the Brush and Palette Club and has been a Resident Artist at the Arts Center
since September 2004.
Bobbi Canellas moved to Hampton Roads from northern Virginia where she had lived for over twenty
years. Bobbi attended Bloomsberg State Teachers College in Pennsylvania and George Washington
University in Washington, DC, where she majored in Art and minored in Education. Bobbi has studied
painting in Vienna, Austria and Mallorca, Spain.
Bobbi is considered an impressionist painter and believes that the play of light and dark on canvas along with the use of vivid
colors create emotions that are very important to her work. Although she has taken many mixed media courses, Bobbi's true love
is the use of oils for the beautiful texture and colors that they are capable of producing.
Sheila Gwaltney graduated from Smithfield High School and Mary Washington College returning to live and work in Smithfield,
where she and her husband are raising their son and twin daughters.
In her first studio art classes in college, she never thought she could make it a career. However, in 1985 she enrolled in a plein
air painting workshop offered by John Loren Head. Sheila says, “Mr. Head was an excellent artist and a truly gifted teacher who
took my painting abilities and understanding of art to the next level. He gave me the tools, the focus and the desire to make art.
Art became a way of thinking, a way using the gifts and experiences of my life. “
Sheila is a member of the Isle of Wight Arts League, the Elizabeth River Artists and the Woman’s Club of Smithfield where she
chairs the committee producing the Smithfield Calendar featuring pen & ink drawings of historic buildings and sites drawn by
local artists. She enjoys painting landscapes, portraits, animals and opportunity to teach drawing and watercolor at the Arts
Sheila is the Director of the Arts Center @ 319 and a member of the Isle of Wight Arts League Board of Directors.
Martha Phibbs is a native of Norfolk, VA, Martha attended William & Mary, earning a BA in French. She taught French in
Portsmouth public schools for a number of years before earning her MS in Counseling in 1998. From 2000-2006, she was
Director of Guidance at Smithfield High School.
While always interested in art, she did not have the opportunity to study art until 1980 when she studied portraiture with Don
Fortunato in Norfolk. The birth of her second child and a full time job forced art into the background again until she retired in
2006. Since that time, she has studied with Kathy Bilyeu and James Warwick Jones. Martha’s main interest is still portraits, but
she enjoys exploring many different subjects.
She is married to Dexter Phibbs and has two children, Carrie and Brian.
Roy L. Williams is a newcomer to the Arts Center, having begun his work in November 2008. Roy is a graduate of The College
of William & Mary and has a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Delaware.
He and his wife Sherry moved to this area in 1992 and were active with the Arts Center in the early 1990's. He is a retired
professor of chemistry and taught for 40 years at ODU. Although not formally trained as an artist, Roy is currently pursuing a
variety of media including Japanese ink drawings, pastels and photography.
He is a member of the Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators and is currently working on several children's books.
Professor Williams is also very much involved in wine education; he teaches wine classes and is a contributing columnist to the
Daily Press on various wine topics.
Stephanie Faleski was born in North Carolina, and spent her childhood in Norfolk. She relocated to Smithfield in
2011 after many years in Pennsylvania.
She has a degree in fine arts from Kutztown University and worked in the field of graphic design, illustration and print
publication for more than 25 years. Her work has won many awards, including first place awards in the 2011 Isle of
Wight Art League members' exhibit and the Hampton Art League Fall 2011 plein air painting event. Commissioned
projects include paintings and posters for animal rescue efforts and Armed Forces Week. Animal portraits are her
specialty. Her display at the Art Center includes paintings of dogs, cats and horses and a sample book of pet portraits
she has created for customers. During the summer months, she coordinates and participates in a plein air group,
painting landscape studies outdoors on location.
For additional information, please visit her web site at www.calico-studios.com.