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Volume 25, Number 1 — January 2018

Photographer Captures Scenes of Southwest Virginia

Local photographer Patsy Phillips enjoys touring around Southwest Virginia. Her work can be seen at TruPoint Bank in St. Paul through June 30, 2010 and at The Arts Depot in Abingdon through July 16, 2010.
Local photographer Patsy Phillips enjoys touring around Southwest Virginia. Her work can be seen at TruPoint Bank in St. Paul through June 30, 2010 and at The Arts Depot in Abingdon through July 16, 2010.

Also 'Faraway Places'.....

By JOE TENNIS | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER | June 20, 2010

*** Published: June 17, 2010 in the Bristol Herald Courier. ***

ST. PAUL, Va. For Patsy Phillips, it's all about having fun.

She roams the woods and waterfalls of Southwest Virginia, cruising Castlewood, Coeburn, St. Paul and Dungannon.

"I look for the beauty that's not normally seen," said Phillips, who has lived at Castlewood since she was 6 weeks old.

"My absolute favorite places would probably be right where I go most of the time. It's right here in St. Paul Oxbow Lake and Lake Estonoa, Clinch River, Sugar Hill Loop Trail."

Phillips regularly travels to Hidden Valley Lake in Washington County.

Everywhere, she shoots.

With a camera.

It seems that she always has that Nikon, hanging from her neck.

All the time, Phillips relies on her knowledge of the area to photograph her many "Scenes of Southwest Virginia."

It's not for money or fame.

"It's more to show and to share it with other people."

"MY MISSION'


Phillips, 56, works by day as a drive-thru teller at TruPoint Bank in St. Paul.

There, on Russell Street, she is currently showcasing her "Scenes of Southwest Virginia" photography as part of "Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts."

This coal miner's daughter also regularly posts more of her pictures on her Facebook page, where she's gathered more than 1,300 fans many wanting her to continue her trek across the area to document more splendid "scenes."

Like the view from Copper Ridge, showing the Clinch Mountain range in Russell County or a farm along Reeds Valley Road in Castlewood.

"I like farmland and things that I remember when I was growing up that are disappearing rapidly, like old barns," said Phillips, a native of Welch, W.Va. "I guess my mission is I'm trying to preserve the area for people who used to live here and people who would like to come back."

"SEE THE BEAUTY'


An amateur photographer, Phillips started shooting seriously about 20 years ago.

Her husband of nearly 40 years, David, also shoots lots of pictures.

Just a few weeks ago, the pair took off for Costa Maya, Mexico.

And Phillips, the mother of two grown daughters, came home with hundreds of new frames.

Now, she has mixed shots of Mexico and Virginia in a new show. It's on display at Abingdon's Arts Depot as part of the "Near and Far Away Places" exhibit with the Highlands Camera Club.

Of course, Phillips said, it's mind-boggling to even think of Castlewood and Costa Maya as part of the same scene. "But you can see the beauty in both places the contrast and the difference in the two."

"DO A BOOK'


Now, as her Facebook fan base grows, Phillips looks for the next step.

Annually, she coordinates the photography show at St. Paul. She also shows off her work, each year, at the Russell County Fair in Castlewood.

But she has a long-range idea.

"I have had several people ask me to do a book," Phillips said. "I need to do that. I want to do that, as soon as I find the time and the know-how to do a book."

IF YOU GO

What: "Scenes of Southwest Virginia: Photography by Patsy Phillips"
Where and when: TruPoint Bank, Russell Road, St. Paul, through June 30; and Arts Depot, Abingdon, June 17 to July 16, with reception June 19, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., as part of Highlands Camera Club's fifth annual exhibit.
Info: (276) 762-5607

A! ExtraTopics: Photography