Brenda M. Sylvia


Artist's Statement:

The act of painting outside and experiencing nature first hand is an integral part of my work.  I am energized by the dynamic beauty of nature and through painting en plain air, I strengthen my connection to a specific place.  In 2017, I moved back to Virginia after living and painting in the US Virgin Islands for nine years.  Living in the tropics influenced my artwork in many ways. I am now even more obsessed with color!  Natural beauty has always been important to my artwork and my life.  Here in the Northern Neck, I am once again surrounded by inspiring landscape which is my favorite subject. I have been painting out of doors for 25 years.  I strive to create a sense of place in my art.  My hope is that the viewer will then “see and feel" what I do in my subjects. My paintings here capture the beauty, rural lifestyle, and waterman culture of life by the Chesapeake Bay, while my work from the US Virgin Islands is closely linked to my experiences with the beauty and the culture of the Islands.


I also create whimsical sculptures and installation pieces often incorporating recycled materials. 


Contact: By E-mail

                 By Phone   804-480-0092


Master of Fine Arts, Painting, George Washington University, 2004

Bachelor of Fine Arts,  James Madison University, Summa Cum Laude, 1983

The Art League School, Alexandria, VA, Figure Drawing, Anatomy, Landscape Oil Painting

Northern Virginia Community College, Illustration courses



RAL Labor Day Show 2019, Viewers Choice Best in Show 

Art Speaks Exhibition 2019, Bay School of the Arts, Student’s Choice Award

RAL Labor Day Show 2018, Viewers Choice Best in Show & Second Place Sculpture

Art Speaks Exhibition 2018, Bay School of the Arts, Mathews, Virginia

Gloucester Arts on Main Juried Show, April 2018

RAL Labor Day Show, Jane Stouffer's Memorial Award, 2017

Viewer's Choice Award - Best in Show, Caribbean Colour Shows -

"Dream in Green" in 2015, "Too Blue 4 U" in 2013 and "A Celebration of Color" 2012

Second Place in 3D, Caribbean Colour 2016

Third Place in 2D, Caribbean Color "Dream in Green" 2012

Best in Show , Rappahannock Art League, 39th Exhibition, 2002

Equal Merit Award , The Art League, Student-Faculty Show

Poster design competition winner, Spotlight on the Arts

Second Place: Fairfax Art League, Annual Spotlight on the Arts  

Excellence in Illustration Award: NVCC

Sigma Phi Lambda (Academic Honors Fraternity), JMU


Mango Tango Gallery Shows:

Full time representation at Mango Tango 2010 to present

Two-person Show - April 2019

Solo Show "Beautiful on the Edges" - March 2017

VI Art Divas - January 2016 and February 2015

Holiday Art and Gift Show - October 2014, November 2015

January Art Jamboree, group show, January 2014

Stellar Art, two person show, December 2013

St Thomas - St John Art Jamboree, group show, January 2012

Sleepytime, group show, Yacht Haven Grande, December 2010



Painting I - 2003/2004 at The George Washington University

Acrylic Painting Workshops - RAL, Kilmarnock, VA, 2016 to Present

School of Visual Arts and Careers - Watercolor and Acrylic Painting,     2016/2017, St Thomas, USVI



Other Exhibitions:

RAL Art Center Gallery, resident artist, Kilmarnock VA - present

Reedville Fishermen's Museum, "Beauty by the Bay" Solo Show - Summer 2021

D’Art Gallery, “Unconventional” Juried Show - October 2019, Norfolk, VA

Stewart Gallery, Gloucester, VA - present

Radius250, Artspace, Richmond, VA - March/April 2019

Rappahannock Westminster-Caterbury, Solo Show - March 2019 

Morning Glory Gallery, Gloucester, VA, 3-person show - October 2018

Art Speaks Juried Exhibition, Bay School Arts Center - 2018, 2019, and 2020

Gloucester Arts Festival Juried Show, Arts on Main - June 1018

Baho El Sol, St John, USVI, "Island is a World"  - January 2017

Caribbean Colour - Life in Yellow, St Thomas, USVI - May 2016

Caribbean Colour - Dream in Green, St Thomas, USVI - March 2015

Defend Paradise! - Pop Up Gallery, St Thomas, USVI - October 2014

Caribbean Colour - Seeing Red, St Thomas, USVI -  May 2014

Caribbean Colour - 2 Blue 4 U, St Thomas, USVI - 2013

Caribbean Colour - A Celebration of Color, St Thomas, USVI - 2012

Caribbean Colour - The Feminine Mystique, St Thomas, USVI -  June 2011

Caribbean Colour - A Smile is Beautiful in Every Color, USVI - March 2011

Rappahannock Art League, Annual Labor Day Exhibitions

Arts Alive, "Out of Time," 2011 and "Outside the Looking Glass," USVI - 2010

Colorful Corner, St John, USVI - 2010-2011

Pershing Park Gazebo Gallery, Washington, DC, Urban Streams, solo - 2007

Urban Streams , Solo show, GMU Arlington, VA, April/May - 2005 

Views of Huntley Meadows, Solo Show, Huntley Meadows Park - 2005 

Anonymous Returns , Washington Project for the Arts/Corcoran - 2004

Hand Picked , Museum of Modern Arf, Arlington, VA - 2004

Art-O-Matic , Washington , DC - 2008, 2007, 2004 and 2002 

Dimmock Gallery , GWU, MFA Thesis Show - April 2004

RAL Studio Gallery , Kilmarnock , VA - 1999 – Present 

Rock Creek Gallery , Washington , DC, four person show - 2000

Dimmock Gallery, Juried Student Shows, spring and fall - 2001-03 

Hang-Ups Gallery , Kilmarnock , VA , solo shows - 1997-98

Artists of the Chesapeake , RAL juried exhibition - 1999 

Northumberland Library , RAL Two person show, 1998

The Fairfax Art League, Juried Fall Show, 1999

Springfield Art Guild , juried shows, 1995-96, 1998

Adlers Art and Frame , SAG Artist of the Month, December 1997

The Art League , Alexandria , VA , juried Landscape Shows, 1997-98 

Central Branch Arlington Library , solo shows, 1986-87


Honeymoon Beach Signage, St John, USVI, 2013

Island Stylin Salon and Spa Signage, St John, 2014

Reef Fest T-shirt design, 2012

Wooden Teeth, GWU Art and Literary Magazine, cover, fall 2001

Alexandria Red Cross Waterfront Festival poster 

Nature Conservancy Magazine

Fairfax City Spotlight on the Arts poster

Virginia Wildlife Magazine

Pet Portraits, 100+ commissioned paintings


Artwork by Brenda M Sylvia