Virginia Derryberry's current work includes large scale oil on canvas figure paintings along with fabric/costume constructions, that blend narrative elements from mythology and alchemy, the forerunner of modern science. The intent is to suggest multiple interpretations rather than straightforward illustration of a specific narrative. At first glance, it seems that a “real” space is being defined, but in fact, the painted images are constructed from multiple viewpoints and lighting systems. Passages of volumetric rendering set next to more abstract, painterly areas result in the creation of a virtual, shifting world where nothing is quite what it seems.
Derryberry’s work is shown regularly in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States, and her paintings have been written about in an extensive list of publications including exhibition catalogs, New American Paintings magazine and Oxford American Magazine. Her solo exhibition, Private Domain, first shown in February, 2016, at the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, UNC Asheville, has traveled during the past 3 years to venues in South Carolina, Alabama and Pennsylvania. Another solo exhibition of paintings and hybrid fabric pieces, Truth To Tell, has recently been shown in Pennsylvania and is scheduled for a venue in Las Vegas, NV in 2019. Fabrication, a group exhibition by artists who combine painting and fabric/sewing traveled to over 10 locations across the country, 2014-2018.
Derryberry has received such awards as Outstanding Artistic Achievement from the Southeastern College Art Association; Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome; the Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award and the Feldman Professor Award for scholarship from UNC-Asheville; the Annual Artist Fellowship from the Southeastern College Art Association. Residencies have included Moulin a’ Nef, Auvillar, France and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her drawings and paintings are in numerous private and public collections is also represented in two major public art commissions: a site-specific installation of 16 paintings at the Hartsfield-Atlanta International Airport and a 10 piece multi-panel painting at the Knoxville Convention Center. She has taught drawing and painting in a number of universities, most recently as a Professor of Art in the Department of Art and Art History, UNC Asheville, 1996-2015 and at the New York Academy of Art, 2016. Her contributions as a teacher were recognized in 2017 when she received the Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the national organization, the College Art Association.