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In honor of the Year of Integrity at Norfolk Academy, the opening Perrel Art Gallery exhibition, INTEGRATION I: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, presents the kinetic stickwork and paintings of Virginia Beach-based artist Peter Pittman.

The word integrity has at least two meanings: the state of being honest and having strong moral principles, and the state of being whole and undivided. It is in the spirit of the latter that this year’s roster of gallery exhibitions is taking shape. They will explore integrated wholeness from a variety of perspectives, beginning with the natural world. Pittman’s exhibition takes its title from a popular British television show from the middle of the 20th century.

Research indicates that people who are more connected with nature tend to be happier and healthier, more productive, more creative, better able to focus and concentrate, and more likely to report feeling their lives are worthwhile. This is why Art Teacher Betsy DiJulio, the gallery curator, chose to begin the year with Pittman’s collaborations with nature and selected paintings.

Pittman is making at least two works especially for Norfolk Academy. They will be accompanied by labels providing an entry point for contemplation, interpretation and investigation. One of DiJulio's goals is to make Perrel Gallery an inspiring environment for nurturing awe and wonder about the natural world and the imagination.

The exhibit opened on the first day of classes, August 23, and will remain up through October 27. Teachers are invited to bring their classes into the gallery; the exhibit is appropriate for all ages and should engage discussion in many different subjects. As always, DiJulio will help teachers make connections between the exhibition content and their lessons.

Families and alumni also are invited to visit the gallery after school when the doors are open. In addition, there will be a public viewing, free and open to all, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 28.  

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