Private Domain: Paintings by Virginia Derryberry

February 27 - March 28, 2023
Closed March 11 - 19 for spring holiday


  • Reception: March 2, 5:30-7:30 pm 
  • Music by Ms. M and the Jokers
  • Artist Talk: 6:15 pm
  • Additional artist lecture: Thursday, March 2, at 1 p.m. in room D244


The large-scale figurative paintings by Virginia Derryberry are rich, theatrical, and symbolic. Through blending elements from mythology and alchemy, the forerunner of modern science, the work provides varied interpretations rather than a straightforward illustration of a specific narrative. Although a real space appears defined at first glance, the images are constructed from multiple viewpoints and lighting angles. Passages of volumetric rendering set next to more abstract, painterly areas create a virtual, shifting world where nothing is quite what it seems.

Stemming from her love of Italian Renaissance altarpieces and their sequential and nonsequential narratives, Derryberry uses multiple panels to construct worlds that explore issues of empowerment. In addition, the artist investigates historical notions of women’s work and decorative arts to expand the idea of her narratives by sometimes incorporating fabric, embroidery, and found objects. With the introduction of traditional crafts, mythology, alchemy, and Renaissance painting into this contemporary multifaceted dialogue, her work prompts questions about the nature of sexuality, age, and gender roles.

Derryberry is a professor of art emeritus at the University of North Carolina Asheville. During her academic career, she served as the department chair and director of the Undergraduate Research ProgramShe holds an MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, an MA from Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn., and a BA from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Derryberry has conducted numerous workshops at Arrowmont School of Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and Penland School in Bakersville, N.C., and taught master classes in figure painting at the New York Academy of Art, and at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.

The artist's numerous awards, fellowships and grants include the Grand Prize Award at the 2017 Pinnacle National Juried Exhibition and the 2017 Distinguished Teaching of Art Award from the College Art Association. Her work is in the collections of the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, N.C.; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Ga.; Tennessee State Museum, Nashville; and corporate and private collections.


Spring gallery hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday, 10 am to 7 pm, and Saturday, 12 pm to 2 pm. The gallery will be closed for Parkland's spring holiday, Friday, March 17.

To find the gallery, we suggest using the M6 parking lot on the north corner of the campus. Enter through Door X7, turn left, and follow the ramps uphill to the highest point of the first floor, where the gallery is located. The gallery windows overlook the outdoor pond area. 

All events in the accessible gallery are free and open to the public. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution. For accommodation, call 217/353-2338 or email


[Cropped image detail: Road Trip, oil on canvas, 60 x 40 inches, 2022]