Charcoal Drawings by Artist Andi Helfant-Frye on Display at the Sandler Center Art Gallery

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Andi Helfant-Frye’s large figurative charcoal drawings are the latest artwork to be featured in the Sandler Center Art Gallery and can be seen from March 1 through April 30, 2012.

A native of New York, Helfant-Frye, currently a professor and gallery director at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach, has also been an adjunct faculty member at both Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University. Before emerging as a fine artist, she pursued a career in music performance, recording as a guitarist and vocalist. Helfant-Frye then went on to pursue a successful career as a real estate broker. Breaking her 25-year absence from visual arts, she received her Master’s in Fine Arts (MFA) from Old Dominion University in 2008.

In the series exhibited at the Sandler Center Art Gallery, she moves away from her usual extensive use of color and traditional landscape subject matter. Instead, she revisits more traditional media in mostly achromatic soft charcoal to capture the personalities and attitudes of her subjects by examining “how they carry themselves and wear their outer armor.”

“I love feeling the potential color in these works without it actually being there,” she continues.

Helfant-Frye is the recipient of a fellowship from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond as well as awards at both the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show & Festival and the d’Art Center Mid-Atlantic Art Exhibition. Notably, she has exhibited at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and in shows throughout the East Coast.

Come see her large-scale yet intimate charcoal drawings at the Sandler Center Art Gallery from March 1 through April 30, 2012. The gallery is free and open to the public on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or during any performance at the Sandler Center. There will be an opening reception held on Thursday, March 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. celebrating the Sandler Center Art Gallery’s newest exhibit. The reception is free and open to the public and Ms. Helfant-Frye will attend to speak about her artwork.

ABOUT THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH’S OFFICE OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS:  The City of Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs fosters an environment that encourages innovation and excellence within the local arts community. Cultural Affairs, along with the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, funds programs and services that build community and transform lives by enhancing enjoyment, understanding and participation in the arts. For more information on the Office of Cultural Affairs, visit For more information on the Sandler Center Art Gallery, visit