February Windows


It may be February but at the RAL Art Center Gallery we never let the “Winter Doldrums” take over! This month our Gallery Windows will display the works of two artists, Cate Kauffman and Rob Shutler.

Cate Kauffman calls herself a Contemporary Realism Painter. She is heavily influenced by J. Singer Sargent, the well-known artist of the late 1800’s – early 1900’s who was famous for his masterful portraits and landscapes. Cate’s work reflects this flavor in the pieces she will have in the Gallery Windows of which some are oil paintings and some are pastels. All of the pieces are landscapes of different areas, some local such as her oil painting entitled Pumpkin Hill Lane, which shows the embracing trees lining the lane leading to her house. Cate often enjoys painting outdoors, “en plein air”, to capture the light reflecting off the trees and the shadows cast across the path. As you will see, Pumpkin Hill Lane invites you to come and stroll through its arch of trees. Her goal for 2022 is to complete a series of landscape scenes in Northumberland County.

Cate attended a high school with a strong focus on the arts and then attended a year at VCU as an art major before switching her major to public relations/journalism. After a 30-year hiatus to raise her children and pursue a career she has returned to painting with great success, showing her work in multiple venues and also teaching some workshops. Cate is happy to take commissions for portraits and special landscapes that spark memories for her patrons.


Robert Shutler is an award-winning architect who has practiced in Arlington for forty years and has now found a quiet place here on the NNK. His second home on the NNK affords him an opportunity to return to painting, which he has done for many years, working en plein air sketches or renderings done from photos that he has taken while traveling. As an architect, he is interested in how light defines the subject that he is painting. Although known for his ‘digital paintings’ and watercolors, Rob has now turned to oil pastels for his primary medium as he finds that the oil pastels maintain the spontaneity of watercolor, but also allow more editing in the way that oil paint does. This medium can also be worked like a pencil or have the effects of a brush. In the Gallery Windows, Rob will have a variety of subjects ranging from buildings to landscapes to animals. There is a delightful tree frog on a branch, the harbinger of late spring/summer on the horizon… and another animal rarely seen on the NNK in any season; come see if you find it! You can see the full range of Rob Shutler’s works in the RAL Art Center Gallery.