Casteel’s farmhouses, General Pickett collection, abstracts, plein air art and Patrick Gorman at Arts Council’s First Friday July 5

“The Farmsteads of the Gettysburg Battlefield,” a series of new watercolors by renowned sculptor, artist and Cashtown resident Gary Casteel, opens at the Adams County Arts Council’s Arts Education Center, 125 S. Washington St., Gettysburg, on First Friday July 5 with a public reception from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Casteel is best known for sculpting the popular equestrian monument honoring General James Longstreet that stands on West Confederate Avenue in the Gettysburg National Military Park. But this multi-dimensional artist has a devoted following as a painter of historically significant landmarks and scenes.

“It will be an interpretive, educational show,” Casteel says. “You’ll have the painting, which will be my interpretation of a farm site on the battlefield.  Then next to it will be a black-and-white photograph of the site, accompanied by a short history of what occurred on that site.”   He’ll discuss his new work in brief remarks at 5:30 p.m.  The exhibit runs through August.

Through Casteel’s friendship with historical researcher Billie Earnest, an impressive display of memorabilia from the General George Pickett and wife Sallie Corbell Pickett families will also be on display Friday evening and on Saturday, July 6, from 10 am to 2 p.m.  Earnest will present a program about her collection at 6 p.m.

A native Virginian, Billie Earnest’s collection includes extensive genealogical research on both the Pickett and Corbell families, copies of the families’ coats of arms, copies of books written by and autographed by Corbell, a letter to her grandson detailing the family history, and several original, unpublished photos of family members. Also on display will be items that belonged to General and Mrs. Pickett like a Sheffield silver cream pot, a set of pearl handled fruit knives, an engraved silver serving spoon, and one of the ropes that lowered Corbell’s casket into the ground at her reburial in 1999.

According to Earnest, “I have been asked many times by people who come to my programs if I’m related to General or Mrs. Pickett.  My answer is not when I started doing the research, but I am now!  And then I tell them that my sister married General Pickett’s great great nephew.  They met at the unveiling of a stone marker for the General’s brother, Major Charles Pickett. I have met many Pickett and Corbell family members who have shared their thoughts and family pictures with me.  Because of my research, many members of these two families have met each other for the first time.”

Actor Patrick Gorman who portrayed General Hood in the movie Gettysburg will join Casteel and Earnest and be on hand for a meet and greet. Abstract art by 45 Arts Council member artists plus plein air pieces painted during the Gettysburg Festival by Amy Lindenberger, Alan McBeth, Lisa Kyle, Dorothea Barrick, Corey Fou Chong, Cortez Lawrence, and Jane Albin will also be on display.

For more information about upcoming exhibits, classes, programs or membership, visit or call (717) 334-5006.

Gettysburg Festival

The Adams County Arts Council’s mission is to cultivate an arts-rich community.