The Free Lance-Star, VA
March 18 2004
Work by Picasso, Miró, others at MWC
Picassos, Pissarros and Mirós are included in the art collection of
Tia and Robert Cadow. The paintings can be seen at the Ridderhof
Martin Gallery on the MWC campus.
By ADELE UPHAUS
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Alexandra Nechita is just 18, but she’s already one of the most
recognized names in the art world.
The Romanian-born child prodigy started drawing with pen and ink when
she was 2 years old and held her first show at the age of 8.
Today, she’s known as the “petite Picasso,” and her colorful cubist
paintings, which often go to benefit organizations like the September
11th Fund and the Special Olympics, sell out to masses of art
Fredericksburg residents can see two of Nechita’s original paintings
at the Ridderhof Martin Gallery on the MWC campus in a show opening
tonight. They also can see a work by her inspiration–Pablo Picasso
himself–and art by other 20th century masters such as Joan Miró,
Camille Pissarro and Marc Chagall.
“Contemporary Masters: Selected Works From a Private Collection” will
be on display at the gallery through June 6, with an opening
The collection belongs to local couple Robert and Tia Cadow, who own
Fredericksburg Supplies and Rentals near Four-Mile Fork. The show
represents a wide variety of 20th-century genres, from impressionism
to abstraction. Tying it together are themes of color, vitality and
“They’re all very different styles–it’s a nice mix,” Tia Cadow said
of the collection.
Not only is the collection varied by style, it’s also a veritable
United Nations of artists. There’s the Spanish Picasso and Miró, the
French Pissarro and the Russian Chagal. There’s work by the
Armenian-born Yuroz, whose bright, abstract paintings depict quietly
intimate moments between couples, and vigorous character studies by
Italian Aldo Luongo, who dedicated a painting of a red-haired
ballerina to Tia Cadow.
The collection also includes cartoonist Al Hirschfeld and Iranian
Abrishami Hessam, whose color-washed canvases look like something
from a daydream.
Cadow said she and her husband purchased their first piece of art in
1990–a seriograph, or limited edition print, by Linnea Pergola,
depicting a bustling Times Square cityscape. After that, she was
“It just started,” she said.
She doesn’t consider herself or her husband “into art” in the sense
that they feel they need to buy a certain painting in order to
complete their collection. Rather, she purchases art when it appeals
“We buy them because we like them, not because of value. They’re
fun,” Cadow said.
For the most part, the works that appeal to her are bold, lively and
colorful, such as “Friendship” by Aldo Luongo, which depicts three
women with champagne glasses raised high, and a street scene by
Pissarro, which the couple acquired from London only two weeks ago.
“It shows all the street painters and it’s very colorful,” she said.
The Cadows also own several works by local artists and are fans of
the local art scene.
The collection has never been exhibited before, Cadow said. The
exhibition came about because the college is their client and Cadow
offered to lend the paintings to the gallery.
“I’m excited about it,” she said. “I’m excited to see people’s
reactions. The paintings are fun to look at. They’re just very