About 5 of the outdoor painters from Leesburg area gathered at Venetian Gardens last Thursday (the 14th of May) for some sketching and painting. The gardens are just about 4 miles north of Hawthorne Park.
Although I have painted here fairly often I never really knew much about it's history.
In the late 1930's the gardens got it's start as a Federal Emergency Relief Administration project. It was designed to create work to feed Leesburg in the midst of the Great Depression. Locals were able to plant gardens there to actually produce food for their families. The gardens have had many many changes and improvements as the years went along. There was a pool for locals to swim for many years, a baseball diamond, boat docks, islands and bridges (many of those remain). Although the pool is gone.
In the past two years a large new "community" building (called "The Venetian Center" has been built there and was just dedicated last November. That is what you see above. This is a nice new venue to be rented out for weddings and other events.
According to what I read, another building is set to built here at the park nearby which will be a restaurant. Covid 19 may slow those plans down now, I expect...as all restaurants are in jeopardy and having difficulties. And the economic downturn will no doubt impact these plans too.
We could not do our usual lunch out afterwards due to "social distancing" right now. But some gals brought picnic lunches. It was in the upper 80s and very breezy that day. Quite pleasant. And it is always uplifting to be outdoors sketching! We are "hoping" weather will let us try a painting time in downtown Leesburg next Thursday! So far weather looks good.