Local artist and musician Thelma Peterson rings in the New Year with a new album “Of Salt and Sand” .
These songs were written, recorded, and performed by Thelma in celebration of the rich heritage and people of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where salty waters and shifting island sands have blessed and shaped the lives of many who, for generations, have called it home…her home.
This is a free download, but if you wish to give a donation to the Barrier Islands Center, please CLICK HERE.
Thelma Jarvis Peterson grew up on the waters of the Chesapeake. With her father, grandfather, and brothers, she set, hauled, and mended nets – and rowed, scraped, and painted wooden boats. Her mother and grandmother could be in the kitchen stirring chowder and frying crab cakes, but “tomboy” Thelma would be either on the water or at its edge.
Now a grandmother herself, Thelma captures her childhood memories of life by the Bay with a brilliance that rivals a full October moon over a Chesapeake creek winding through the marsh on high tide.
As a young adult, Thelma moved from her hometown of Norfolk to Virginia’s Eastern Shore where she has lived ever since. She is a gifted painter, sculptor, singer, and songwriter whose celebrated works merit attention and appreciation throughout the Chesapeake region and beyond. She has painted professionally for forty years A lifelong avid conservationist, Thelma contributes a substantial measure of her own work to organizations seeking to restore and preserve the Bay’s natural environment and protect its cultural heritage.
Thelma’s roots on the Eastern Shore run deep. Her first known ancestor on her father’s side landed on Old Plantation Creek in Northampton County in 1635, and she can trace her mother’s family to Chincoteague and Assateague in the 1700s. Generations of Eastern Shore watermen, boat builders, and farmers populate her family tree. Thelma’s roots both “bayside” and “seaside” nourish a passion to preserve the Shore’s history, lore, and pristine beauty that reveals itself calmly and gently in her paintings and songs. The passion flowed into Thelma’s pivotal role in creating and establishing the Barrier Islands Center in Machipongo, an especially fine museum that hosts numerous cultural and educational events throughout the year.
Thelma lives, paints, writes, sings, records, and thrives in her home on Jacobus Creek, a Chesapeake tributary on the Eastern Shore’s bayside. She and her daughter Erika often perform together and are a favored attraction at local festivals and non-profit fundraisers. Her son Charles is her technical advisor and her three grandchildren, Victor, Rosa, and Perla, share her love and appreciation of nature.
Thelma’s paintings are exhibited at the Lemon Tree Gallery on Mason Avenue in Cape Charles.