Magnolias new photo exhibition reflects restaurant menu

A new photo exhibit in Purcellville’s Magnolias at the Mill has not only made the banquet hall a little more colorful, it has also accentuated the food its patrons eat every day.

Over the past few months, Dave Levinson, a local designer, photographer and one of three artists who opened the Purcellville Art Gallery in July, has installed a permanent exhibition of photographs in the restaurant, with photos showing the rural countryside and county wildlife. The photos show vineyards, farms and wildlife. Executive Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin said it was a display that mirrors Magnolias’ Loudoun-centric menu and a reminder of where the restaurant’s food comes from: Loudoun Farms.

Levinson’s exhibit, which took six months to design and install, features four enlarged photographs printed on individual canvas panels that fit neatly between the banquet hall wall studs.

There is an 8 foot photo of a rainbow arching over a barn off Telegraph Springs Road that is made up of five individual canvas panels, a 6 foot photo of Hillsborough Vineyards made up of three panels and two smaller photographs of a red autumn tree and a goose landing in a pond on Mount Gilead.

Levinson said the reception has been more positive than he initially thought.

“I get a lot of feelings, it’s always rewarding,” he said. “It’s just something I love to do, I love Loudoun County, I love the beauty here.”

Aside from the wonder that the photos stir,Foxx-Nettnin said the exhibit represents the restaurant’s food sources. Magnolias gets its beef from Spring House Farm Store in Hamilton, its lettuce from Endless Summer Harvest in Purcellville, its pork from Sweet Fern Farm in Lovettsville and, more generally, all of its vegetables from Loudoun Farms.

Purcellville photographer Dave Levinson recently set up a permanent exhibition of photographs at Magnolias in the Moulin banquet hall, depicting Loudoun’s rural countryside.

[Patrick Szabo/Loudoun Now]

Foxx-Nettnin,who has worked as a chef for more than two decades,said the restaurant regularly partners with 10 local farms and smaller farms when they can. He said that while buying local produce and meat is better for everyone, it costs around three times the price it would normally cost to stock the kitchen than when buying from a wholesaler. .

As an example, he said Magnolias spent $ 5.30 per pound of ground beef raised in Loudoun, when it would normally cost around $ 1.50 per pound to get it from a wholesaler.

In addition to simply buying locally grown and raised food, Foxx-Nettnin said Magnolias ends up becoming an extension of the farmers it buys from, as staff have a say in the types of food animals buy and eat from. during their lifetime. He said the restaurant also sends his leftovers to these farms to feed the pigs he buys.

“The flow of it all is very circular,” he said.

Foxx-Nettnin said he would like to see even more of the local agricultural representation Levinson has already brought to the restaurant, perhaps by installing a photograph showing a farmer looking across his field at his cattle or produce.

Levinson, who has been a landscape photographer for about 15 years, said he could make it happen if restaurant owner Shawn Malone approves.

Although Levinson has said he has no other photo exhibitions planned at the moment, he has directed several episodes in the area. The most prominent of these can be seen at the Lululemon yoga clothing store in Merrifield, where he has installed 100 feet of printed glass around the building that displays his photos.

His landscape photographs can be viewed on

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