On the First Friday of the New Year, January 6, 2017, artist members of Artworks Around Town at the Centre Market will be showing their newest work. Rarely do so many artists show their work together in any gallery setting.
Artworks Around Town, art cooperative, gallery and gift shop in the Centre Market in Wheeling has been in existence since 1998. Still there are people in the local area who have no idea this organization exists.
This unusual cooperative artist’s group is the only one left from over 30 originally formed artist cooperatives in the state of West Virginia in the 1980s and 1990s. Up until earlier last year there was still one more artist’s cooperative in Davis, WV. Now Artworks is the sole survivor of those cooperatives.
The group of artist members of Artworks are from diverse backgrounds. Few members are ever full time artists; they always have “day jobs”. It’s difficult to survive as a full time artist. Artworks members include teachers, a psychologist, an accountant, a nurse, a beautician, a lawyer, a computer expert, a maintenance supervisor, a manager of a health department, an electrician, and a carpenter by trade. That’s only naming a few of the actual professions of the present 28 members of Artworks.
displayed in the organization’s space in the upper house of the Centre Market. In the gallery space, the visitor will find paintings in oil, watercolor, and acrylic in genres of abstract, realism, and surrealism, photographs, gourd art, carvings of birds, horses, pottery both artistic and household useful, fiber art in silk and knitted, wall tiles, collages, stained glass works, jewelry designed and crafted by member artists. There is more, but visitors are encouraged to seek out artistic surprises for themselves in the gallery space.
This year two small sitting areas were added to the gallery along with an extensive library of art books which can be read by visitors. There is also a small gift shop among all the other areas for browsing.This coming First Friday on January 6th, gallery hop visitors will be able to view the newest, the latest, or work never shown before by Artwork’s member artists. It’s an unusual situation and a show well worth a visit.