To celebrate the sesquicentennial anniversary of the statehood of West Virginia, Artworks Around Town, located at 2200 Market Street in the Centre Market, has created a once in a lifetime show of six celebrated West Virginia artists. As always, the opening of this show is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Marilyn Hughey Phillis, curator of gallery shows at Artworks created this celebratory show to display the work of West Virginia artists and remind the public of the rich history of arts in West Virginia. The show includes Anne H. Foreman, Susan Poffenbarger, Pat Roberts, Robert Wren Smith, Brian Taylor, and Linda J.C. Turner. All these artists are award winners and honored for their individual skill in their chosen mediums including watercolor, acrylics, oil, and mixed media assemblage.
Local artists included in the show are Anne Hazlett Foreman and Brian V. Taylor, both members of Artworks. Anne Hazlett Foreman, well known as an acrylic artist who has illustrated a number of local history books, is also well known for her numerous paintings of dogs and other animals, including cats and birds. Anne is an active reinactor with the Fort Henry Days celebration and other local historical events. She graduated from Mt. deChantal Academy and from Chatham College with an excellent command of her choice of medium whether acrylic or watercolor. Anne has created numerous murals of local history which are displayed at Wilson Lodge in Oglebay Park and at the Artwork’s gallery in the Centre Market.
Brian V. Taylor, also an active member of Artworks Around Town, is a self-taught late developing artist. He completed 13 lessons in pencil and ink with the 12 Famous Artists Course, but was never able to finish the remaining art lesson in 1957. Never daunted, Brian, in 2002, once again entered a correspondence school of art, the Stratford Career Institute, and completed the courses with high honors. Later in 2002, Brian was juried into Artworks. Brian works mainly in acrylic to create mostly landscapes of dramatic beauty. Taylor strongly believes that the artist in his soul will create his artistic character and destiny, according to the vision of the beauty of the Eternal Mind.
From other parts of WV are Linda J.C. Turner, of Jane Lew, a superb watercolorist, Susan Poffenbarger of Charleston, the well-know landscape artist, Pat Roberts mainly a watercolorist who incorporates every medium possible into her work with her “Coal Series” documenting the history of WV coal mining, and Robert Wren Smith, of Vienna, WV who creates superb landscapes, portraits and still life.
Robert Wren Smith is a well schooled and creative watercolorist with numerous prizes and awards from various West Virginia art shows. His boyhood to adulthood love of sketching has continued to develop his skill along with his many courses of study at the Cincinnati Art Academy, Marietta College, and WVU at Parkersburg, where he now teaches. Smith’s current interest is in character studies of people, not the “beautiful people”, but the people with character in their faces.
Robert Wren Smith is always looking for lighting that enhances or presents a dramatic effect regardless of the subject. He believes he improved greatly as an artist once he began to understand the real beauty of light and color. Painting and drawing have always been part of his life’s work and given him a greater understanding of our environment and God’s great creations.
Pat Roberts, daughter of a coal miner, is trying to recreate some of the history of the coal mines and towns that surrounded those mines. She is relying on her skill as a master of many mediums to create this West Virginia Coal Mine Series. She and her husband and four children have backpacked the area of the New River Gorge Canyon to view old coal tipples and the remaining evidence of the coal mining communities in the area of Caperton, Thurmond, Beury and Mann’s Creek.
Linda J.C. Turner is a nationally recognized artist who has been awarded numerous awards for her watercolors in shows in West Virginia and elsewhere.
She has received awards from both the National Watercolor Society and the American Watercolor Society. Throughout her career as artist, illustrator, teacher and business woman, Linda has created watercolors that have been exhibited in many nationally juried exhibitions. Her works of art are included in permanent collection at the West Virginia Development Office in the Capitol in Charleston and in the collection of the University of Charleston in its Woman Artists of West Virginia Collection.
Susan Poffenbarger has provided little information of her work other than some lovely photos of her superb landscapes. She is a Charleston resident and is well known in southern WV for her works which highlight the loveliness of the West Virginia landscape. Her pastels are often devoid of humans but filled with a tenderness and touch of an artist captivated by her surroundings.
This show represents the variety and skill of some of West Virginia’s many fine artists. They are merely a small group who are representing the deep cultural heritage of West Virginia which is filled with a long history of dedicated and talented artists.