New Parkersburg Art Center exhibit is the cat’s meow

Photo by Wayne Towner Lori Elliott, a volunteer with the Humane Society of Parkersburg, views one of the paintings at Sunday’s opening reception at the Parkersburg Art Center.

PARKERSBURG — The Parkersburg Art Center has gone to the dogs and cats through the month of August with the 2019 Regional Exhibit and its theme “Bow WOW Meow.”

The pet-themed exhibit kicked off with an opening reception Sunday and will be on display through Aug. 24 at the art center at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg.

Abby Hayhurst, the art center’s artistic director said 68 pieces are on display. The Regional show, which is held on odd-numbered years, is for amateur and professional artists who live within 100 miles of Parkersburg. It alternates with The River exhibit — held on even-numbered years — which is a juried exhibit for professional artists throughout West Virginia and Ohio.

While not all of the artwork follows the pet theme, most did and several are pieces done specifically for the show, Hayhurst said.

“It’s a popular theme, everybody loves pets,” she said.

Photo by Wayne Towner Deanna Spring, of Vienna, examines the Best of Show piece, “Pooches’ Portraits” by Erica Ash, on Sunday for the opening of the “Bow WOW Meow” 2019 Regional Exhibit at the Parkersburg Art Center.

As part of Sunday’s reception, several people brought pets. Hayhurst said that is not rare since the art center is open to pet owners with well-behaved pets as long as owners take care of any accidents. The Humane Society of Parkersburg also had several adoptable pets at the reception, she said.

Tracy Love, of Belpre, is among the artists on display. She received first prize for theme in Sunday’s exhibit.

Love said she has been interested in art since childhood and works mainly in acrylics, usually in illustrations or abstracts. The art center show is her first public exhibition since high school.

“It’s a lot of fun and it’s amazing to see all of the different pieces of artwork, the different styles and the community coming together to create this awesome show,” she said.

Love said she had taken a break from painting for several months when she learned about the Regional show and its theme. She spent five hours an evening for two weeks to create a painting for the exhibit showing two dogs and a cat in the rain, with a humorous twist.

Photo by Wayne Towner A total of 68 pieces are on display through Aug. 24 at the Parkersburg Art Center’s 2019 Regional Exhibit. This year’s theme is “Bow WOW Meow.”

“It sparked a passion in me to get creative again and start doing more,” she said of the work.

Vienna resident Deanna Spring was among the visitors enjoying the exhibit during Sunday’s reception.

“I’m a dog lover so I really enjoy seeing all of the artists’ interpretation of dogs’ personalities,” she said.

“Bow WOW Meow” will be open for viewing Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Aug. 24. Daily admission to the art center is $2 for non-members, with no charge for children under 12 and the art center is always free on Wednesdays.

The prizes awarded at Sunday’s reception included:

* First prize 2-D, Virginia Killian, “Waiting on the Muskingum”

* First prize, photo/digital, Shilla Wilson, “Bird with Attitude”

* First prize, 3-D, Lavana Lemley, “Zoomies”

* First prize, theme, Tracy Love, “It’s Raining on the Cats and Dogs”

* Ruth and Ron Tepley Best in Show, Erica Ash, “Pooches’ Portraits”

Awards of Merit:

* Louise Braddock, “Best Seat in the House)

* Karen Chamblin, “Are You Going to Eat That?”

* Chris Eaton, “Fly … Dragonflies”

* Cheryl Ryan Harshman, “Party Animal”

* Judy Mattsen Reed, “Marbles and Curious”

* Carol McDonough, “The Stakeout”

* Dayne Thomas, “Maddie’s First Love”

Wayne Towner can be reached at wtowner@newsandsentinel.com

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