Three exhibits open at Parkersburg Art Center

PARKERSBURG – Despite a weekend of snow and cold temperatures, nearly 100 people turned out Sunday for the joint opening of three new exhibits at the Parkersburg Art Center in downtown Parkersburg.

The exhibition featured the works of Parkersburg resident Virginia Killian, Marietta native and San Francisco resident Peter Green and Richmond, Va., resident Ben Stout.

All three exhibits will remain on display through March 10 at the art center at Eighth and Market streets.

The art center’s Main Gallery features Stout’s exhibit, called “Trying to Be With You.” Stout creates sculptures from a variety of materials, including tape. He is a Fountainhead Fellow in Sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

The Esbenshade Gallery is displaying an exhibit called “Creating Out Loud,” featuring over 70 paintings and a few other works by Killian. Prior to retiring, she taught art in the Wood County School system and continues to offer classes at the art center.

Killian, who has long been active at the art center, said the current exhibit is her first large show at the center. She has had individual works displayed other exhibits at the center – such as the annual Regional exhibition in which she has won a couple of awards – but this is the first time she has filled one of the galleries herself.

“I’m thrilled about it,” she said Sunday. “It’s nice for me to see so many of my works together at one time.”

Sallie Guffanti, of Sandyville in Jackson County, was among the visitors attending Sunday’s opening of the three exhibits. Guffanti said she attends as many openings as she can and also knows Killian, which gave her more reason to attend Sunday’s program, despite the weather.

“We like to support the gallery in any way we can, so we roughed it through the snow to get here,” she said Sunday.

The third exhibit which opened Sunday featured Green’s “Thematic Portraits,” a limited series of oil paintings and drawings on display in the art center’s Mezzanine Gallery.

After growing up in Marietta, Green recently completed a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. While his works are on display at the art center, he will teach a class in figurative drawing and painting beginning Saturday.

The four-week class will be 2-4 p.m. on each Saturday from Feb. 9 to March 2. The cost is $85 for art center members and $100 for non-members. The class is for adult students of moderate to advanced skill levels. More information is available by calling the art center at 304-485-3859.

Green said the art center show is his first showing since graduation and he is looking forward to the experience. He was pleased with Sunday’s turnout, despite the snowy weather, and said he has received a lot of positive responses to his work.

The art center exhibit and classes are a good start to what Green said he would like to do in the future. He is interested in doing more gallery shows and teaching, both through workshops like the art center and at the university level. He also wants to do freelance artwork.

“I’m looking forward it,” he said of the workshop he will be teaching at the art center. “I hope people show up, I hope there’s some enthusiasm in the area for that kind of thing.”

The art center will also begin offering its mid-winter classes beginning in February, including adult classes in digital photography, stained glass, knitting, clay and drawing and children’s classes in clay, painting and other activities.

To learn more, visit or contact 304-485-3859.