Chalk artists needed for event

Ken Gilbert is looking for chalk artists – young and old, professional and non-professional. He plans to fill the Market Street pavement from Fifth to Seventh streets with chalk artwork on June 14-16 as part of Parkersburg’s celebration of West Virginia’s 150th birthday. As of this week, Gilbert, a retired art teacher at Parkersburg High School, had signed up 11 professional artists, 20 elementary school-age children and older students for the downtown chalk festival. Gilbert got the idea for the event after attending last year’s Sarasota Chalk Festival in Florida. Students from Parkersburg and Parkersburg South high schools, Williamstown High School, Washington State Community College and West Virginia University at Parkersburg have signed up for the Market Street chalk festival. Artists provide their own ideas for artwork, which doesn’t have to be connected to the sesquicentennial. Sponsors are Craft 2000, Parkersburg Art Center and Parkersburg Area Community Foundation. In connection with the celebration, an art show will be set up all week in the West Virginia University at Parkersburg downtown center at 707 Market St., Gilbert said. Interested chalk artists can leave a message at 304-428-2164.

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The Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival was hoping to land Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. for the June 21-23 event at Parkersburg City Park but was unable to match the singer’s asking price, said Bea Corra, entertainment director. Opening night at the Multi-Cultural Festival will be Latin Music Night featuring Grupo Fuego from Cleveland. The Sweetback Sisters from Brooklyn, N.Y., a country music group that has performed on Mountain Stage, is scheduled to perform Sunday afternoon at the Multi-Cultural Festival. The festival has three entertainment spots to fill with ethnic performances. “Our mission is to bring something new that people haven’t seen here,” Corra said. Murphy, West Virginia native and “America’s Got Talent” winner in 2011, is scheduled to perform on June 22 at the Tyler County Fairgrounds in Middlebourne.

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The inaugural Vienna Jazz Festival has a new name, date and location. Initially planned for June 7-8 in the parking lot at Fishbone, at 17th Street along the Ohio River in Vienna, the jazz festival has been moved to Aug. 24 in the grassy lot next to the parking lot at Fishbone, said David Wells, festival director/musician. The event will feature Warren Hill, Julian Vaughn, David Wells and Chris Geith and possibly another jazz musician, Wells said. A ceremony at the beginning of the festival will recognize local jazz promoter Gene Donaway, who died in 2004. Originally, the event was to be called the Gene Donaway West Virginia Jazz Festival, Wells said.

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Today and Sunday will be extra sweet for Jason Wyers, owner of DownTown Specialty Bakery at 529 Market St. in Parkersburg. Wyers’ friend Wendy Kromer-Schell-Martha Stewart’s wedding cakes designer-will be giving a cookie-decorating class today and a cake-decorating class Sunday at the Parkersburg bakery. Kromer-Schell’s resume includes 10 years as a Paris-based fashion model, provided cake-decorating classes in China, Brazil and New York City, contributing editor for Martha Stewart Living magazine, produced wedding cakes seen in Martha Stewart Weddings, co-authored a wedding cakes book with Stewart, and runs Wendy Kromer Confections, a bakery/design studio in Sandusky, Ohio.

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People of all ages participated in last Sunday’s first community exercising event-a 3.5-mile walk (with stops along the way) through downtown Parkersburg starting and ending at Bicentennial Park. The “Sunday in D’Park” program continues this Sunday at 2 p.m. with free Zumba classes, taught by Carla Adams and Tammy McGee, at Third and Market streets (farmers market location). Linda McClead is organizing the Sunday events.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com