PARKERSBURG - The National Society of Arts and Letters continues to be active in the Ohio River Valley. It serves young artists by holding local and national competitions in various art forms as well as scholarships in the visual arts and voice. In doing so, it creates opportunities for artistic expression and performance.
The local chapter, the Ohio River Valley Chapter, was founded in Marietta in 1955 by Mrs. George White, the first lady of Ohio. It now includes many members from West Virginia. Recently, officers for the local chapter were elected for 2012-2014. They are: president, Jeanne Tasse; vice president for Marietta, Jane Morris; vice president for Parkersburg, Terri Bush; secretary, Gail Popp; treasurer, Charles Pridgeon.
The objectives of the society are to aid and assist young artists, to create opportunities for artistic expression and to promote higher public interest in the arts. The program recently held at the November meeting gave students from local high and middle schools an opportunity to artistically express themselves in their own art forms and be recognized and applauded for their accomplishments.
Josh Dehaven and Shelby Varner from Parkersburg High School played "Song for Japan," a duet on trombones.
Shannara Stetson from Marietta High School showed a sampling of her paintings in oil, watercolor and in pencil. Her subject matter was imaginative and bordered on fantasy.
Hailey Bibbe from Parkersburg South High School read one of her poems, which was well received.
Morgan Stanley from Marietta Middle School and from Stacey's Dance Studio presented a beautifully executed dance, "Sweet Blossoms," as she cast about flower petals from hidden pockets.
Ryan Phipps from Parkersburg High School played on the cello a moving selection of J.S. Bach.
Each young artist was warmly applauded by the attendees.
The Winston Scholarship Program invites young singers and visual artists to apply for funds to further their instruction in those fields. The Nicholson-Nielsen Trust Fund provides the award monies for the annual national competition in art, dance, drama, literature, music and musical theater. These competitions are preceded by local competitions in the same fields. The winners are then sent to the national competition with all expenses paid.
"The Ohio River Valley Chapter will go on offering opportunities and encouragement to young artists to pursue their talents in the arts," Tasse said.
For more information on the activities of the National Society of Arts and Letters, go to www.arts-nsal.org.