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Parkersburg Art Center to open new exhibits

Stuffed creatures made by the Passion Works Studio (Image Provided)

PARKERSBURG — Two new exhibits will open Friday at the Parkersburg Art Center in downtown Parkersburg.

Artbeat Studio and Passion Works Studio will present “Shared Vision: The Passion of the Human Spirit” showcasing work made by two studios serving artists with developmental differences.

The opening reception will be 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at the art center at Eighth and Market streets. The exhibits will remain on display through April 11.

The reception is free for art center members and $10 for non-members, payable at the door.

The Artbeat Studio is a collaborative art studio in downtown Parkersburg. The backbone of the Artbeat Studio is a group of talented artists with developmental differences creating masterpieces from up-cycled materials. The collaborative process helps create an environment that fosters accessibility, inclusion, abundance and compassion to ensure communities are united and live their best lives, organizers said.

“Butterfly” by Rylee Roseanna (Image Provided)

Passion Works Studio is a collaborative community arts center in Athens, Ohio. At the heart and soul of Passion Works is a core group of artists with developmental differences. This collective creates aesthetically and conceptually powerful works of art, a vibrant hand-made product line and the visual evidence of the spirit of Athens.

The collaborative practice encourages connection, purpose and belonging for the individual artists and community at large.

On Saturday, The Geppetto Woodcarvers and artist Joe Bello will be set up in the main gallery of the art center from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Woodcarvers will be demonstrating their craft and letting children and adults try their hand at soap carving.

Bello is a self-taught artist whose art focuses on Pareidolia in commercial food product imagery, creating unique pieces by reusing what we often throw away. The Arty Party project that day will be creating bird feeders or sculptures out of wooden craft sticks.

March 21 will be the annual Art-O-Rama event which closes out the Arty Party series. The event features a variety of performances and activities from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

“Anna’s House” by Anna Fulks, Cardon Smith, Sarina Winner, Paul Cole and Wendy Ving (Image Provided)

“We invite in the other local non-profit arts groups and celebrate what this community has to offer young people,” said Jessie Siefert, the art center’s managing director. “There are multiple hands-on arts and crafts as well as brief performances by Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet, Schrader Youth Ballet, The Smoot Youth Band, Williamstown Strings and Guild Builders. Mountwood Park will have a naturalist display and the NICA Mountain Biking program for kids will be on hand with information and a cycling craft,” she said.

Art center hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $2 for non-members but always free for art center members and children ages 12 and under. Wednesdays are free days.

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