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Student art exhibit display various works

PARKERSBURG – Works of art produced by students from 17 West Virginia counties were on display Saturday during the West Virginia Art Education Association’s Youth Art Month 2-D and 3-D Exhibition at the Parkersburg Art Center.

Joe Semple, a member of the WVAEA and art teacher at Tyler Consolidated High School, said the exhibit represents different media and the works shown were done by students from kindergarten to high school.

“We have a very wide variety of media but there are probably more paintings than anything else,” he said. “But even within the paintings there is a wide variety of media from watercolors to oils.”

Semple said the schools are limited to four two-dimensional works and a fifth if it is a water color since it is in a separate category, and three works in the three dimensional category for works using technology.

The judging of the submissions took place last week by Carl O’Dell, a retired teacher from Richwood. O’Dell was the coordinator of the show for 20 years, Semple said.

Larry Roe, an art teacher from Phillipi and Belington Middle Schools, said the technology category features items that range from computer manipulation of a photo to works created entirely on a computer.

Brittany Weekley, a senior at Tyler Consolidated High School, won first place for sculpting. Her piece was “Lady Damara” and the subject was fellow student Damara Winfrey. Weekley said she began working on sculpture during her sophomore year and intends to follow through with it in college.

“I had a sculpture last year, but it didn’t get anything but I like it,” she said. “It was a big wire piece that was about seven feet tall.

“I plan to go to WVU and major in sculpture.”

Winfrey won first place in the mixed media division with “The Ties That Bind.”

During a session where the students could talk with faculty from college art departments and have their portfolios evaluated, Winfrey said she met with representatives from Fairmont State University, Concord University and Marshall University. Her favorite works are in watercolor and drawing.

“I’d like to stay with 2D design,” Winfrey said. “I also like print making and I’m open to different options.”

Winfrey, who was home schooled until the eighth grade, said she got interested in art classes when she went to public school for sports.

“I absolutely hated the sport I was playing but I quit,” she said. “During my freshman year I had my first actual art class and I really enjoyed it. I was inspired by my dad, he was into art too.”

Her mother, Brandy, said her daughter’s artistic talent was evident at a young age.

“Instead of bringing me her work when she was done, she brought me pictures,” she said. “She drew on all of her assignments, everything I’d give her to do would have pictures in the corner.”

Dr. Lauri Reidmiller, an assistant professor of art of Concord State University, said in similar shows she has observed, more students tend to be moving to digital work and graphic design.

“Many of them also want to get into animation,” she said. “Art education is still extremely strong in West Virginia and that can be seen here today. It’s still strong in the northern states.”

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