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Regional exhibit invites area artists

“Treasure in the Wild” oil by Sandra Osgood. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The newest exhibit at the Parkersburg Art Center will open Sunday and features 163 works submitted by 63 amateur and professional artists.

The regional exhibit is titled “Wild at Art” and was open to West Virginia and Ohio artists who live within 100 miles of Parkersburg.

It will remain on display through Sept. 15 and is open to viewing Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the art center at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg. Daily admission is $2 for non-art center members.

The opening reception is 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday and is open to the public. Admission is $10 for non-members, with no charge for members or children under age 12.

Art Center Director Abby Hayhurst said the artists were challenged to interpret the theme for themselves, and most took “wild” to mean “untamed,” or “of nature,” although many chose to work in wild colors, and wild abstract patterns.

“Funky Fish” and “Flying Fish” metal sculpture by Melony Gingery. (Photo Provided)

“This is not only the largest regional exhibit we’ve ever had, it’s also the most colorful! We have 163 different approaches to wild,” Hayhurst said.

Works include paintings, photographs, drawings in ink and pencil, textiles, and sculptures in bronze, wood and clay.

“There really is something for everyone. Styles range from highly detailed realistic pieces to abstracts that invite viewers to crawl in and interpret the work for themselves. This diversity is part of the fun of the regional,” she said.

Cash prizes will be awarded during Sunday’s opening. Juror for the exhibit was Dr. Alison Helm, Director of the School of Art & Design at West Virginia University. Helm chose prizes in four categories: two-dimensional, three-dimensional, photo/digital, and theme.

Helm also chose six special prizes which included Best in Show, awards that honor late art center supporters Dr. Ghassan Khalil and Ruth Tepley, as well as prizes honoring the art center’s Board of Trustees and the Regional Exhibit’s sponsor, United Bank.

“North Sea” acrylic by Virginia Killian (Photo Provided)

“The sixth special award is a purchase prize, meaning that the art center will buy the work and make it a part of our Permanent Collection,” Hayhurst said. “Only one prize remains to be picked, and that is the Peoples’ Choice Award. Everyone who comes to see the show gets a ballot and can choose their favorite. This prize will be announced on the show’s last day,” she said.

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