Parkersburg Art Center puts spotlight on watercolors

Photo by Wayne Towner Martin, left, 12, and Laura Prisc, of Parkersburg, work on a small watercolor piece at their table during Sunday’s opening reception for the West Virginia Watercolor Society’s “Aqueous 2019” exhibit at the Parkersburg Art Center.

PARKERSBURG — Community members and artists with an interest in watercolors gathered Sunday at the Parkersburg Art Center for the opening reception of the “Aqueous 2019” exhibit.

Organized by the West Virginia Watercolor Society, the juried exhibit features over 60 pieces by 42 artists from West Virginia and beyond. The exhibit will on display through June 14 at the art center at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg.

Laura Prisc, of Parkersburg, and Martin, 12, were visiting the reception Sunday. Laura has become interested in learning about watercolors and Martin has taken a number of the classes and activities aimed at youth at the art center.

“It’s a blessing. I think we need more arts in the community and schools. I think we really need to encourage people in all different mediums and all different ages to just play,” she said.

Martha Reynolds, of West Union, has been a WVWS member for years and has participated in several shows at the art center. Her past work has included a period working at Fenton Art Glass painting glasswork.

Photo by Wayne Towner The West Virginia Watercolor Society’s “Aqueous 2019” exhibit opened Sunday at the Parkersburg Art Center. A total of 60 pieces by 42 artists will be on display through June 14 at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg.

“Believe it or not, there’s a lot of similarities between that and watercolor painting,” she said of her time at Fenton.

Katherine Crim, of Clarksburg, was another of the artists featured in the exhibit attending Sunday’s reception.

“I’ve been painting since my mom took a watercolor class and I was 12. Whatever she did, I sat down and did it right next to her,” she said.

Crim said she takes time every week to work on painting and devotes varying amounts of time to different pieces. She has worked three days on a piece or invested a year on another.

“It never gets old, it never gets old making something. Even if it doesn’t turn out like you thought it was going to, it never gets old,” she said.

Linda Elmer, exhibits coordinator for the society, said the WVWS has been coming to Parkersburg off and on for eight years. This is the first time the show has been featured on consecutive years at the art center.

“We had a board meeting last week when we were delivering the pictures and we were saying that we hope to continue to participate and have shows here (at Parkersburg Art Center). It’s such a nice space and the community really comes to see the show,” Elmer said.

Many of the pieces are for sale and several of the artists have made prints of their pieces. These will be available for sale for the duration of the exhibit. The Framing Gallery at the art center always offers a 20 percent discount for art center members.

For this show they are extending that discount to anyone who purchases one of the WV Watercolor Society exhibit prints or if you would like an original piece purchased from the exhibit reframed, said art center managing director Jessie Siefert said.

The West Virginia Watercolor Society was organized in 1984 to guide and inspire watercolor artists, highlight the broad scope of watercolor painting and promote high standards of the art in the state of West Virginia. The society holds workshops, publishes a newsletter and hosts both juried and non-juried exhibitions.

The art center is open 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 12 and under. Wednesdays are free days.

The award winners for “Aqueous 2019” included:

* Best of Show, “Rainwalk,” Sandra Pealer

* Award of Excellence, “Years of Vicissitudes,” Donfeng Li

* Award of Excellence, “Plaza Blanca,” Christine Rhodes

* Award of Excellence, “The Soloist,” Ardythe Joliff

* Award of Merit, “China Texting,” Joye Moon

* Award of Merit, “The Three Fates,” Sidra Kaluszka

* Award of Merit, “Ascend (Again),” Kristen Colebank

* Honorable Mention, “Barn and Corn Rows,” Jim Gerkin

* Honorable Mention, “Forest Bathing,” Monica Wilkins

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