Belleville native wins photography award

Randi Ward’s photograph “Surfacing” was awarded the 2019 Appalachian Anthology Photographic Art Award. (Photo Provided)

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — In conjunction with the Appalachian Heritage Writers Project and the Appalachian Heritage Festival at Shepherd University, Belleville native Randi Ward was announced as the winner of the 2019 Appalachian Anthology Photographic Art Award.

The award will be presented at the Robert C. Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education in Shepherdstown, W.Va., on Tuesday during the “Celebration of Appalachian Song, Storytelling, and Photographic Art” program.

Ward is among the photographers, poets, scholars, essayists and fiction writers included in the 2019 volume of Shepherd University’s Anthology of Appalachian Writers. Ward’s “Surfacing” was selected by Art Curator Michael Mendez for this year’s award.

“Surfacing” was photographed in Belleville, Wood County, as were the other two images by Ward that appear in the new anthology. An exhibition celebrating the artwork featured in the 2019 anthology will remain on display in the Scarborough Library Reading Room at Shepherd University through Sept. 30. The exhibition is free and open to the public and includes work by award-winning photographers such as Athens Poet Laureate Kari Gunter-Seymour and Rachel Herbaugh.

The 11th volume of the Anthology of Appalachian Writers revolves around 2018 W.Va. Common Read Author Karen Spears Zacharias’s themes regarding the complexity of family relationships, PTSD, and the generational traumas of war and violence. Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, Appalachian Studies Coordinator at Shepherd University and Senior Managing Editor of the anthology, called the book “one of the most ambitious yet for the series.”

Randi Ward’s “Gone to Pot” was photographed in Belleville. (Photo Provided)

The Anthology of Appalachian Writers is part of the Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence Project and the W.Va. Center for the Book’s One West Virginia One Book common read program, which provides funding for the volume and distributes the books to schools and public libraries throughout the state.

The Shepherd University Foundation is also a major supporter of the book. The anthology can be purchased at Four Seasons Books, the Shepherd University Book Store, Tamarack, and online.

Randi Ward

Randi Ward’s “Chronic” was photographed in Belleville and will be on display in the Scarborough Library Reading Room at Shepherd University through Sept. 30. (Photo Provided)