Artists Mary Jo Sims and John Turner at Berkeley Art Works

Retirement Idyl:  Artwork by Mary Jo Sims and John Turner is an exhibit of paintings, drawings, collage, prints and mixed media artwork by two Berkeley Arts Council members, on display at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street, Martinsburg.

Turner Powerball

John Turner loved to draw during his grade school years.  Until he attended classes through the Berkeley Arts Council, he had never taken an art class, or received formal art instruction.  “My experience with the instructors has stimulated a strong desire on my part to explore, risk, and discipline my artistic efforts.  The courses are conducted in such a manner that the studio time is encouraging, educational and socially engaging,” he says with enthusiasm.  He finds great pleasure in line drawings and vibrant colors.  Mixing media such as watercolor, ink, acrylic and colored pencil allows him to connect representative elements in an organic manner with more abstract vignettes.

Mary Jo Sims majored in fine art in college, where she was influenced by American Abstract Expressionists.  After reading Wassily Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art, she became interested in the deep connection between the spiritual and the aesthetic. She explored that connection while attending Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, in their Department of Religion and the Arts.  “I continue to resonate especially with Kandinsky’s improvisations, pieces that are divorced from subject matter and rely completely on color, line, and shape for meaning.  Color, and the lines and shapes formed by the juxtaposing and mingling of colors, provide the meaning of my recent works.  While there is some intentionality to the color application, I allow the initial flow of color on the paper surface to dictate much of the direction of the painting.”

The exhibit displays several of their individual works, but John and Mary Jo also collaborate on work and gain inspiration from each other.  Collaborative works in the exhibit show a beautiful harmony in their artistic styles and interests.  Retirement Idyl:  Artwork by Mary Jo Sims and John Turner is open until August 7th.  Business hours at the Berkeley Art Works are Wednesday – Friday, 11am to 5pm and Saturday 11am to 4pm.

The Berkeley Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) non‐profit organization incorporated in West Virginia working to ensure that Berkeley County has a vibrant, vital arts environment by promoting awareness, understanding and appreciation of the literary, visual and performing arts in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  The Berkeley Arts Council supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences to the community, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists and artisans.

Call for ‘Watercolor Expressions’ Juried Exhibit

Extended Deadline: Midnight Monday September 6, 2021

Shadowplay by Lynn Ferris

The Berkeley Arts Council (BAC) announces Watercolor Expressions, a national juried exhibit, to be displayed at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV from October 13 through November 20, 2021.

Eligibility – The exhibit is open to all artists throughout the continental United States, over the age of 18, working in any watercolor medium or technique, in 2- or 3-dimensions. Mixed media where watercolor is the primary medium is also welcome.

Entries – The theme for the exhibit is open. Work must be original, completed within the last three (3) years, and must not have been exhibited previously at the Berkeley Art Works. Two-dimensional work must not exceed 48 inches in width, including frame and must be equipped with wire, ready for hanging (no sawtooth or single loop hangers, please). Three-dimensional work must not exceed 72 inches in height and 36 inches in width or depth, and must be free-standing.

Lynn Ferris Head Shot SmallJuror – Lynn Ferris, AWS, NWS, TWSA is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. Her work was the subject of feature articles in Watercolor magazine and The Art of Watercolour and can be seen in the prestigious Splash series of books published by North Light. She has served as a judge for the Brevard Watercolor Society “A Splash of Watercolor” exhibit, The Miami Watercolor Society, The Mid-Southern Watercolorists, and numerous others. Her many awards include “Best of Show” in both the Florida Watercolor Society and Tallahassee Watercolor Society annual exhibits. She has been an award winner in The Artist’s Magazine All-Media competition. Look for Lynn’s instructional articles in the The Artist’s Magazine and Watercolor Artist. A sought-after instructor, Lynn teaches to sold out workshops both nationally and internationally.

Entry Fee – The entry fee for one or two works is $35. Additional works may be submitted for a fee of $10 for each additional work, up to a total of four works.

Awards – Best in Show, Merit Award and Honorable Mention. The projected prize fund for the exhibit is $1,000. Additional prizes may be determined by the number of entries.


Extended Deadline for Entries
Midnight Monday September 6, 2021

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