9th Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit and Award Winners

Best in Show: ‘Dreamer’ Photograph by Tracey Donnelly Franklin

The Berkeley Arts Council announces the opening of the The 9th Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit, on display September 1 through October 9 at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street, Martinsburg, WV.  The gallery is open every Wednesday – Friday 11am to 5pm and Saturday 11am to 4pm.

This annual juried exhibit focuses on artists who reside any of the eight counties that comprise the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  This year, 48 works were submitted, primarily from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, from which 21 were selected in drawing, painting, photography, fibers, glass, mixed media, and assemblage.

The award winners for the exhibit are:  Tracey Donnelly Franklin of Shepherdstown – the Best of Show for her photograph, Dreamer and Jeanne Marie McClure of Kearneysville – the Merit Award for her watercolor, 17 Years to Light.  Honorable Mentions are given to Heather Hendry of Bunker Hill for her pastel drawing, Spring; Tom Nebel of Shepherdstown for his oil painting, Windswept; and Carol Williams of Shepherdstown for her fabric/mixed media piece, Mourning in America.

The juror for the exhibit was Ally Christmas, a visual artist living and working in Shepherdstown, WV, where she teaches lens-based arts and coordinates the Photo Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Shepherd University.  Much of her work revolves around notions of selfhood, virtuality, and lived experience.  Her hybrid practice involves a number of forms including digital video, still photography, tintypes, palladium prints, bookmaking, gifs, cinemagraphs, and installation.  Her work has been shown at a variety of venues in the U.S. and Canada.  Ms. Christmas earned a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Virginia.  In 2018 she received a Master of Fine Arts in Photo/Video from the University of Georgia, after which she spent two years teaching video art and photography courses at Grinnell College as the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Video and New Media.  About the show, Ms. Christmas said, “It was truly a pleasure to see such a wide variety of works from this community.  I found it quite difficult to narrow down the selections as there was so much talent present throughout the entries.  Ultimately, I honed in on threads of commonality that led to the final grouping of works.  After a year that has felt like 5 years, I found myself gravitating towards the pieces that invoked either a sense of peacefulness or a sense of whimsy – perhaps surreality or wonder, too.  When brought together, these artworks may provide an escape from our harsh reality and offer some respite, no matter how brief.  They are needed.”

For more information about the Berkeley Arts Council and the Berkeley Art Works, visit us on the Web at https://berkeleyartswv.org, on Facebook at BerkeleyArtsWV and on Instagram @berkeleyartscouncil_wv.

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.