Trails and Trees Studio Tour at Berkeley Art Works

The Berkeley Art Works is hosting the Trails and Trees Studio Tour this year.  The group of artists made the decision to cancel the usual, self-guided event for the health and safety of visitors, volunteers and artists.

“I offered the idea of a ‘pop-up’ venue at the Art Works to the group.  It’s a win-win for everyone.  The Berkeley Arts Council gets to fill their exhibit space with great work and exercise their tag line, ‘We Amplify the Arts’, and Trails and Trees gets a venue for their fall show,” said Anna Howard, who is a Trails and Trees Studio Tour member and the president of the Berkeley Arts Council.  “This year marks the 10th anniversary of Trails and Trees.  Members of the group have built the Tour into an important annual event.  Last year’s tour was a great success so we didn’t want to lose momentum,” said Howard.

Artists working in clay, glass, wood, fibers and other media are included in the exhibit.  There is functional pottery, blown and stained glass work, furniture, baskets, clocks, jewelry, quilts – even honey – all useful and handmade locally.  Being at the Art Works gives visitors a full month to appreciate the artists’ work, and do some early shopping for the fall and fast-approaching holiday season.

Visit the Berkeley Art Works at 116 N. Queen Street, Martinsburg and spend time with the art of Berkeley County.  The “Studio Tour at the Berkeley Art Works” is open until November 14; gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday, 11:00am to 4:00pm.  For more information contact berkeleyartswv@gmail.com, or call 304-620-7277.  The Trails and Trees Studio Tour is planning to be back as usual November 6 & 7, 2021.

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 Art Works, a project of 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.

September Featured Artist: Joe Bourgeois

September Featured Artist:  Joe Bourgeois
By Annette Verna

Joe Bourgeois is a furniture and cabinet maker from Bunker Hill, WV.  His earliest experience working with wood was when he was 6 or 7 years old.  He and his brother decided they would add a room on to their house in Massachusetts.  “My mother found us with a hammer (missing half the handle), a few bent nails and a couple of short pieces of wood.  We were building a room on the house and were making the doorway.  She suggested we build the room first.  ‘How do you build a room’ was my question.”  That question stayed with him.

A Room and A Life

Joe started working with a cabinetmaker when he was 12.  “He showed me how to sand the edges of doors and round off the sharp corners.  I learned how to support heavy materials going through the table saw – he pushed, I held them up.  I learned in the summer to start at seven and quit at seven.  In other words, it became a life for me.”  

It wasn’t a paying job, but it was a valuable experience and Joe continued to work with the cabinetmaker until it was time for college.  He went off to Harvard and in the following years, he taught history, and then served as a United Methodist preacher.  At 40, he turned back to the idea of that room from many years ago, became a licensed construction contractor, and then a furniture and cabinet builder. 

The cabinetmaker from his youth appears in a few of Joe’s “Shop Musings” on his Web site (https://bourgeoisfurniture.com).  The cabinetmaker passed away more than 40 years ago, but it is clear he left a lasting impression.  Joe most enjoyed the times he would get to do something new.  “I would go to one end of the bench, and he would go to the other.  I learned to watch him and thus learned the new task.”  As Joe grew his own business, it was his customers who influenced new experiences.  “I have always been excited about tackling a new thing.  I like it when customers ask me for new work.  In a way, it puts me back in that shop at the other end of the bench.”

Joe builds tables, chairs, beds, bureaus, desks, work centers, kitchen cabinets and other things.  He is currently working on a full set of kitchen cabinets.  His furniture includes inlays with wood, glass and tile.  If you’ve been to the Berkeley Art Works, you know he also makes sculptural art pieces and small art objects. 

 

A Relationship with Wood

Joe enjoys pushing the envelope with each new project and does his best to meet the challenges that come.  “I have no family tradition, or other strength that I can draw on.  I am just trying to continue forward,” he says.  When you read his musings, you will quickly learn that his relationship with wood goes deeper than this modest statement.  “Wood strikes many people as inert – unmoving and unchanging, passive, waiting for our touch to bring it to beauty.  This is a deep misunderstanding of the relation between wood and woodworker.  In the process of a project the change is at least equal, if not more on the woodworker’s side.  Wood changes our stance and alters our being.  It gets into our brain and unleashes forces which lift our vision and release our feelings.  The relationship between the woodworker and wood may be likened to that of a wave crashing onto the rocks.  The wave comes in and is metamorphosed into force and spray, and is redirected ultimately to itself and its source of energy.  When I start a project, I pick the size and shape that seem right for the purpose I have selected.  As I come incrementally closer and closer to the wood, my vision clears and feelings are released.  I am reoriented to my project and suddenly it is me reacting to the wood.  I am mixed with it.  This is important because wood is my way of communicating with others, and in a way it takes an equal part.  The brain of a woodworker is changed by wood.  Finally, that is good because it brings out a more authentic person.”

An Artisan’s Journey

Joe is an artisan – a combination of craftsperson and businessperson.  As a craftsperson he has focused on acquiring the practical skills necessary to master his medium.  No matter how simple or elementary a task, doing it properly takes practice (time) and skill (patience).  “Skill goes in two directions: one not only must know what one wants to do – cut, bore, turn – but one must know why one wants to do it – how does this action fit into the other actions one must perform to execute a specific design?”  The business side brings a different dimension to the questions of making.  The tasks of running the business must balance with the making.  “I want to be serious about finding mastery in my craft and allowing the business side to develop in coordination with that craft.  As the business side grows within this perspective, it feeds the craft side, revealing new challenges.”

Today, with years of experience, Joe seeks to growth in working with wood.  His motto:  “Every day put your hands on the wood.”  It is the road to the best growth and all creative people know they need to do the hard work to both grow and maintain a level of work.  “Wanting to be better, or to be at all, is not enough.  Some effective contact must be achieved.  With wood, meaningful contact involves the hands.  It involves investing oneself through manipulation.  This does not mean I ignore reading or thinking about wood, styles, etc.  These activities are good for a certain kind of perspective, but without hands-on experience, no real progress occurs.” 

Joe writes, “Wood has always been all around me – in the trees in the forest, in building construction, in furniture, sculpture and art….  Things have happened to me which have caused me to get a perspective on it beyond my first surround.”  He continues to question and search for meaning in his work and his creative life.  He strives to be the best craftsperson he can – every day.  “As I navigate my life and craft, I am looking for my job, my life-giving and identifying task.  It has brought me in contact with many good people and made me friends.  It has helped to plumb my own depths and potential.”  

As evidenced by his work and the people who seek it, Joe has built more than a “room” and a “life”.  Through his work and his journey, he shows us all the importance in finding, meeting and stretching the possibilities given to us, and the depth and richness of growth that comes in artistic development.

Come to the Berkeley Art Works anytime this month to see Joe’s work featured in our front window!  You can also see photos of his work on the Berkeley Arts Council Web site at https://berkeleyartswv.org/artists-at-the-works-galleries/.  And of course, you can always come into the gallery Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 11am and 3pm to see what else is up in the co-op.  To see more, visit Joe’s Web site noted above as well as his Facebook page.

Continue reading

[UPDATE: Awards Announced] Eastern West Virginia Exhibit

(Click on any image to see a larger version.)

The Berkeley Arts Council announced the award winners for their 8th Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit on display at the Berkeley Art Works. A virtual “reception” was held to recognize the participants and award winners. Congratulations to Laura Robertson from Kearneysville for her fabric piece, “Fly Eyes”, which was selected for Best of Show. Heather Hendry from Bunker Hill received the Merit Award for her pastel drawing “Sunflowers in Blue Vase”. Honorable mentions were given to Carina Elhordory, Martinsburg, for her acrylic painting “Untitled”; Tracey Donnelly Franklin, Shepherdstown, for her assemblage “War Heron III”; Omar Williams, Kearneysville, for his digital photograph “Out of My Element”; and Tom Nebel, Shepherdstown, for his oil painting “Je Marche Dans Les Fleurs.”

This year, 58 works were submitted primarily from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties, from which the juror Mr. Evan Boggess of Shepherd University selected 24 works in drawing, painting, photography, fibers, mixed media, assemblage and sculpture. He commented that there were a lot of excellent, technically proficient works from which to select, representing very interesting subject matter. His aim was to select works that demonstrated longevity and that kept the viewer thinking about them long after seeing them. The Berkeley Arts Council thanks Mr. Boggess and all the artists who submitted work for consideration in this show. This annual juried exhibit is open to artists who reside in one of the eight counties that comprise the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia: Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Grant, Mineral, and Pendleton.

The exhibit is on display until October 10, 2020 at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street, Martinsburg, WV and is open Thursdays through Saturdays, 11:00am to 3:00pm. For more information about the Berkeley Arts Council and the Berkeley Art Works, visit us on the Web at https://berkeleyartswv.org and our Facebook page.

Juror’s Statement

As a juror and fellow artist, I am always trying to articulate the unique, intangible, and persistent qualities of elevated works of art.  What is it about a particular painting, sculpture, photograph, video, print, or installation that remains in our thoughts seconds, minutes, days, months, years after seeing it?  Artwork that exhibits elevated technical skills, subject matter, and formal command are certainly deserving of recognition, but these individual aspects on their own are relatively easy to rank.  Instead, I am drawn to pieces that manage to combine these aspects in surprising ways to create new, lasting visual experiences.   –  Evan Boggess

Congratulations to all of the accepted artists. Email notifications and instructions for delivery of artwork will be sent within shortly.

(Click here to see the full list of accepted artists:

Continue reading

Submissions Extended: Berkeley Arts Council’s “Mask-a-Palooza”

Call for Artists!

Decorate wearable coronavirus MASKS
with your original ideas
(purchased or homemade)

Help protect against Coronavirus transmission

Prizes Awarded:
$100 – I Can’t Live Without You
$ 50 – Stayin’ Alive Spectacular
$ 25 – Simply Marvelous

The Berkeley Arts Council is holding a “Mask-a-Palooza” decorated Coronavirus face mask contest and exhibit, September 12 through November 13, at the Berkeley Art Works gallery, 116 North Queen Street, Martinsburg.

The Berkeley Arts Council is looking for original designs using hand-made or purchased masks.  Make them fun, glamorous, intriguing, surprising … but the end result must be a functional, wearable mask.  We’re trying to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, after all.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the top 3 designs!

The contest is open to the community and there is no entry fee.  The masks will be on display in the front window of the Berkeley Art Works gallery.

Submission Extended Deadline: September 15, 2020
(No Entry Fee!)

It’s easy to submit! Just click on the link below and enter the information.

Entry Form

(Or you may pick up an entry form at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. Currently open Thursdays, Fridays & Satiurdays, 11-3.)

Then, bring decorated masks to the Berkeley Art Works after the submissions close (date will be announced.) You may offer your mask(s) for sale – or not. A 30% commission on the retail selling price established by the artist shall be retained by BAC.

Each mask must have a tag securely attached with youir name, an ID number, and price (if for sale.)

After the exhibit, masks should be picked up a the Berkeley Art Works November 13-14, 2020.

The Berkeley Art Works Reopens in June!

We are pleased to announce that we are re-opening the Berkeley Art Works gallery to the public for limited hours starting Saturday, June 6.  The gallery will be open on Saturdays from 11am-3pm.

For the safety of our volunteers who sit the gallery, and our visitors, sanitization procedures are in place and the gallery has been arranged for safety and proper social distancing.  The number of guests in the gallery at one time will be limited and we will require our staff and visitors to wear masks.  We are monitoring Berkeley County Coronavirus information daily to determine whether we can continue to expand our hours and offerings in the coming months.

The gallery will be open for retail sales and visitors will be able to view the current exhibition, the 10th Annual Juried Art and Earth Exhibit, which will be on display until July 4.  The exhibit went “virtual” on the Web site, https://berkeleyartswv.org, in April.

While we have had to cancel exhibits scheduled for the summer months, we are announcing a special summer members’ exhibit for July, which will be followed by our Eighth Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit in September.

Our regular classes have been cancelled for the immediate future; however, we are preparing virtual and limited attendance/social distancing solutions to continue to offer educational programs to the community.

Remember to watch your email or visit the Berkeley Arts Council’s web site and Facebook page for information on our activities and programming; questions can be directed to the Berkeley Arts Council e-mail address, berkeleyartswv@gmail.com.

 

Art and Earth Exhibit Goes Online

Tenth Annual Art and Earth Juried Exhibit
Online Gallery

Perhaps there is a lesson in the developing world-wide catastrophe known as COVID-19 that could be summed up with the old joke, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.” For ten years the Berkeley Arts Council has sponsored the Art and Earth juried art exhibit, seeking work from artists who express how they view the natural world and the environment with the goal of expanding the awareness about these things.

Due to the emergency, we will not be able to open the gallery at this time showing of the Art and Earth artwork. We remain hopeful that this is temporary but in the meantime, we wanted to share the great artwork that was selected by Juror Janis Goodman.

Accepted Artists: Art and Earth Exhibit

The juror’s selections are in for the Tenth Annual Art and Earth Juried Exhibit and we are very pleased to announce the accepted artists. The juror, Janis Goodman, selected 42 works by 39 artists out of 194 works submitted by 78 artists from 19 states. The full list of accepted artists and works is below. The exhibit will be on display from April 1 – May 16, 2020.

Juror’s Statement:

I was so pleased to find so many of the submissions visually interesting and compelling. As a juror, I look for three things and how they balance each other: content, imagery and technique. I additionally use this criteria for critiquing my students work at the Corcoran College of Art. In many cases the narrative or description was very interesting but I felt the work did not hold up craft wise. In other instances, the technique was strong but the imagery was not convincing. All of the works submitted contained strong reasons for inclusion, unfortunately space limitation is a factor.
Each one of the artists chosen possesses a notable affinity with the subject of Art and the Earth or My art-My World. It is no small thing to tackle such a huge topic with integrity, innovation and skill.  The environment is a precious thing which we as artists must honor and protect.

I believe the artists selected represent an interesting range of mediums, views and images. I think the works will communicate with one another and reinforce this idea of the artist as steward of the planet and valuable citizen.  – Janis Goodman

Congratulations to all of the accepted artists. All are invited to the opening reception and awards presentation on Sunday, April 5  from 2-4pm at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

(For accepted artists: After the break (below) is important information regarding the shipping/delivery of the work.)           

Accepted work:

Carolyn Albracht The World In Which We Live
Alba Baez Florida
Alex Barbour Palm Oil
Honorable Mention
Judith Becker Wild Fancy
Leah Bennett Until The Mighty River Breaks Us Apart
Ann Darling Rhythms
Deborah Digel Bison
Tracey Donnelly Franklin War Heron III
Phil Dunn Abandoned
Naomi Dwyer Cell Side Table Barrage Balloon
Justine Godown Poppies
Nancy Hausrath Bubbles
David Heatwole Box of Realities
Deborah Herndon Reverie
Laurie Hoen Weather the Storm
Juliet Hossain Self Portrait of the Sentient Earth
Mahera Khaleque Enormous
Jessie Knirsch Microbial Mat
Jessica LeMere Maya’s Gift
Corinne McAuley Fall Fire
Honorable Mention
Jeanne McClure Jewels of the Garden
Bonnie McDermott Dad’s Place
Jane Michael Wasatch Folds
Dan Morro Hommage
Dan Morro Confined Gloaming
Best in Show
Erin Murray Beyond Our Facade
Sally Myers Wren Leaving the Forest Floor
Alice A Newton The Turtle Doctors at Work
Jim Pearson Anonymous Bone Noise: Harbor
David Pittenger Soon To Seed
Ping Shen Lily Magnolia Blossom (2)
Honorable Mention
Karen Smith Floral Waters 1
B. Berne Smith There!
Rachel Crockett Smith All That’s to Come
Merit Award
Rachel Crockett Smith Eyes Wide Open
Derek Walter Pliocene XXIX
Carol Williams Deporting the Doves of Peace
Honorable Mention
Omar Williams Avon House
Patricia Wilt The Sheep Shearer
Mark Zapico Territory
Jane Zich In The River
Honorable Mention
Jane Zich The Great Melt

UPDATED Information for Accepted Artists: Continue reading

Tattoo and Beyond Highlights the Art of Local Tattoo Artists

“Heart and Eye” by Kim Taylor

Opening February 5, the Berkeley Arts Council will showcase the designs and artwork of more than 10 local tattoo artists with shops in historic downtown Martinsburg.  The exhibit called “Tattoo and Beyond”, will feature tattoo designs as well as work in other media by several local artists.  Tattoo art has enjoyed increased popularity over the past several years.

The exhibit will include artwork by owners and artists from these seven parlors:

  • Ambition and Ink
  • Black Pearl Tattoo Studio
  • Boomtown Tattoo
  • Burke Street Tattoo and Gallery
  • Cherry Bomb Tattoo & Body Piercing
  • Drawin’ Attention tattoos
  • True Love Tattoo

The idea for the exhibit came about with the help of the Martinsburg city Department of Economic Development as a way to feature the talent of these local artists and business people.

The show will run from February 5 through 29, 2020, at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street, Martinsburg.  Show off your “Ink” at the opening reception on Sunday, February 9 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.  Also in conjunction with the show, join us at the Art Works on Friday, February 21 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm to hear participating artists discuss their work.

The Berkeley Art Works is open every Wednesday through Friday, 11am – 5pm, and Saturdays 11am – 4pm.

New BAC Open Critique Program

We are excited to announce a new series of open art critique sessions, starting Friday, January 17th at 6:30 to 8:30pm at the Berkeley Art Works. The group will use the historic Edmund Burke Feldman approach to art appreciation. The first session will open with an introduction to the Feldman Method by Dr. Doug Kinnett, painter, member of the Artists at the Works co-op, and former coordinator of Shepherd University’s Art Education Program.  He will guide the group through a critique of Pablo Picasso’s historic painting, Guernica, which was completed in 1937.

“Guernica” by Pablo Picasso

Open critiques will be held the 3rd Friday evening of every month, from 6:30 to 8:30pm.  Visual artists and creatives working in any medium are invited to bring a work in progress to gain critique, encouragement and positive feedback from a team of Berkeley Arts Council’s Artists at the Works co-op members and regional artists. The critique series is free and open to all, so mark your calendars and come to the Art Works!

“Capturing the Light” Watercolor Workshop by Lynn Ferris, AWS, NWS

May 2 and 3, 2020

Berkeley Arts Council, Martinsburg, WV is pleased to offer an exciting and unique watercolor workshop by Lynn Ferris, AWS, NWS, nationally and international known artist and instructor.  Ms. Ferris’ workshop, titled “Capturing the Light” will show students how to use light and shadow to design stronger compositions and bring drama to a variety of subject matters.  Students will gain new skills and confidence working with shadows, light sources, creating glow, and more.  Lynn provides handouts, reference materials and lots of personal attention.

“Colorful Porch” by Lynn Ferris

“Capturing the Light”

Bring your work to the next level. Light and shadow shouldn’t be after thoughts in our paintings. In fact, good use of light and shadow is one of the best ways totake a painting from ordinary to extraordinary.

In her signature workshop “Capturing the Light,” Lynn will show students how to use light and shadow to design stronger compositions and bring drama to avariety of subject matter. Students will gain new skills and confidence working with shadows, light sources, creating glow, and more. Lynn provides handouts, reference materials, and lots of personal attention. Continue reading

Explore Creativity With The Artisans at the Berkeley Art Works

A Facilitated Discussion of Creativity
with the Exhibiting Artists

Sunday, October 20 from 2:00 – 4:00pm
Light refreshments will be served.

Berkeley Art Works
116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg

Check us out on Facebook and let us know that you’re coming.

Join us for a facilitated discussion about creativity with artists participating in the Craft in the Eastern Panhandle show.

We’ll be posing questions to these craftspeople in an effort to get at the heart of what it means to make objects.

  • How did they start making craft?
  • What makes them want to create – what’s the “pull”?
  • What draws them to their given medium or method of working?
  • Where does their inspiration come from?
  • Where or how do they continue to seek artistic growth?

Come to participate in the discussion, or just to listen – all are welcome!

 

Berkeley Arts Council Anniversary Update


Happy Ten Year Anniversary!

We are proud of the continuous programming we’ve created in the ten years since the Council was incorporated on August 14, 2009 and we’re about to launch another year of arts, with an exciting schedule of exhibits, more community activities and our most comprehensive schedule of classes to date!

Ten Years Ago: Malinda Shaver Looks Back

In a conversation with Annette Verna, founding member and past-President Malinda Shaver reflects on the Arts Council’s beginnings ten years ago.

Malinda worked in the Arts in Montgomery County, Maryland, starting in community theater. With her partner and co-founder, Rip Smith, they saw an opportunity to bring the various arts organizations and interests in Berkeley County together to share resources and benefit from a common purpose.

Malinda: “From Rip’s and my earliest association with the arts here, we heard of the wish of local artists to contribute to a desirable and economically healthy but still historic downtown.”

One early inspiration came from Cumberland, MD. In February, 2009, then Executive Director Andy Vick of the Allegany Arts Council made a trip to Martinsburg and spoke to the City Club and other local arts groups about how arts had bolstered the revitalization of that town. That led to the development of the Berkeley Arts Bulletin to promote networking and let the public know what we were trying to do.

They discussed ideas with other organizations, including the Heritage Craft Center and the ArtBerkeley organization as well as numerous individual artists.

From the start, practicing artists were always the primary focus of our efforts and we could see how they could benefit from having an Arts Council. Besides building community, we could provide them exhibition space to show their work, and we also offered Artisan Resource workshops in cooperation with the Tamarack Foundation, to help artists build business and professional skills to strengthen their careers.

Malinda: “Some thought it was not a good time to launch an arts council, since funds were almost non-existent. But sooner or later we felt improvement was coming. Our discussions indicated there was strong support for moving forward, so we jumped in with both feet, incorporating the Berkeley Arts Council in August of 2009: With this foundation we would be ready to take advantage of whatever new opportunities came along.”

We hope to continue to tell the story of the past ten years, reviewing the successes and challenges, as we also plan for the next ten years. In the meantime, you can go back in time and explore our blog archives on our website:

https://berkeleyartswv.org/2009/09/

In the Berkeley Art Works Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coming in October:

We are excited to announce our first “Craft in the Eastern Panhandle” exhibit, October 9 through November 9 at the Berkeley Art Works. In conjunction with American Craft Week, which is held each year in early October, this exhibit, curated by Annette Verna, is a month-long celebration of contemporary fine craft and highlights the work of ten artists living and working in and around the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. These artists are master craftspeople working in a variety of media including basketry, clay, metal, textiles, and wood. Their work represents the high quality of craft being created in our region.

Co-op Space Available

We have space for one 2-dimensional artist and one 3-dimensional artist in the Berkeley Art Works co-op group. Details about jurying and membership (including downloadable forms) are on the BAC web site at: https://berkeleyartswv.org/artists-at-the-works/#opencall. If you have any questions, please reply back to this email and we’ll fill you in.