Call for Artists: Berkeley Arts Council Annual Members’ Exhibit
All artists who are members of – or who join – the Berkeley Arts Council for the 2021 calendar year are invited to participate in the Annual Members Exhibit at the Berkeley Art Works from January 14 through February 13, 2021.
Any current member (for 2021), working in any medium, may participate in the exhibit. Not a member, but want to be? Now is your chance! Artists who are not current members may join or renew online, at berkeleyartswv.org/join-us/. You can also join at the gallery when you deliver your artwork. There is no entry fee other than membership dues.
Participation in the exhibit is a benefit of membership. To participate, deliver one or two pieces of your work to the Berkeley Art Works on Thursday and Friday, and Saturday, January 7 – 9 from 11am-4pm.
The exhibit is not juried; however, work must be properly framed or otherwise professionally presented and ready for display. Two-dimensional work must be wired for hanging (no saw tooth hangers, please). Three-dimensional fine art and fine craft are welcome and encouraged and must be professionally presented. An identification tag must be attached to each piece, including the artist’s name, title of the work and price if it is for sale. The Berkeley Arts Council will retain a 30% commission on sales of work during the exhibit.
The exhibit will be open during Berkeley Art Works business hours, which are currently Thursday and Friday 11am to 5pm, and Saturday from 11am to 4pm. The exhibit will be promoted to the local press, as well as on our Web site and Facebook page. Due to covid-19 restrictions, there will be no opening reception. Please direct questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304-620-7277.
Beginning in 2012, Giving Tuesday has turned the first Tuesday in December into a day that encourages global generosity.
This is the first year that we at the Berkeley Arts Council have participated in Giving Tuesday. I downloaded the “toolkit” and was overwhelmed with the planning and preparation. Where to begin? The toolkit was filled with a host of activity suggestions to bring people to the organization. After a lot of mulling I realized that the true intent of the day was to provide an opportunity to “share the load”. The day was not meant to bring extra burdens for organizations. So, for this year at least, it was time to simply put a foot out there and begin.
As a recipient of our monthly bulletin you have followed us as we have worked over the past 10 years to support increased frequency, quality and variety of arts-related events, facilitate activities that extend arts throughout the community, and to build communication and interaction among arts organizations.
Let’s face it, most of us do not like asking for help. So as we start small with this our first foray into Giving Tuesday, we realize that to expand our programs we need to open up and ask for your help. Membership dues, fees from classes, and revenue from exhibits are not going to expand our budget to meet to our growing ideas for new art events in the community.
Making a monetary donation is easy to do. Look down the right side for the large orange and blue “Donate” button Click and follow the steps through the PayPal system.
Thank you for taking the time to read this appeal. If you decide to participate in “Giving Tuesday”, thank you for helping support the arts in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.
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 email@example.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
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.
Join Teaching Artist Judith Becker for this FREE one hour workshop as we explore all the valuable information to be found on the standard color wheel. We’ll review not only the basic colors = primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors, but tints, tones and shades, learn the many common terms used in art and discover the ways to use triad and tetrad formats to create exciting and harmonious color schemes. Materials needed are just the common color wheel which can be found in all art and hobby stores or online sources such as Amazon, paper and pen or pencil for taking notes.
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.
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:
Decorate wearable coronavirus MASKS
with your original ideas
(purchased or homemade)
Help protect against Coronavirus transmission
$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.
(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 Arts Council’s first summer Members’ Exhibit opens Friday, July 10 and runs through Saturday, August 29, 2020 at the Berkeley Art Works gallery, 116 North Queen Street, Martinsburg.
The show features 42 works by 27 member artists, and includes 2- and 3-dimensional work in painting, photography, glass, ceramics, jewelry, fibers, mixed media and assemblage. The Council is pleased with the variety of media represented, which demonstrates the high quality and sophistication of artwork being produced in our area! The Council is also grateful for our members’ support so we could put the show together within a shorter-than-usual timeframe.
The exhibit is open during the Berkeley Art Works business hours, which are currently Friday and Saturday from 11am to 3pm. Keep an eye on the Berkeley Arts Council Web site, http://www.berkeleyartswv.org and our Facebook page for more information.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Berkeley Arts Council in Martinsburg, West Virginia announces the Eighth Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit, to be displayed in the Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV. The exhibition will be on display Saturday September 5 – October 10, 2020.
The exhibit is open to artists in all media who reside in one of the eight counties that compose what is known as the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. Those counties are Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Hampshire, Hardy, Grant, Mineral, and Pendleton.Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.)