WEIRTON - What does it take to launch a community art gallery?
First, sketch out a plan. Second, draw upon regional talent. Third, make sure the space itself is as pretty as a picture. Then, after a first successful year - celebrate.
The Hancock County Arts Council will hold a special one-year/new artists' reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at 3393 Main St. The public event is free.
The reception will feature works from 13 artists who have displayed during the past year, in addition to a large display of new works by Pennsylvania wildlife artist Frank Hnat and Hancock County artist Cari McIntyre. Mark Miller will provide solo jazz guitar and there will be cake from Gus's Goodies. Hors d'oeuvres and beverages also will be served.
"Our council members and the event chairmen for the gallery have worked very hard to promote the growth and appreciation of the arts in the Tri-State Area," said Nancy Wright, HCAC president. "We are fortunate to have such talented artists who have made this endeavor a success. Without the council members and Danny Greathouse, Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau director, Summit Art Gallery would not have grown into the venue it is today."
Mary Ann Reese, chair of the one-year anniversary artists' reception and local artist, will donate her time and talent for a unique fundraiser for the gallery - the chance to win a pet portrait. Guests at the reception will be able to enter a drawing to have Reese, who loves animals and has been commissioned to paint several pet portraits, create an original work of a beloved family pet from a photo.
Reese was one of the first four artists to display at the gallery and will join 13 other artists who have exhibited over the past year in a retrospective. Many of the artists will be bringing new works or works that were not part of their original exhibition to display.
"I would like to thank everyone - the Arts Council, the artists, the CVB staff - who have made Summit Art Gallery a success," said Greathouse. The gallery is funded and housed at the convention and visitors bureau. "Let's continue to work together over the next year to grow the gallery beyond our original vision."
Hnat, a well-known artist from Pennsylvania, will show a large selection of pastel and water-color cardinals and other wildlife. He also will have notecards and prints available for purchase. McIntyre's tole painting features works on unusual items, such as watering cans.
Under the guidance of the HCAC, the installations at Summit Gallery will change each quarter, primarily showcasing works from noted Tri-State Area artists in a variety of mediums. Each new grouping of artist and artworks is celebrated with an evening artists' reception, which is supported by the Top of West Virginia CVB. Information on the Summit Art Gallery can be found on Facebook.
Created in 2008, the Hancock County Arts Council sponsors a number of arts events, including the annual Holiday Home Tour in November, the New Cumberland Fall River Fest in September, and, as a part of the Homer Laughlin China Tent Sale, a children's plate painting event that draws approximately 250 children each year.