GALLIPOLIS — The French Art Colony has been sponsoring the Festival Exhibit during the annual celebration of Independence Day, for more than 50 years.
In the early years, art work was displayed on “chicken wire” small mesh fencing in Gallipolis City Park. Back then, children in school were filling in the lines on mimeographed images. As the old saying goes, “We’ve come a long way,” both in art education in the schools, along with the FAC’s facilities, and in the presentation of the regional annual competition and exhibit.
This year, with the addition of the new pavilion, at the FAC, 530 First Ave., artwork formerly shown in Gallipolis City Park will be exhibited, safe from the weather, in the pavilion until July 4. The gallery exhibit opened at 6:30 p.m. Friday, along with the opening reception for the show. Jurors’ selections will remain in the galleries until Aug. 6. All other entries may be picked up at the closing of the pavilion exhibit, or no later than July 31.
Jurors, selecting work for the gallery exhibit, included Jan Safford, of Point Pleasant, who graduated from Miami University with a degree in art education. She has taught art in three high schools and currently teaches art in Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School.
The second juror, Jan Haddox, has a master’s degree from Marshall University and has taught art methods and history at the University of Rio Grande. He has exhibited his work in several galleries.
Kelli Burns, the third juror, is from Hamlin, W.Va. She holds a master’s degree from West Virginia University in art education and has served as curator, educator and administrator in Hurricane, Charleston and Huntington, in the West Virginia area.
Following review of the entries, jurors offered comments for entering artists. One stated it was the best professional work she has seen in a while, although she felt drawing was weaker in the division and would have liked to see more of it. All jurors felt professional sculpture entries were of high quality, as were pastels.
In the amateur division, there were numerous photography entries and they were very good. Jurors also mentioned they would like to see more pencil drawings, in both divisions, and a broader use of media in the amateur division.
In the Professional Division, receiving top honors was Virginia Carvour, from Columbus. All four of her entries were accepted for the gallery exhibit. “Reaching for the River,” a pastel, received Best of Show, first place and a Purchase Award from Curator Jan Thaler. “Fall Display,” a pastel, received second place. “Along the Bend” and “Melting Snow” both received honorable mention.
Barbara Delligatti, from Ona, W.Va, received awards for two of her watercolor entries, first place for “Murder” and honorable mention for “Abstract Trees.” A third entry, “Taking a Break,” was also accepted for the gallery exhibit.
Other winners in the Professional Division include Joy Duffy, of Gallipolis, with three of her entries accepted for the gallery, with “Fall Out” receiving honorable mention for her mixed watercolor and ink creation. Jon Eels, of Marietta, was awarded second place for “Clearing Maligne Lake,” an acrylic painting, and honorable mention for a prismacolor, “Dawns Reflection.” Maxine Kinnaird, of Gallipolis Ferry, W.Va., received second place in watercolor for “Boston Painted Ladies.” Leona Mackey, of Huntington, was given first place for all of her 3-D glass entries.
In Professional Photography, Laura Moul, from Milton, W.Va., was awarded first place for “Out to Dry.”
Other professional artists receiving awards include Emalia Rupe, of Apple Grove, W.Va., who was awarded honorable mentions in photogrqphy for “Compassion,” “Be Still” and “After the Rain,” and second place for “Find Me.” Carmen Schultz, of Long Bottom, Ohio, submitted four oil paintings; all were accepted for the gallery exhibit. Her submission, “Apples in a Stoneware Bowl” received honorable mention and a Purchase Award from Red’s Auto Truck Center.
Other Professional Division awards include Tonja Selvage, of Lucasville, with all four of her entries accepted for the gallery exhibit. Receiving special recognition was “Princess Zyga,” first place for mixed sculpture, and second place for “Running Squirrel.” Ann Shuff, of Proctorville, received a Purchase Award from the Wiseman Agency for her watercolor “Along the Upper Missouri.” They also purchased “Rosecroft Farm,” another watercolor.
Other submissions from the Professional Division accepted for the gallery exhibit include two — one from Kathleen Hollett, of Huntington, W.Va., an oil from Brenda Kay Miller, Oak Hill, and an entry by Susan Parish, of Cottageville, W.Va. Carolyn Sue Potter, also of Oak Hill, had two submissions — an oil and a watercolor. Two ceramic submissions by Paul Schultz, of Long Bottom, will also be shown.
In the Amateur Division, Barbara Abels, of Gallipolis, was awarded honorable mention for “Storm,” a raku ceramic, and “Sea Storm,” a dry point intaglio print, which was also accepted for the gallery exhibit.
Two submissions, from Sharon Asher, of Wurtland, Ky., were chosen, both oils, “The Backroad” and “Back Porch Pickin,” the latter entry awarded second place in oil/acrylic. David Brown, of Patriot, was given honorable mention in color photography for “The Hunter of Garfield Heights,” which was purchased by WesBanco Bank.
Other awards in the Amateur Division included Best of Show and first place in watercolor for “Purple Hyacinth Vine” by Pamela Conley, of Gallipolis, purchased by Ohio Valley Bank.
Two honorable mention awards were given to Anna Day, of Bidwell — “Irises in Spring” and “Jesus Watching His Flock,” both rendered in oil/acrylic medium. Ken Hollet, of Huntington, received second place for a photograph, “Harlie” and a Purchase Award from Farmers Bank for “Fire in the Sky.” Jane Daniel purchased a photograph by Jeri Ingles, of Patriot, for a first-place entry, “Poppin Poppy.”
Additional awards in the Amateur Division were Diedrea Lee, of Point Pleasant, second-place for drawing “Bobby,” and first place, also a drawing, to Amee Neal, of Apple Grove, for “Chain Reaction.” Laura Jo Rainey, of Harrisburg, Ill., was awarded honorable mention in photography for “Back Off,” which was purchased by WesBanco Bank.
Donald Spence, of Huntington, was the biggest winner in the Amateur Division, with all four of his oil/acrylic submissions receiving awards and purchases. “Sage Creek Sunrise” received first place and was purchased by Farmers Bank; “The Old Homestead” was awarded honorable mention and purchased by Ohio Valley Bank; “Autumn Path” was purchased by Gail Belville Rental Properties; and “Orange Boat” was given honorable mention and purchased by Red’s Auto & Truck Center.
Other creations entered by regional artists for the Festival Exhibit gallery showing include Shelby Steele, of Wurtland, showing “Elk-Taking a Break,” an acrylic painting.
Also included in the gallery are three photography submissions by John Thomas, of Athens. They were “Twinkle in His Eye,” purchased by The Wounded Goose, “Chickadee in Winter” and “Ran When Parked,” which received honorable mention.
Sharon Todd, of Oak Hill, also had three entries accepted — an oil “Fall Drive,” “Poppies,” a second-place in watercolor, and “Lily,” an oil painting. Gallipolis photographer Dr. John Viall entered a traditional photograph titled “Osprey,” which received an honorable mention.
Additional works available to be viewed in the FAC galleries include a photograph by Tamara Withrow, from Leon, W.Va., titled “Say Cheese.” Also from Leon, Amanda Knapp Witt will be exhibiting “Yellow Lily at Sunset.” This entry received honorable mention and was purchased by Jane Daniel.
From Vinton, Samantha Wolfe entered an acrylic titled “Sunset” and received honorable mention. Sherman Manis, of Parkersburg, had three photographs accepted for the galleries. They were “Cathedral Falls,” purchased by Marianne Campbell; “Cloudy Moon Over Huntington” was purchased by Tope’s Furniture Galleries — the entry also received a second place in the division; and “Elakala Falls,” wich was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Rick Howell. This entry also received an honorable mention in the division.
The French Art Colony Galleries are located at 530 First Ave. Parking is available in front on First Avenue or in the rear off Second Avenue through the city parking lot. Except for special events, normal gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Visitors are always welcome.