Local artist featured in West Virginia Emerging Artists Juried Exhibition

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History unveiled the 2020 West Virginia Emerging Artists Juried Exhibition in the Commissioner’s Gallery of the West Virginia State Museum at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston on Sunday, Sept. 20. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

This year’s exhibition features 42 creative pieces representing the talents of 30 West Virginia artists from 15 counties. Local artist Jesus Perez of Alderson has a piece, Old Man of Storr, featured in the show. His work is composed of pigment inks on acid-free paper.

The juror for this year’s Emerging Artists Exhibition was Elaine Gustafson. Gustafson is the curator of collections at the Weatherspoon Art Museum on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where her areas of interest include photography and modern American art. She holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) in the History of Art from Wheaton College, an M.A. in the History of Art from Brown University, and completed coursework toward her doctorate, also at Brown University. Gustafson also has served as a juror for various art competitions, commissions, exhibitions and shows; a panelist at regional and national arts conferences; and a freelance writer for various regional arts magazines.

The Department presented three awards for the exhibition. The Best of Show/First Place Award received $1,000 and was awarded to Suzan Morgan, Buckhannon, Upshur County, for Silence; second place received $500 and was awarded to Leah Seaman, Philippi, Barbour County, for The New Renaissance (3); and third place collected $250 and was awarded to Dick Allowatt, St. Albans, Kanawha County, for Emergence.

Eligible artists had to be 18 years of age and older and maintain a permanent domicile in West Virginia. Each artist could submit two pieces for the exhibit jurying in painting, print/drawing, mixed media, craft/wall hangings, photography, digital art and/or sculpture. All pieces must have been created between 2018 and 2020.

The exhibit will be on display until Mar. 1, 2021. The Culture Center is open Tuesday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Culture Center is following guidelines in accordance with best practices from the WV DHHR and CDC. All visitors are encouraged to wear a face covering and will have their temperature taken upon entry. All visitors will also be asked to fill out the West Virginia State Visitor Covid-19 Screening Form. Visitors should follow social distancing guidelines at all times.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Cailin Howe, exhibits coordinator for the department, at 304-558-0220 or


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