Tuesday, March 14, 2006

On Tuesday, March 21, Fairmont State will host the second annual Women of West Virginia Art Expo in the Falcon Center. The Expo begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m.

The Expo has firmly established itself on the campus of Fairmont State as a day of creativity, splendor, sharing and exploration. The event's sponsors hope to share the creations of more female artists from West Virginia.

"The goal of the event is to highlight some of the work by women in all walks of life living in West Virginia, and hopefully to motivate other women to explore their own artistic sides," said Laurie Johnston, Director of Student Activities. "We are featuring 12 artists. The difficulty this year was limiting the number of entries. So many names were suggested, but I felt we needed to keep it relatively small to enhance the intimate experience and allow time for visitors to take in each artist's work."

New for this year's Expo will be the addition of old-time fiddler, Rachel Eddy. Eddy will be performing a lunch-time concert beginning at 12:30 p.m. She lives in Morgantown where she performs with the Motown Rounders, while also working as a music instructor.

The artists to be featured are: Lauren Adams, Brianna Allen, Julie Black, Jennifer Boggess, Jessica Bright, Andre Cinalli, Beth Crowder, Beth McElwee, Heather Rau, Tessa Shackelford, Julie B. Shinaberry and Ruthann Smith.

Lauren Adams and Tessa Shackelford, a.k.a. "Grue," are FSU students. Adams has been selected for her work in figurative drawings, while Grue will be displaying her print making.

Brianna Allen, Jessica Bright and Andre Cinalli are also FSU students. They recently studied at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China. They will be exhibiting their work in ceramics.

Jennifer Boggess is a full-time faculty member in the FSU School of Fine Arts. Her paintings are abstract and involve landscapes and relationships with people and their surroundings.

Beth McElwee works as a part-time graphic designer and adjunct faculty member at FS. She will be exhibiting a multi-media presentation designed specifically for the Women of West Virginia Expo titled, "Thank you Barbara- I'd love to go shopping with Marie "Antoinette." McElwee was recently awarded an internship at the Mattress Factory art museum in Pittsburgh.

Julie Black has been a photographer for iPlayOutside, Inc. for over seven years.
Recently featured in the January/February issue of Paddler magazine, she enjoys shooting outdoor events that range from mountain biking to paddling the Upper Gauley River.

Beth Crowder lives in West Union and came to West Virginia after living and studying in a variety of locations around the country. Crowder works with soft pastels over acrylics to create vivid landscapes. Her works are collected by the University of Charleston, Collection of West Virginia Women Artists, and are in the Permanent Collection of the State of West Virginia

Heather Rau, educator, adventurer and photographer, will be presenting her work, "Traveling Through Alaska." Rau's two-year teaching experience in Alaska gave her the opportunity to capture the sights and wonders on film. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently makes Morgantown her home.

Julie B. Shinaberry, resides in Barbour County with her two sons. She is a flamework glass bead maker, licensed massage therapist and home house aide. Shinaberry began making her own glass beads because they were too expensive to buy. She uses clay, nut shells, wood and anything else that can be made into a bead.

Ruthann Smith of Catawba prefers painting and poetry. The natural beauty of West Virginia is a constant inspiration in her work. Smith has been a long-time employee of the Mountain People's Market in Morgantown, where her eye for the aesthetic is displayed in the selections in the boutique.

Some of the artists will be selling select items, and light refreshments will be served. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.