Students take artwork to the streets of downtown Fairmont

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Fairmont State University has partnered with Main Street Fairmont to provide 20 double-sided street banners to help decorate downtown for the annual Feast of the Seven Fishes and the 200th anniversary.

Joel Dugan, chair of the Department of Architecture, Art & Design, said with students in his 2D design class, they were each given the task of creating a side of the banner to represent the Feast and one to represent that 200th birthday for Fairmont.

“I wanted to create some type of takeaway from the class with real world impact and extend the lifetime of the work that’s made in the class,” he said. “This was an effort to get more student art work in the downtown region like an open-air art exhibition.” 

The students worked on their banners for about four weeks, Dugan said. It was one of the biggest projects they had for the semester. The canvas for the banners were provided by Main Street Fairmont and the supplies were purchased for the class out of the student use for the course. 

Patricia Pagan, executive director of Main Street Fairmont, said working with the students and allowing them to be a part of such a large event in the city is a great opportunity. 

“Having the artwork of Fairmont State University students lining the downtown Fairmont corridor in outdoor gallery fashion is both unique and visually engaging,” she said. “This is just another way for Main Street and the community to collaborate with Fairmont State to see culture, youth, and color added to our revitalizing city’s streetscape. We are both proud and honored to partner with Joel Dugan and his art students in this endeavor.”

Fairmont Mayor Brad Merrifield said this is just the first visible step to the relationship between the university and the city really starting to take off. With a new city manager and a still new university president, they recognize how important this partnership can be. 

“There’s so much more we can do by working together. This is one of the initial projects but the first really visible one. When people see it, there will be discussions,” he said. “We’ve formed a partnership and this will get the conversation going. It fits into what we’re trying to do with the city beautification, makes the students feel good that their artwork is up in public and people are enjoying it.” 

Merrifield said the buzz about this is getting him excited for what’s to come in the future including the murals, which will also be another collaboration with the university. 

“We are working on stuff, change is happening and these relationships are being formed. There’s so much potential, more than we realize, when we start catering to the students and having them as partners,” he said. “This is an opportunity where everyone involved can benefit. It means a lot and I can’t overstate that, this will have a much bigger effect than just this event.” 

Students who participated by making one of the banners are listed below: 

Chloe Barber of Farmington, WV, junior art education major 

Zetti Bowling of Doddridge, WV, sophomore studio art major 

Mackenzee Buck, freshman biology and art double major 

Kyla Campbell, sophomore art studio major 

Sadie Chidester, freshman art studio major

Allenah Crowley, freshman art studio major 

Amaya DeMeester, freshman art education major 

Kimberlyn Dyer, freshman art studio major 

Abby Latocha, freshman art education major 

Ivy McMullen, freshman art education major 

Haley Might, freshman art education major 

Joseph Mitchell, senior graphic design major 

Riley Spears, junior theater major 

Kayla Day, freshman science major 

Erin Galford, sophomore art studio major 

Corina Gibson, sophomore stood arts major 

Madison LaBenne, freshman art studio major 

Emily Metz, freshman undecided major

Savannah Moore, freshman art education major 

Adena Turley, sophomore science major