GRAFTON— Although traditional art shows and gallery exhibits are unable to be held at this time due to the current Coronavirus pandemic, it doesn’t mean that arts can’t be viewed and celebrated in some form.
Members of the Taylor County Arts Council (TCAC), have always made it their mission to incorporate the arts into the everyday living of Taylor County residents and even beyond, often offering opportunities for artist of all ages and from various backgrounds to put their heart’s work on display at Gallery 62 West.
With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to rain down on the nation, the TCAC has recently announced that Gallery 62 West will remain closed throughout the month of June. However, reopening is on the horizon as co-chairperson Ron Curry shared that the council is planning to reopen their doors sometime in July.
The gallery closed its doors mid-March in obeyance of the Stay at Home and Social Distancing orders set in place by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice as a response to the Coronavirus, uprooting plans for several of the TCAC’s planned exhibits, including one of the largest and most anticipated of the year; the annual Memorial Day Juried Art Show, which generally takes place over the course of Memorial Day weekend.
“We hated to have to make the decision to cancel, but when news broke that the Spirit of Grafton was cancelled, the planning committee felt it would be best to remain closed for the month of May, meaning the cancelation of our annual Memorial Day Art Show,” TCAC member Vicki Aucremanne shared.
The Memorial Day Art Show, would have celebrated its 24th year this May, and has proven to be a beloved event within the community and beyond, attracting locals, as well as those from surrounding areas to submit their pieces of art for all to enjoy, as the town simultaneously celebrated Memorial Day.
With the cancellation of not only the Memorial Day show, but several others that were slated to take place before the COVID outbreak, members of the TCAC came together with an idea to once again put the arts on the forefront of our minds, with the announcement of an online show.
The group began working on the idea in May, and that idea has come to fruition and is now a reality that is up and running.
“Since we could not have our Members and Friends show in April, or our Memorial Day Show in May, we still wanted to give artists the opportunity to showcase their work. Thus the idea of an online show was born,” Aucremanne commented.
She further explained that the idea behind the show was to not only provide the community with beautiful masterpieces to enjoy, but to also afford the artists with the opportunity to showcase all of the hard work they put into their pieces for shows that have since been cancelled.
“Since we know many of you have works that you planned to exhibit in one of our shows, we thought it would be fun to do the show virtually,” she noted.
She disclosed that while this show is just for fun, and no prizes will be awarded, it is still a great opportunity for artists to get their name out and have individuals view their works.
Additionally, as a little grace during this uncertain time, there is no entry fee in place for the virtual showcase, and the online exhibit is open to all interested individuals, including both new and seasoned artists, as well as children.
All entries must be the original work of the artist making the submission, and may include paintings, sketches, sculptures, pottery, photography, textiles, et cetera.
According to TCAC members, works of art that one is wishing to submit for the virtual show are able to be sold through the exhibit with the gallery’s usual 30 percent consignment fee. Those wishing to sell are asked to price their pieces with this in mind.
To enter artwork into the virtual show, simply photograph your work and email them to [email protected].
“Throughout the month of June, I will be uploading photos for all to enjoy! Please note that this show will be going to the end of the month, and you may add photos to it at any time,” shared Aucremanne.
Be sure to follow the TCAC and Gallery 62 West on Facebook at, https://www.facebook.com/TCAC.Inc, and check out their first-ever Virtual Art Show.
“There are some absolutely amazing works of art here. I think you will like these! And remember to check, as some of our artists are selling their work. The show will continue until the end of the month,” reminded Aucremanne.
For additional information on Gallery 62 West and the TCAC, visit https://www.gallery62w.com, or leave a phone message by calling 304-265-5500.
Those wishing to make a donation to the TCAC may also do so by visiting their website or Facebook page.
“Art is essential for the expansion of the mind and creativity, especially with our younger population. A powerful piece of art can change the way we view the world. No virus can stop us from celebrating and supporting that, and we are forever grateful to the members of this community that continue to support us,” expressed Curry. “We are looking forward to opening our doors and displaying art again soon.”