TCAC to welcome well known West Virginia artist for August exhibit


GRAFTON—The Taylor County Arts Council is honored to present the exhibition of the works of an experienced and talented master of the canvas.

“It is our pleasure to introduce you to our next featured artist at Gallery 62 West,” shared Vicki Aucremanne, Taylor County Arts Council (TCAC) member. “During the month of August, we will be featuring the splendid works of Misty Murray-Walkup.”

Murray-Walkup, the owner of Laurel Creek Mountain Art, will be bringing a collection of her artwork, mainly oils and acrylics on canvas.

“Misty is a full-time working artist and illustrator with over 30 years of experience,” Aucremanne revealed. “And although she prefers using oils and acrylics, she enjoys dabbling in several other mediums, always adding to her abilities along the way.”

Her unique painting style has not only gained her respect, but has also garnered much recognition in the art world, a feat for an entirely self-taught artist. And being self-taught, she wishes to inspire any artists to follow their passion and dreams.

“Go paint,” she voiced. “Truly, practice does make perfect. So, go paint and then paint some more!”

The West Virginia native, hailing from Greenbrier County, enjoys painting various subjects, but animals, both wildlife and domestic, are her focus of choice. Murray-Walkup shared that she enjoys the unique challenge that comes along with painting wildlife in realism.

Living in West Virginia lends inspiration to her paintings, as wildlife is abundant in the state.

“I love painting and realism, and wildlife is by far my favorite subject,” expressed Murray-Walkup. “I bring the zoo inside my head to life on canvas with my brush and paint.”

She shared that also enjoys painting portraits of people, because of the challenge of creating realistic skin tones and facial expressions.

And Murray-Walkup isn’t afraid to utilize every color that she can come up with, as long as it helps to recreate what she sees as realistically as possible.

Her willingness to take on challenging subjects, along with her unique ability to apply paint to canvas has paid off well for Murray-Walkup. She has received numerous awards for her paintings in juried art shows across the United States.

In addition to being a juried member of Tamarack in Beckley, her artwork has been chosen by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) for several of the yearly calendars. 

According to Aucremanne, Murray-Walkup’s work appeared in the 2019 calendar for the month of October, two of her paintings were selected for the 2020 calendar for the month of January and October and in 2021, Misty’s painting of a bobcat was featured on the cover of the calendar, as well as for the month of September, and her painting of wild turkeys was used for the month of March.

“Most recently, two of her paintings were selected for the 2022 edition of the West Virginia State Wildlife Calendar,” Aucremanne disclosed. “Her black bear painting was selected by the WVDNR as the cover, and her otter was also selected to appear in the interior of the publication.”

Murray-Walkup was also a featured artist for the Foundation of Appalachian Advancement. She was also commissioned to create the official State Fair of West Virginia Print of the Year and was the first hidden image poster ever painted for the event.

“Additionally, her artwork can be found in private and public collections worldwide,” Aucremanne noted.

And if those accolades weren’t already impressive, Murray-Walkup is a published artist, having her work featured in numerous books including Appalachian Folklore-Omens, Signs and Superstitions, Were Wolf Tales, Ghosts of Greenbrier County, Haunted Lewisburg, West Virginia and William McClung’s Appalachian Frontiersman.

Her book, The Wildlife Art of Misty Murray-Walkup, is a collection of 22 paintings that was recently selected for inclusion into the United States Library of Congress.

When she is not painting, Murray-Walkup enjoys spending down time with her husband, James, and their four children.

“We hope that you will come check out this wonderful exhibit,” Aucremanne expressed. “Many of Misty’s amazing art works will be for sale!”

The TCAC will be welcoming Murray-Walkup with an opening reception during August’s First Friday celebration. The event is slated to begin at 6:00 p.m.

Her works will be on display at Gallery 62 West throughout the month of August, and may be viewed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Those wishing for a private showing may call the Gallery at 304-265-5500 to make arrangements with volunteers.

© 2022-Mountain Statesman

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