Arts Notes: March 4, 2012

Celtic artMINGO, W.Va. -- The Brazenhead Inn in Randolph County will host a benefit for the Mingo Historical Society, "An Intimate Celtic Evening with Eadhmonn Ua Cuinn," on Saturday, featuring dozens of sculptures of all sizes and colors from the "Private Collection Exhibit of Eadhmonn Ua Cuinn."Artwork is on loan from Celtic art collectors, including Davis & Elkins College, Helen Benigni and Mark Buterbaugh.Tickets are $45 and include a showing of the exhibit, a lecture on Celtic studies and a traditional Irish dinner. Doors open at 4 p.m., dinner is served at 5:30 p.m. Seating is limited; call Lauren Ragland, 304-339-2598, for ticket information.The artist is creating a "mystery piece" to be unveiled at the event. The 53-pound gray stone block has been slashed with black, red and white crayon markings as the preliminary design of the figure.Brazenhead Inn, U.S. 219, Mingo, WV 26294; 304-339-6917; designs soughtWest Virginia State University Extension Service and its partners, Arts Council of Kanawha Valley and Create WV, are seeking artists to complete exterior and interior murals on the newly renovated Economic Development Center, 1506 Kanawha Blvd. W.Artists are asked to depict the center as a place for creative thinking and capture all the purposes of the center.To learn those purposes, visit exterior mural wall space is about 12 feet by 50 feet; the two interior wall spaces are about 6 feet by 6 feet. Colors should complement the contemporary feel of the renovated interior.Selection will be announced March 16 and the project completion is projected for April 10. Artists will receive $1,500 for the exterior mural, $1,000 for each interior mural.Eligible artists are those living or working in Boone, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane and Wood counties.Proposals must be postmarked by Friday and either be mailed to Jaime Rinehart, WVSU Economic Development Center, 1506 Kanawha Blvd. W., Charleston, WV 25387, or dropped off by 5 p.m. at 1420 Kanawha Blvd. W.Contact Rinehart at or 304-720-1401. Visit or contact Naomi Bays at 304-807-2787.
Stuckey at Taylor BooksCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Annex Gallery at Taylor Books is featuring new paintings by Morgantown artist Tracy Stuckey. A reception with the artist will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday and the art will remain through the March 15 ArtWalk.Stuckey is a graduate of Florida State University and earned a master of fine arts degree from the University of New Mexico.He is a part-time lecturer in the West Virginia University College of Creative Arts and an adjunct professor in the Fairmont State University School of Fine Arts. In 2011 he received a professional development grant from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. In an artist's statement, Stuckey explains his approach to his paintings:"The American West, with its brief but romanticized 'wild' history, has become a dominant characteristic of our collective American psyche. The word 'western' is a category used to describe films, literature, music, art and fashion. Each of these mediums is devoted to this embellished and romanticized place and time.
"In my paintings I try to explore the difference between the facts and the fiction, often piecing the two aspects together in the same canvas to draw attention to the artificial reality. I combine the past with the present to explore how the romanticized imagery and iconic characters are used to sell an idea and stir our imaginations. I use the cowboy and cowgirl and other stereotypical Western themes coupled with pop cultural depictions of the region to reflect my own interpretations of the contemporary West. I am interested in historian Michael Johnson's phrase, the 'Ralphlaurenization' of the iconic West and its characters."Annex Gallery at Taylor Books, 226 Capitol St. Hours 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Contact Dan Carlisle, or 304-342-1461. Visit deadline nearsHUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The deadline is nearing for West Virginia students to submit their artwork for the Doodle 4 Google 2012 competition. Entries should be mailed in time to be received by Google by March 23.For more information on how to enter the competition, visit Huntington Museum of Art is supporting Doodle 4 Google 2012 by encouraging K-12 students in West Virginia to participate. HMOA will exhibit the state finalists' doodles in a local exhibition from May 22 to June 26. Admission will be free throughout the run of the exhibit.Doodle 4 Google is one of several efforts by Google to encourage and celebrate the creativity of young people by asking students to create their own Google doodle. The theme this year is "If I could travel in time, I'd visit ..."
A team of Googlers and then guest judges -- such as Katy Perry, "Phineas and Ferb" creator and executive producer Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, and recording artist Jordin Sparks -- will help choose the top doodles. On May 2, Google will give the final vote to the public, and one winner from each grade group will be chosen.Huntington Museum of Art, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 2033 McCoy Road, Huntington; 304-529-2701 or Admission $5 per person or $18 for a family of four or more. Admission is free on Tuesdays and to museum members.Youth symphony season setOAK HILL, W.Va. -- The spring season of the New River Youth Symphony and Chorus will begin Monday at Oak Hill High School.The Beginner Chorus, under the direction of Kathie Kiser, serves 5- to 10-year-olds. This group helps children to focus, understand rhythms and match pitch. Kiser and her team use sign language, puppets and games to develop the children's ability to enjoy and understand how to sing together as a group.The Youth Chorus, under the direction of Judith Arnold, provides the students with exposure to classical, folk and popular pieces. Arnold teaches the techniques necessary to use their voices effectively as individuals and as a group.William Bailey, Youth Symphony director, provides an opportunity for young instrumentalists in Southern West Virginia to interpret and perform classical/symphonic music. Openings are available for musicians ages 8 to 24 in strings, woodwinds, brass and concert percussion.Visit for details on auditions and rehearsals, or call Agnes Casto, general manager, 304-574-3567.At the SmithsonianWASHINGTON -- Planning a trip to Washington, D.C., for spring break? Here are a few of the exhibitions open this spring at the Smithsonian American Art Museum."The Art of Video Games," March 16 to Sept. 30, explores the 40-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium. Eighty games will be represented through still images and video footage; five will be available on kiosks where visitors can play brief excerpts."African American Art: Harlem Renaissance, Civil Rights Era, and Beyond," April 27 to Sept. 3, presents a selection of paintings, sculpture, prints and photographs by 43 black artists who explored the black American experience from the Harlem Renaissance through the civil-rights era and the decades beyond. More than half of the 100 featured works are being exhibited and circulated by the museum for the first time."Annie Leibovitz: Pilgrimage," through May 20, charts a new direction for the photographer. Unlike her staged and carefully lit portraits, these photographs were taken simply because Leibovitz was moved by the subject. Included are photographs of homes of iconic figures as well as places such as Niagara Falls, Walden Pond, Old Faithful and the Yosemite Valley.At the Renwick Gallery, visit "Something of Splendor: Decorative Arts from the White House," through May 6.The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F Streets NW., Washington, D.C. Daily 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Renwick Gallery, a branch museum, is located on Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Call 202-633-1000 or visit All programs and tours are free.Congressional art winnersCHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Six young artists have been selected as winners in the annual Congressional Art Competition, which is on display in the Balcony Gallery of the Culture Center through April 1. The exhibition is sponsored in cooperation with the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts.Three first-place winners received a $100 gift certificate from Dick Blick Art Materials, and their work will represent West Virginia in the national competition. Three second-place winners received $50 gift certificates from Dick Blick Art Materials.All winners were chosen by Vernon Howell, an art teacher at Barboursville High School for 30 years.The Congressional Art exhibition consists of 34 pieces by 28 students, grades 9 through 12, from 11 West Virginia counties. Artworks in the annual exhibition were selected from a statewide competition.Congressional Award winners:Shawna Clayton, "A Winter's Walk," Liberty High School, grade 12, Harrison CountyJoey Dawson, "Smelling Fresh," Ravenswood High School, grade 12, Jackson CountyStephen Santonia, "Strange Tides," Sherman High School, grade 12, Boone CountySecond-place winners:James Crim, "Poised for Lift-Off," Liberty High School, grade 9, Harrison CountyAmelia Long, "Untitled," North Marion High School, grade 12, Marion CountyBlake Stephens, "Let the Mouse Hunt Begin," Parkersburg High School, grade 12, Wood CountyTo have your announcement included in Arts Notes, email or send it to Arts Notes, The Charleston Gazette, 1001 Virginia St. E., Charleston, WV 25301. Artwork can be submitted electronically or by mail. Deadline for inclusion in the Sunday Gazette-Mail is the Tuesday before Sunday publication.
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