Our holiday exhibit gathers a wide selection of work from artists working in a variety of mediums. A cross section of the talent and creativity abundant within our region. Scroll down to view descriptions and photos from some of our contributors
November 15, 2018 – January 31, 2019
Charleston ArtWalk: November 23, 5-8pm and December 20, 5-8pm
When Ric originally came to West Virginia in June 1968, he carried his first 35mm camera on his shoulder. It was a present from his parents as he graduated from college that May. Both his photography and his life were shaped by the connections to the area and people that started then.
Born in 1946, Ric spent his early years in rural, southeastern Pennsylvania, wandering in the woods, playing in the streams. When he was a teen his family moved to Aurora, Illinois, where he graduated from high school. He continued west to Grinnell College in Iowa and received his BA in English.
When he came to WV, Ric first lived with the Youngs on Harvey’s Creek near the Lincoln-Putnam line. He was a VISTA volunteer. That federal program placed him with a family to understand better the realities of the people and their connections to the land. The Youngs took him into their lives and though he moved to Sugar Camp Creek four months later, the Youngs continued to be his family, and their home was a place of welcome. Sugar Camp was a more isolated and smaller community than Harvey’s Creek, but also made up of open and caring people who taught Ric how to live frugally. Ric stayed there one year until his term as a VISTA ended.
In 1972, after completing his Master’s Degree, he returned to West Virginia to teach. Ric came back to Harvey’s Creek. The Youngs had left; the house was vacant. Ric moved in as a caretaker/renter. That house and its seventy acres became the locus of his life for the next forty-five years. He walked a quarter mile from the road where he parked to the house. It never had running water, only a well and outhouse. He heated water from the creek for outdoor showers, raised a garden, helped his neighbors and learned from them. His first job in 1972 was at Martin School where he taught all subjects to 7th and 8th graders in the same room. He taught there two years and grew close to that community, many of whom lived up Dog Bone Creek. Ric continued living on Harvey’s Creek, still without running water, until 2017 when he relocated to Charleston.
Ric’s photography has always been a part-time job. He has no formal training in art or photography. He has worked as a teacher, principal, coach, college administrator, county Extension Agent, and director/grant writer of a decade long project in Lincoln County installing individual home septic systems in a low-income, rural community.
He traveled to Nicaragua in the 1980’s and Columbia in 2002 with Witness for Peace; spent 9 months in the Ituri Rainforest in Zaire, Africa; led high school student exchanges to Mexico. He has served on the boards of Coalfield Development, Lincoln Primary Care, Prestera Center for Mental Health, Catholic Community Services, and the Lincoln County Economic Development Authority. He has initiated many community programs including low income kids’ residence camps, teen parenting and dropout prevention support groups, environmental and summer activities for children.
His social justice activism runs deep, yet one of its taproots is his early connection to the neighbors, friends, and environment in the three communities of this exhibit. The portraits and scenes in the exhibit represent a life style which vanished as rural West Virginia became more and more incorporated into mainstream America.
Viktor Plumbi was born and raised in Albania. He studied fine art in Florence, Italy and then attended the Boston Architectural College. He currently lives in South Charleston.
Meditation Through Doodling consists of 130 hand drawn geometrical images made with pen, a ruler and a graph paper notepad. The project was constructed over the course of two years during Plumbi’s downtime at an architectural firm in Boston.
“Everyone goes through some sort of mind wandering during their daily chores. Whether you are sitting on your porch, washing the dishes, sitting in your office or classroom, our mind finds a way to detach from the physical body, and for a few seconds or minutes, this moment feels infinite. Some of us don’t fully enjoy this state of being and attempt to shake it off instantly. But others let these moments run their course and come out of them, free from constraints and as if all our troubles have faded away.” -Viktor Plumbi
Kayla graduated with her Bachelor of Arts, from Concord University in 2017 with a focus in painting and ceramics.
Helix uses the golden ratio as a starting point and is composed of twenty-three hand built ceramic shells with individual textural and compositional qualities
Hamilton is best known for his energetic, highly expressive acrylic canvases, hand-built sculptures, carved and painted wooden wall reliefs, and self-pulled wood block prints. His work meticulously fills empty space with dots, swirls, and other design elements. His style is a cross between psychedelic art of the 1960’s and the work of indigenous tribal art such as that of aboriginal peoples of Australia (often referred to as “New World Primitivism”). His sculptures often incorporate colorful marbles and other found materials. Each work is narrative to a degree, and often autobiographical. His art includes interesting perspectives such as birds-eye views that compress a wide area of territory into a single image, whether it is a room full of people, a baseball diamond, a battlefield, or an entire town.
Hamilton was raised on a farm in North Carolina, served as a Gunner’s Mate Petty Officer with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, studied art at UNC-Chapel Hill and has lived in West Virginia for approximately forty years
*Thanks to the Huntington Museum of Art for this Biography
Allowatt’s collages are made from his collection of found objects, photos and vintage books.
The layered elements play with iconography and myth to create fully realized dreamscapes.