WEIRTON - One year ago, a dream to showcase the artistic talents of the region became a reality.
On Wednesday, a reception was held to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Summit Art Gallery, while also unveiling its latest exhibit.
Summit Art Gallery, created in cooperation with the Hancock County Arts Council and the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, shares space with the CVB offices at 3393 Main St., Weirton.
"This has been an exciting year for us," Nancy Wright, chair of the Arts Council, told the gathered crowd.
Wright explained the Arts Council didn't know how well an art gallery might be accepted in the area when they began work in 2012, but since opening in April 2013 they have held four full exhibits featuring a variety of paintings and photography from local artists.
"We have a lot of talent in the valley," Wright said. "We have a lot more to come."
ANNIVERSARY MARKED — A reception was held Wednesday in observance of the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Summit Art Gallery in Weirton. The latest exhibit, unveiled as part of the anniversary celebration, features the works of Frank M. Hnat and Cari McIntyre, as well as some previously displayed artists. -- Craig Howell
The newest exhibit featured the work of Frank M. Hnat, of Hickory, Pa., and Cari McIntyre, from New Cumberland.
Hnat uses a pen and ink technique to render portraits and sketches of wildlife, which has gained him an international reputation. He has been displayed at exhibits throughout the United States and Canada. Many of Hnat's sketches will be available for purchase during the exhibit.
McIntyre is an animal welfare advocate and nurse who often features animals on her work, which usually appears on discarded items. Her exhibit includes paintings appearing on a wooden ironing board, wooden chairs, an old coffee pot and a metal bread box.
In addition, artwork from several artists previously featured at the gallery was brought back.
"We thought it would be nice to have some of our prior artists on display," Mary Ann Reese, a member of the Arts Council and artist, said.
Some of Reese's work was among the inaugural displays at the gallery, and was brought back for the new exhibit, along with works by Gerald Van Syock, of Steubenville; Andy Tindor, of Weirton; Jim Watson, of Steubenville; Bob Watson, of Weirton; Joan Heddle, of Weirton; Dolores Koper, of New Cumberland; Diana Holcombe, of Smithfield; Sue Tate, of Weirton; Greg Starr, of Follansbee; Samuel Rees, of Weirton; and area native Deb Snelling-Strunk.
CVB Director Dan Greathouse also was on hand Wednesday, congratulating the Arts Council for the growth experienced by the gallery in the last year.
(Howell can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)