Art and Architecture: Celebrating Artist Tom Griffith’s Wheeling

WHEELING — An art walk celebrating the works of Tom Griffith will take place in downtown Wheeling on Sept. 6. The fundraiser is being sponsored by the Friends of Wheeling Inc. and Wheeling Heritage.

Participants will enjoy a progressive hors d’oeuvre repast while visiting downtown buildings including the Stone Center, Vagabond Kitchen, West Virginia Independence Hall, West Virginia Northern Community College and the Wheeling Artisan Center. Each stop will feature the artwork that Griffith created of that building.

Guides will lead three tours beginning at 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and will provide information about the historic buildings. Light beverages also will be provided at each stop, ending with desserts, wine and other beverages at the Artisan Center, where a full gallery of Griffith’s work will be on display and the artist himself will be in attendance.

Griffith is the definition of a local artist. Born and raised in Wheeling, Griffith has never owned a car or even obtained a driver’s license. In his 78 years, he has never lived outside of the city limits.

His love of movies, the theaters he worked in as a teenager and especially the city he grew up in are apparent in the paintings that he has created over the years. Griffith’s Wheeling is one of vibrancy, both in the paint colors he chooses, as well as the era he recalls within them.

Organizers said viewing Griffith’s works sparks nostalgia and further instills the love of Wheeling’s architecture in those who view them.

It is suggested that participants park at the Intermodal Transportation Center on Main Street. The Wheeling trolley will transport participants to the first stop. Alternatively, participants can provide their own transportation.

There are limited tickets available. Ticket proceeds benefit Friends of Wheeling, a nonprofit historic preservation group. Proceeds from sales of Griffith’s art will go to the artist.

Additional information and reservations can be made by contacting Judi Hendrickson at 304-232-5903 or emailing jujan@comcast.net. Payment confirms the reservation.