Wheeling Artist Featured In New Show

Robert Villamagna of Wheeling is one of 13 artists whose works are featured in a new show, “GESTURES: An Exhibition of Small Site-Specific Works,” at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh.

Villamagna, a professor of art at West Liberty University, and the other artists were invited by guest curator Katherine Talcott to, in her words, “re-imagine time, space and place, and to develop their ideas, processes and obsessions to create site-specific installations” for this exhibition.

The exhibition, which opened Saturday, May 8, continues through Sunday, June 20, at the Mattress Factory, which is a museum of contemporary art. The gallery is located at 500 Sampsonia Way, in the historic Mexican War Streets of Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Villamagna’s work, titled “Talk to Me: Real Words from Real People,” consists of 25 mixed-media figures. Each figure, created in the artist’s signature assemblage style, has a “speech balloon” containing a quote, serious or ironic, that Villamagna has heard. For example, one figure features a quote from his wife, Chris Villamagna: “You go through this every time. You’ll do great!” A figure of a steelworker comes with a quote from a former boss at the former Weirton Steel mill: “You are working in the belly of a dinosaur! You’ll be able to tell your grandchildren about this.”

Former students provided some of the more ironic quotes for Villamagna’s installation, including “I like people … but I hate the public” and “I’m sorry I’m dropping your class, but I’m addicted to Andy Griffith.”

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Continuing on the artistic front, artist Herb Weaver, a professor of fine arts at Bethany College, has a mixed-media sculpture titled “Appalachian Lockdown” on display in the 67th Allied Artists of West Virginia Juried Exhibition at the Clay Center in Charleston.

The juried exhibition includes work in all media by artists residing in West Virginia. The show, which opened Saturday, May 1, runs through Sunday, June 27.

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While we haven’t heard much about Glen Dale native Brad Paisley’s two young sons, Huckleberry, 3, and Jasper, 1, lately, the singer-songwriter is among the many country music entertainers affected by the serious flooding in Nashville earlier this month.

Paisley was one of the country stars scheduled to perform in a live televised concert from the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville Sunday, May 16, as a benefit for flood relief.

Entertainment Weekly magazine reported that Paisley’s H2O World Tour set was damaged by the flood water. According to the magazine, “High water seriously damaged a major rehearsal facility called Soundcheck, where superstars like Paisley and Keith Urban keep their gear.”

We’re sure that Paisley noted the irony of having water cause damage to his “H2O” set …

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Four dancers from Wheeling’s Arielette dance studio, owned by Missi Ross, were chosen to be on the American Dance Team, with members selected from all over the country.

The four local students – Chelsea Loy, Aaron Kuhn, Devyn Stidd and Maddie Ross – competed with the team in the Barcelona Dance Awards event in Cataluyna, Spain, this spring. The team won the victory cup as world champions.

Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net