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Art Shows Abound In Area

Area art lovers have a plethora of paintings (and other art works, too) to view in the Wheeling area this month.

For instance, a beautiful exhibition, “Learning to See,” opened Thursday at the Wheeling Artisan Center. The show features recent watercolor paintings by Rosalie Haizlett, a talented young artist who grew up on a farm outside Bethany and earned a degree in art from West Liberty University.

The collection of paintings offers intricately detailed portraits of nature subjects and landscapes. Haizlett’s inspiration came from her experiences in the natural world throughout West Virginia and in other areas, including the Great Smoky Mountains.

Among those in attendance at the opening reception were the artist’s parents, James and Jo Ellen Haizlett, who live on the Sanford family farm near Bethany. He is an associate professor of visual communication design and digital media design at West Liberty.

The proud father said Rosalie’s artistic talent was apparent from an early age. He recalled that as a very young child, Rosalie observed that the spacing was incorrect between two letters in a word on a bumper sticker affixed to a vehicle traveling ahead of them. “They ought to fix that,” the tot declared.

At Rosalie’s request, some of her father’s art work is interspersed between her paintings in the Wheeling Artisan Center’s third-floor Loft Gallery. The show, which is open to the public at no charge, runs through May 30.

Meanwhile, the father-daughter team will be participating in another show at a new gallery in the area. Details of that venture will be forthcoming soon.

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This year’s “Crosscurrents” exhibition at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center is dedicated to the memory of Wheeling artist Bernie Peace.

It’s a fitting tribute because Peace, who died in January, participated in many “Crosscurrents” shows over the years. As an artist, he prided himself on having work in more than 300 exhibits at various venues. In addition, many of Peace’s former students at West Liberty, where he was a professor emeritus of art, have had entries selected for the annual “Crosscurrents” exhibitions.

Peace’s wife, Sally, and their children, Tony Peace of Wheeling and Dr. Tracy Peace of Columbus, were present at the opening reception for “Crosscurrents” on May 2.

The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, continues through June 28 at Stifel Fine Arts Center, located at 1330 National Road in Wheeling.

Earlier this year, a tribute to Peace, “The Dot Show,” was conceived and executed by his colleagues and former students at West Liberty’s Nutting Gallery.

Peace’s last show as a living artist was a retrospective exhibition staged at the Wheeling Artisan Center last spring.

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Visitors viewing the current art exhibitions at Artworks Around Town also are seeing Artworks’ newly renovated gallery and shop within the Upper Market House at Wheeling’s historic Centre Market.

Artworks members have painted the walls and rearranged the exhibit areas to create a brighter, more open space for displaying work of member artists and guest artists. Partitions have been removed to show the art more prominently and to improve the flow of traffic through the gallery. On another bright note, artists point out that display space hasn’t been lost through the reconfiguration.

The first guest artists featured in the “new” gallery are painter Bob Dombrowski of St. Clairsville and Union Local High School students. Their work will remain on display, free of charge to visitors, through May 31.

The May 3 Gallery Hop served as an opening reception for the new exhibitions and a celebration of Artworks’ new look.

Linda Comins can be reached via email at: lcomins@theintelligencer.net.

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