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New Online Map Marks Wheeling’s Public Art Spots

photo by: Photo by Joselyn King

Artist Robert Villamagna's art piece of Charles "Moondog" Waldrum can be seen inside the Wheeling Visitors Center at the corner of 14th and Main streets in downtown Wheeling.

WHEELING — Do you know where a mixed-media artwork of Charles “Moondog” Waldrum hangs in downtown Wheeling? How about the artwork “Shrine for a Mill Rat?” Or the “Thomas the Turtle” sculpture?

A pin and cursor now mark the spots of Wheeling’s many downtown art displays following work by Wheeling Heritage to create an online map of public artworks.

The map can be viewed at wheelingheritage.org/public-art-trail.

There are 65 public pieces of art on the map, beginning at the Castle at Mount Wood Cemetery and extending in North Wheeling and extending through the downtown, to Center Wheeling and even out to a mural at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mozart.

The “Moondog” artwork by artist Robert Villamagna is at the Wheeling Visitor’s Center at the corner of 14th and Main streets, while “Shrine for a Mill Rat” can be found at the Ohio County Library and “Thomas the Turtle” in Market Plaza outside the former Stone and Thomas Building.

Viewing all 65 artworks can be like an artistic scavenger hunt within the Friendly City, and Wheeling Heritage is prepared to add more to the map when the need arises, according to Alex Panas, communications and development manager for Wheeling Heritage.

“As Wheeling’s public art inventory continues to grow, we will continually add information to the online arts map to help showcase the arts in Wheeling.” Panas said. “We are also seeking the public’s input. There are likely a few spots we missed, which is why we included a place on our website where community members can submit information that can then be added to the map.”

According to Wheeling Heritage Executive Director Scott Schenerlein, projects like this are important to the organization’s mission of being a catalyst for revitalization in Wheeling.

“Public art gives life to the community and showcases its special attributes. This map is something that can be used by everyone — visitors, teachers, students, and the local community,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the work that has been done and thrilled that we were able to partner with other organizations to show off what happens when talented people collaborate together.”

Wheeling Heritage has also partnered with the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission and Oglebay Institute to offer a print brochure to complement the online map. The Downtown Art Trail brochure will take people on a three-and-a-half-mile loop through Wheeling’s Downtown and Center Market neighborhoods to see several public art pieces up close.

To request a copy of the brochure, those interested can send an email to info@wheelingheritage.org.


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