Barbour County native teaches art for all ages

PHILIPPI – Library patrons of all ages and artistic skill levels gathered at the Philippi Public Library Saturday for a basic portrait drawing lesson from Sarah Ferguson, a local artist.

Ferguson grew up in Philippi and has been creating artwork her entired life. She has been teaching art since her high school biology teacher hired her to give his daughter private art lessons.

“It’s kind of nice because I can teach someone something and then they can go and teach it to somebody else,” Ferguson said.

Ferguson currently teaches art at Coalton, Homestead and George Ward elementary schools. She also is a member of Arts Bank in Randolph County and has taught art classes both in Elkins at the Randolph County Community Arts Center and in Philippi through private lessons.

Her library art workshop in Philippi was geared toward all audiences.

“I’ve always enjoyed art and always done art,” Ferguson said. “I think (teaching) it’s a wonderful way to share the knowledge of art that I have with others. It’s fun and exciting.”

Even some people who didn’t consider themselves artists decided to attend the event.

“The most exciting thing I’ve ever drawn are stick figures and now I have something to be proud of,” Caroline Jett of Philippi said. “It appealed to those with talent and limited talent.”

“It was fun,” 11-year-old aspiring artist Amelia Gottschall said, adding that she believes she learned something from the class.

Gottschall attended the class with her mother and brother. Her brother, Matthew, held his drawing high so that it could be seen, and pointed to all the different parts he learned to draw, one by one.

“I drew my hair; it’s probably lopsided,” 5-year-old Matthew Gottschall said as he admired his self-portrait drawing.

Other young students also came to learn to draw a portrait.

“She loved it,” Carla Taylor of Philippi said about her 9-year-old daughter. “I think it definitely taught the basics of art.”