Artists shine at MSFF exhibit

The Inter-Mountain photos by Tim MacVean A group of onlookers admire artwork during the 81st Mountain State Forest Festival annual juried art exhibit Wednesday night at The Arts Center in Elkins. See additional photos from the Forest Festival on pages A3 and A8.

ELKINS — Eighteen artists took home 19 prizes as part of the 81st Mountain State Forest Festival Juried Arts Exhibit Wednesday evening.

Elkins artist Brad Basil took top honors with his acrylic painting “Georgeann Wells, First Dunk,” which won the best in show award.

In the adult category, additional winners included: first place, “Valley Falls #3,” by Linda Elmer; second place, “Still Watercolor,” by Grey Darden; and third place, “California Coast,” by Jane Micheal.

Honorable mentions were “The Kids,” by Brenda Smith and “Bamboo” by Ruth Ann Kerns.

“Fossils” by Betty Neely; “Segments” by Rema White; and “Brother Jim” by Philomena Martin all received Seneca Trail Artist Guild awards.

Robert C. Byrd High School 12th grade student Zorian Misner, left, stands with The Arts Center Executive Director Kurt Barkley after receiving the student art exhibit 81st Mountain State Forest Festival Best in Show award Wednesday night.

“We want to congratulate all the winners of this year’s Forest Festival art exhibit,” Kurt Barkley, executive director of The Arts Center, said. “It was a great show. We are open through Saturday and we hope as many people as possible can come out to enjoy both the adult and student art.”

In the student portion of the exhibit, Robert C. Byrd High School 12th grade student Zorian Misner won best in show with his acrylic painting “8 Heads are Better than One.” Winnersin the student section included: first place, “How to be an artist,” by Joey Angermame; second place, “It’s Not What You Think,” by Tatum Wamsley; and third place, “Tree Pot,” by Jillian Morgan.

Honorable mentions were “Peace” by Hailee Linn and “La Vogagevse” by Leanna High. The Talbott Frame Shop award went to Majorie Moses for her “Heartland” piece.

“This year’s Mountain State Forest Festival exhibit, especially the student exhibit, had more entries than we’ve had in the past. The walls are covered with beautiful art. It is so well done and we are lucky to have this kind of art in our community,” Judy Van Gundy, president of the Arts Center board of directors said.

“The student exhibit especially, if you’ve not seen it, you need to come in and take a look because these are the up-and-coming artists of Randolph County and surrounding counties,” she continued. “The work is beautiful. The teachers are doing a great job in the schools with Arts Bank helping them out. The innate talent of these students is very evident.”

The exhibit rounded out with the selection of “The Kids,” by Smith, who also took home an honorable mention for the same painting. She was selected by Maid Silvia LXXXI Morgan Alyssa Stephens. “The Girl that Ate Lima Beans,” by Dylan Basi, was selected by Maid of Honor Sydney Mullenax and “Riparian Riffles,” by Beck Blackley, was selected by Maid of Honor Sydney Nicole Leary.

The selected juror for the event was Nicole Suptic, a West Virginia native presently residing in Raleigh County. She obtained her BA in Fine Arts from Concord University.

More than 100 entries were submitted to the exhibit, with more than 60 coming from students in West Virginia schools from kindergarten through 12th grade.