Award winners revealed

The Upshur Arts Alliance is pleased to announce that the “UAA Annual Juried Artist’s Exhibition” was hosted during the recent Strawberry Festival.

The competition was open to all artists working in any medium, 18 years of age or older and living in West Virginia. The exhibition, which included non-juried submissions from Upshur County Middle and High School students, was on view from May 15 until May 17.

Judges spent the morning of May 15 looking at, and contemplating works of art representing artisans from Upshur, Lewis and Harrison counties. The vast array of paintings, drawings, mixed media, fiber and other mediums made for the difficult task of selecting works for the final awards.

About the jury, Event Chairperson Dave Carson said, “I was very honored to serve as the director for the Upshur Arts Alliance Annual Juried Art Competition. The pieces submitted showed the extraordinary range of talent in the area. I was quite impressed by the quality of the submission – as well as broad range of styles from traditional landscape and portraiture to contemporary abstract paintings, and mixed media.”

Carson continued, “It was difficult in face of this broad range of diverse talent to make final selections. However, it was very rewarding for me to see the talent of these artists, and I look forward to seeing more in the future.”

The awards for this year’s competition represent not only a cross section of what is taking place in the visual arts of West Virginia today, but are also a fair representation of the variety of artists actively “at work.” “Dorse” by Deanna Gillum received the Best of Show Award. Merit Awards went to “Armor of Ephesians” by Katherine Crim and “Midnight Romp” by Aimee Shull. Honorable Mention Ribbons were bestowed upon “Sudden Flight” by Karen Brown, and “Laughter is the Best Medicine” by Shawna Clayton.

In addition to the above awards, The People’s Choice Award went to “The Babe” by Levi Bender. The West Virginia Strawberry Festival Queen’s Choice was “Breath of Beauty” by Keri Lane, the West Virginia Strawberry Festival King’s Choice was “Misty Maine Memory” by Sherri Butler, the West Virginia Strawberry Festival Teen Queen’s Choice was “Breath of Beauty” by Keri Lane and the West Virginia Strawberry Festival President’s Choice was “Sun kissed” by Amie Shull.

Alongside the works of art singled out for special mention, there were many others on the walls and tables throughout the exhibit. No matter where your individual taste in art may lead, visitors were able to find some satisfaction in this exhibition. The variety of work represented is a generous reflection of the community of artists presently at work in West Virginia.

The Upshur Arts Alliance, Inc. (UAA), founded in 1982, promotes, enhances and contributes to the educational, artistic and cultural lives of the residents of Upshur County. UAA, Inc. serves as a fundraising resource and supportive agency for organizations and individuals who positively influence the cultural climate of the community. UAA, Inc. relies on donations from supporters to continue the work. For more information, please contact UAA, Inc. at P.O. Box 395, Buckhannon, WV 26201, or send an email to