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Arts & Crafts Take center stage
Arts become a Focus in Raleigh, Fayette, and Nicholas Counties

By Bridget Hill

Visitors to West Virginia are continually surprised by the quality and diversity of the state’s artists and craftspersons. While Tamarack, in Raleigh County, is the largest and best known facility featuring arts and crafts as well as food in WV, there are many lesser known, more unique galleries in the area as well.

The Gauley River Pottery showcases the fine craft work of Mary Bethune. Her unique glazes and pottery style have become well known in the area. Located in Nicolas County, the gallery is on Mount Lookout Road just off of highway 19 going west.

The Midland Trail Gallery is also located in Nicolas County near the Babcock State Park. This gallery features the fine art, craft and pottery works of David and Rachael Weaver. David Weaver’s paintings are traditional in style and subject matter often depicting still life scenes, portraits, or the scenic beauty of the state. Rachael Weaver’s paintings are a more modern southwest style with West Virginia themes. Both also produce well executed ceramic products of the highest quality.

Perhaps the most diverse gallery in the area is the Twin Rivers Gallery and Internet Café. Managed by Cynthia Potter, the gallery represents the best artists and craftspersons of the Appalachian Region including works by David Weaver, Rachel Weaver and Mary Bethune. Besides these artists the gallery highlights fine woodwork, glass work, jewelry, Fossil Watches, blacksmithing and fine art from local scenery to Abstract Expressionism. Featured Painters include Robert Tuckwiller, Martha Kemp, Robby Moore and Melissa Baker. Photographers include George Bragg, Bill Beatty, and Amy Thornton. Featured woodworkers include Tom Schottle, Robert Sprig, and Bev Beatty. Other artists and craftspersons include Jason Duffield, Sue Rogers, Cynlos, Sandi Blackwell, Jeanne Brenneman, Frank Colson, Lori Midkiff, Lesia Null, and David Weaver.

Twin Rivers also hosts an Open MIC Night showcasing the talents of area musicians and writers every Thursday from 8pm to 11pm and features the best of local bands on most Saturday nights in the Summer and Fall. Twin Rivers Gallery is also a part of Twin Rivers Design that provides quality marketing designs, printing and internet sites for local businesses.

The newest Gallery in the area is called Studio B in the heart of Fayetteville. Studio B is owned by Sharon Rynard, a painter and printmaker from Indianapolis. Featured Artists include Meredith Gregg who does quality painting, monotype, etching and lithography and Susan Sills, a painter. Featured Pottery artists include Steve Barber, Michael Pettrey, Paul Shaw, and Julie Winger. The gallery contains an in-house pottery studio and conducts classes by PJ Stevenson, a local school teacher, for children. The Gallery will also sell quality wine starting July 1st and hopes to be hosting wine tasting in the near future.