Exhibits

Exhibits on view Tuesday - Saturday, 10:00-5:00 ($2 non member admission).  Wednesdays are FREE! Admission to opening receptions is $10 for non-members and FREE for members.


current Exhibit:

Wildlife & Equine Portraits by Merry Cibula: September through October, 2019

Opening: Sunday, September 1, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

About 17,000 years ago, a cave person used natural pigments and a burned stick to draw a horse on the wall of a cave in Lascaux, France. This pot-bellied horse started a trend: (besides the invention of graffiti) a trend for artworks capturing the enduring strength and grace of The Horse.

Equine paintings and sculptures have been popular in every era. It’s true the horse lost some ground in early Christian and Byzantine art, but by the time of the Renaissance there was...well...a renaissance in equine art. By the Baroque era, every noble worth his salt was painted astride a horse.

In the 1800s and 1900s the horse was a common subject, pictured in war, at work in the fields, and most especially, at sport—horse racing and fox hunting. These sports, plus the American West, provided unending opportunities for those who had the necessary skill to feature the horse in art.  And speaking of that necessary skill brings me to the newest member of our Art Center exhibitor family: Merry Cibula.

The thing is, it isn’t easy to get the horse right. The people who draw, sculpt or paint the horse well—like Merry—are typically those who have spent time with them.  Merry served in the Peace Corps for six years in Cameroon, West Africa, where her love for the horse (indeed all wildlife) blossomed.

When she returned to the states she took her love of animals, her six years of photographs in the wild, and her talent to Ohio University. There she majored in painting, studying with—among others—the extraordinary Gary Pettigrew. (In fact, it was Gary who introduced me to Merry, and suggested we host an exhibit of her work.)  Upon graduation, she worked as an illustrator for the American Quarter Horse Museum and for the Columbus Zoo.

Horses and other animals thrive on Merry’s farm in Athens, Ohio, as well as in her nuanced charcoal and colored pencil works. In any of her pieces, the exacting detail in the eye and color and musculature make it clear that these are not idealized studies, but actual four-legged people, as real as your neighbors. These are wildlife PORTRAITS. And while her exhibit is primarily equine works, her other subjects are treated with the same skill and care, no matter the number of legs.

Abby Hayhurst, Artistic Director


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past Exhibits:

“Bow Wow Meow”—2019 Regional Exhibit: July 28 - August 24, 2019

The Parkersburg Art Center will host the 2019 Regional Exhibit. The theme for this year is “Bow Wow Meow” and will include works of art from the regional artists.

Opening Reception & Awards: Sunday, July 28, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Reception is free for artists and ONE guest.  Additional guests, $10 per person. Children under 12, no charge.

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“Bow Wow Meow” is made possible by support from


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Marcella Blomberg — a memorial Retrospective: July 5 - July 20, 2019

Opening: Friday, July 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

An active member of the art scene in the Mid-Ohio Valley from 1964 until 2018, Marcella Chandler Blomberg will be greatly missed.  A Texas native, Marcella came to this area with her late husband, John, and taught art at St. Joseph’s Seminary until retiring…and by retiring, I mean making her own art full time. 

 We say, “such-and-such was a watercolorist,” or “so-and-so did pastels,” but it is impossible to attach any particular art form to Marcella.  While she is probably best known for her liturgical bronzes, featured at St. Margaret Mary’s in Parkersburg, as well as at churches in Charleston and Ravenswood, she was accomplished in mosaics, textiles, origami, stained glass, woodcut and linoleum-block printing, carving, clay, and just about any kind of painting you can think of. She was a great experimenter, and dove into any new medium with characteristic brio.

 A Master Gardener and bird-watcher, themes of nature drove her work, in whatever medium she chose.  Marcella raised rare orchids and had a litterbox-trained possum as a pet. Squirrels fed from her hand while art poured from her fingertips.  A gaminesque St. Francis with a paintbrush, Marcella said, “I like Parkersburg, but I like it a lot better when the sun shines.”

The Blomberg family—daughter Kathleen, and sons Eric and Greg—have entrusted the Art Center with a collection from the vast amount of work created by this talented artist.  The retrospective exhibit, co-curated by fellow artist and Blomberg family friend Henry Aglio, will be on display for a limited time, and should not be missed.  

 Abby Hayhurst, Artistic Director


“Aqueous 2019” : National Juried Exhibition, hosted by The West Virginia Watercolor Society

On display May 19 – June 14, 2019

Did you have a set of watercolors when you were little? Hard blocks of color in a tin box, plus a nasty brush? If you were like me, the blue was anemic, the yellow got muddy immediately, and what was the point?

European artists had watercolors by the 1400s. Those paints were chipped from blocks then laboriously ground in water.  By the late 1700s, paint-makers in England learned to produce water-soluble cakes of color.  In the 1800s, an enterprising American named Prang began manufacturing non-toxic tins of watercolors for the masses.

While the paint itself may have changed, the difficulty in working with it has not. When you touch brush to paper, you have to be right the first time: unlike oils or acrylics, you can’t scrape it off and hope for steadier hands tomorrow. Precise detail is hard to achieve when your paint wants to go for a stroll. Watercolors are daunting and delicate and touchy, and I have nothing but admiration for the 42 artists who produced the 57 works that have been accepted for this exhibit.

Abby Hayhurst, Artistic Director

Images left to right: "Ascension of Light" by Jeanne Brenneman, of Lewisburg, WV "China Texting" by Joye Moon, of Oshkosh, WI


"Gossamer” Photography by Garen DiBartolomeo

"Gossamer” Photography by Garen DiBartolomeo

Praxis—A Fine Arts Approach: Photography by Garen DiBartolomeo: March 31 - May 10, 2019

Opening: Sunday, March 31, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Garen DiBartolomeo is a photographer from Weirton, West Virginia, who  takes, as he says, a "fine art approach to commercial photography."  Many of the 50+ images in this solo exhibit may have begun their lives as a shot for an annual report or ad campaign, but this does not change the fact that the works embody all the same markers sought for in fine art. I admire his uses of color and composition to create a mood of mystery; a sense of a story that is lurking just out of sight.  We called the show "Praxis" because his pieces exist in the triangle surrounded by art, science and skill....old Aristotle would have gotten a large charge out of them.

Abby Hayhurst, Artistic Director


Blenko Glass: Vivid Glass from the Collection of Barry Wade: March 31 - May 10, 2019

Opening: Sunday, March 31, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

The Blenko Glass Company is a family-owned and operated concern since 1893, and located in Milton, West Virginia since 1921. Founder William Blenko came to our state seeking a dependable workforce, easy access to the railroad, and an abundance of cheaply priced natural gas for his furnaces. His son (also William) imported Swedish glass artists to train the Blenko crews. This was the beginning of the tableware line of pieces known throughout the world for their extraordinary color and elegance of form.

Blenko is one of the few survivors of America's Art Glass industry, in part because of their almost futuristic design aesthetic. The work is sturdy and forthright. The shapes are simple, but not in the least simplistic. The Blenko colors demand that the glass be displayed in a place where light can pour through, reminding us that glass—while appearing hard—is always a molten work in progress.

Blenko is popular with serious glass collectors, and Parkersburg's Barry Wade is no exception. We are delighted he is trusting us to display samples from his vast personal collection. Many of his pieces are one-of-a-kinds, and signed by the artists, such as Wayne Husted, shown on the right with Barry and one of his brilliant platters.

Abby Hayhurst, Artistic Director


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Virginia Killian: “Images Just come to me”: February 17 - March 16, 2019

Opening: Sunday, February 17, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Viginia Kilian is a local artist, art instructor and founding member of Riverside Artists’ Cooperative. She is always experimenting with new materials and fresh ideas. The Art Center will have a large collection of her new works on display.

This opening also has an interactive element! Along with this exhibit we will also be creating a community mural. We will have aprons and rubber gloves on hand, but come dressed and ready to paint!

This exhibit opening on February 17 is FREE for members and non-members thanks to our sponsor, Tellus Consulting Group.

Virginia’s art will be on display February 17 - March 16.




Artist Trees: November 24 - December 22, 2018

The Parkersburg Art Center’s Annual Artist Tree Display will kick off during our Holiday Open House/Artist Market on Small Business Saturday.

Ever wonder how Klee, Calder or Picasso would have decorated their Christmas tree? We did!  Local artists and school groups come together each year to imagine what this classic holiday decor would have looked like in the hands of famous (or not so famous) artists.  

This is a community celebration of art and creativity. Bring some change and vote for your favorites! These fabulous trees will remain on display until December 22. Artist Trees 2018 is made possible by our friends at Family Carpet.


6x6 Show: November 16 - December 22, 2018

  • Members and Artists Opening: Friday, November 16th. 
    Sale starts at 5:30 p.m. and runs until 8:00 p.m..
    Each member and artist may bring guests.
    General community sale starts Saturday, November 17 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Free admission.)  Art will remain on sale during regular Art Center hours through December 22.

This event is the Parkersburg Art Center’s fundraiser where we display well over 1,000 original small works of art, 2D or 3D, any medium, all on a 6" X 6" base. All will be for sale for $20. We will also sell beautiful frames and 6x6 boxes of edible goodies to enjoy then or during Thanksgiving.  The 6x6's will remain on display and for sale until Christmas.

You may preview the artwork beginning Tuesday, November 6th during regular business hours.


Allied artists of WV Juried Exhibit: October 14 - November 10, 2018

The Allied Artists of West Virginia have been in operation since 1935. Their mission is to encourage, nurture and present the work of West Virginia artists to the community. Jury sessions are held twice a year in the spring and fall. Applicants must be 18 and a resident of West Virginia.
This exhibit is their 71st Juried event. Congratulations to the Allied Artists of WV, who have consistently fostered excellence in West Virginian art for many years!

This exhibit was sponsored by our friends at Wesbanco! THANK YOU!

Images left to right: “Mountain Laurel” by Jerre Watkins, "Eagle Over Kanawha Valley" by Henry Riffe, "Summer Charm" by Stella Jarrett, "Mission Arches"  photograph by Laura Moul