West Virginia’s 10 Contemporary Art Galleries You Should Visit
West Virginia isn’t exactly known for its burgeoning art scene, but those who look closely will discover a number of intriguing galleries loyal to the state’s native artists and unique cultural identity. Here are our picks for the top art galleries in the Mountain State.
Birke Art Gallery
As part of the Marshall University School of Arts and Design, Birke Art Gallery acts as a vital resource for the students studying at the university. The gallery offers an opportunity for students to exhibit work while serving as a hub for contemporary art in which locals can interact with the work of up-and-coming artists. Annual exhibitions for students and graduates showcase the best new work to a wide audience comprised of other students, faculty and the broader community. Marshall University have also recently opened a new gallery, the Visual Arts Center, found in downtown Huntington. Situated in a stunningly renovated turn of the 20th Century building the site aims to bridge the gap between the city’s historical past and the future of the University and it’s pupils.
The Paul and Laura Mesaros Galleries
An exhibition space connected to West Virginia University, The Paul and Laura Mesaros Galleries are named after prominent art donors to the institution. The galleries focus predominantly on experimental art with a view to further the discourse surrounding diverse artistic media and act as a place in which to display and observe works. The Contemporary artists that are featured in the gallery are also invited to speak at the University in public lectures or workshops.
Mesaros Galleries, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506, United Statess +1 304 293 2312
Tari’s Gallery is a small art space in Berkeley Springs which exhibits the artistic talents of the local arts community. The gallery also serves as a café, allowing guests to enjoy the display of innovative works whilst sitting with a cup of coffee or a well prepared meal. Each piece is hand picked by the manager of the gallery and there is a wide range of paintings, pictures, glass and sculpture on display. A world away from the more traditional commercial art galleries, Tari’s gallery gets to the root of community art.
Tari’s Gallery, 33 North Washington Street, Berkeley Springs, west Virginia, 25411, United States +1 304 258 1196
The Art Store
Art Gallery, Store
The Art Store
was established back in 1972 and has since demonstrated an unswervingly dedication to showing the best of local and national contemporary arts. Paintings, sculptures and prints are all on display with exhibitions changing regularly so as to provide collectors with a valuable selection of fresh works. Retrospectives to celebrate the shop are periodically held to celebrate the best artists to have passed through its doors.
Arabia’s Art Gallery
Arabia’s Art Gallery is a community space that involves and educates the public in the artistic process. Owner Stephen Arabia is an art teacher of 35 years who brings his experience to aspiring and experienced artists alike through a series of classes and seminars. Works exhibited in the gallery include those by his students as well as a selection of paintings, pottery, woodcraft, carvings, baskets, and glassworks by over 150 artists. Classes are run year round on location to lend an air of inspiration to each individual.
Tamarack David L Dickirson Gallery
Restaurant, American, $$$
Tamarack David L. Dickirson Gallery
is a fine arts gallery that shows the best works from throughout the state of West Virginia. Dedicated to the art of state residents, the gallery rotates its exhibitions every six to eight weeks so as to constantly refresh the exciting new work on display. Works are subjected to the scrutiny of a jury before being exhibited so as to maintain a display of the utmost quality and highest standard.
Image courtesy of Mountain Made
Zenclay is a centre for the arts with exhibitions and classes for both adults and children dealing mostly in pottery and clay. The Galleries show some of the best local artwork that has been created both through and independently of Zenclay
. Three distinct work/exhibition spaces —one for ceramics and sculpture, one for prints, painting and photography, and one uniting two and three dimensional works— comprise Zenclay to give appropriate space to the various forms of art produced and displayed here.
The Cooper Gallery has been representing some of the best artists in West Virginia since 1995 and specialises in the display and sale of fine art. The proprietors are artists in their own right and employ their keen artistic sensibility to select works to display in the gallery. With a rich community of creatives working in the area the gallery has plenty to see. Furthermore, its location in the historic Lewisburg allows visitors to make a day of it by exploring the array of other cultural activities in the area.
Cooper Gallery, 122 E. Washington St. Lewisburg, West Virginia, 24901, United States, +1
304 645 6439
Harmony Ridge Gallery
Art Gallery, Shop
Celebrating the best in American art and handcrafts the Harmony Ridge Gallery
started out life in Fort Lauderdale, Florida as the Harmony Isle Gallery before moving to Lewisburg in 2004. Ten years on it is still showing the best in jewellery, pottery, woodwork and painting from American artists, architects and designers. An in house coffee shop and bar allows customers to relax and enjoy a drink whilst perusing the art pieces on display.