Dr. Greg Popovich poses next to one of his monstrous creations inside the Colonial Arts Center's Art Gallery where his exhibit, 'Monster Club' is open Fridays and Saturdays through Nov. 17. / Photos by Lily Hicks

A spooky spectacle: Creepy creatures invade the Colonial Arts Center’s gallery via Greg Popovich’s exhibit ‘Monster Club’

BUCKHANNON – As Halloween approaches, the Colonial Arts Center’s Art Gallery is bringing a spine-tingling and awe-inspiring exhibition to its hallowed halls.

The exhibit, aptly named “Monster Club,” celebrates the macabre and fantastical, featuring the extraordinary creations of local artist and exercise science professor, Dr. Greg Popovich.

Although the Colonial Arts Center’s Art Gallery opened Popovich’s “Monster Club” exhibit to the public Friday, Oct. 20, it will make its official debut with a grand opening and reception from 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29. However, the exhibit will remain open Fridays and Saturdays – including this Friday and Saturday, Oct. 27 and Oct. 28 – from 4-8 p.m. through Nov. 17.

Popovich – the man behind the mask(s) – is one of diverse talents. A professor at West Virginia Wesleyan College, Popovich’s artistic journey began in earnest when his girlfriend gifted him a bucket of clay and an airbrush during the COVID lockdown. With an abundance of time on his hands and a vivid imagination, Popovich set out to explore his artistic inclinations.

One of Popovich’s fearfully fruity creations inside ‘The Monster Club.’

The result? A jaw-dropping collection of wearable art inspired by his girlfriend’s passion for gaming, particularly the popular video game “Fallout 76,” which is set in the landscapes of West Virginia, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Fasnacht.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Popovich’s work is that many of his monstrous creations are wearable. He proudly refers to his pieces as “wearable art.” Upon exploring the Monster Club exhibit, you’ll find an array of creatures, ranging from the creepy to the comical, and from the eerie to the (kind of) endearing.

“Most of the works are made with lightweight materials, such as spray insulation, making them deceptively easy to wear,” said Popovich.

Their size and intricacy are impressive, with Popovich’s craftsmanship is evident in every detail, from the meticulous paintwork to the careful sculpting of each character’s form. When asked why people should visit the exhibit, Popovich’s response is simple: “Because it’s cool, and people should support local artists.”

His enthusiasm is infectious, and it’s hard not to share in his excitement for the fantastical world he has brought to life within the Colonial Arts Center’s Art Gallery.

As an exercise science professor, Popovich knows the importance of celebrating and exploring diverse interests. He believes that this exhibit “has the power to captivate both children and adults alike.”

“Classic monster enthusiasts, fans of ’80s pop culture and avid gamers will find themselves transported to a world where creatures of the imagination become reality,” Popovich said.

But the exhibit is not the only place where Popovich’s artistry shines through. He and his girlfriend have adorned their Meade Street home with a permanent tribute to the spooky and macabre.

“A simple sign reading ‘Beware of the Thing’ is the tip of the iceberg,” said Popovich.

The Monster Club exhibit at the Colonial Arts Center’s Art Gallery is a treat for all ages, so don’t miss out on the chance to see this local artist’s creations come to life. The gallery is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 4-8 p.m. The “Monster Club” exhibit’s Oct. 29 grand opening will feature refreshments and “Monster Club” initiation buttons.  

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