ART26201 to present ‘Love Letters to Appalachia’ exhibit in downtown gallery starting Saturday

Nevada Tribble, left, and Jessie McClanahan
Nevada Tribble, left, and Jessie McClanahan

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — ART26201 will present “LOVE LETTERS TO APPALACHIA,” an exhibition by West Virginia artists Jessie McClanahan and Nevada Tribble, Saturday, November 27, 2021, at the M.I.B. GALLERY in the Colonial Arts Center.

There will be an artists’ reception from 4 to 8 p.m., and McClanahan and Tribble will give a special introduction to their works at 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended for the artists’ introduction, and they can be emailed to info@ART26201.com.

In addition to the opening event on November 27, the M.I.B. GALLERY will be open from 4-8 p.m. on December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18. All events at the M.I.B. GALLERY are free and open to the public.

Significant financial assistance for the Colonial Arts Center Rehabilitation project has been provided by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History; ART26201; and Buckhannon Community Theatre.

About Jessie McClanahan: Jessie McClanahan is from Charleston, West Virginia, and she grew up in a small city nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Her work is heavily influenced by her upbringing in the rolling hills and old growth forests. Everything she makes is through an Appalachian lens and a reverence for not only nature, but for the people and traditions there. When describing her work, she says, “I want to emulate the way that the moss and lichen grow over boulders; or the way that a tree grows from the cracks of a cliff and holds on with resilience.” Her work investigates the relationships that we have with each other and the land.

About Nevada Tribble: Nevada Tribble is a papermaker and fiber artist from Elkins, West Virginia. Her work synthesizes traditional processes in unconventional ways to express her connection with nature and sense of place. Growing up in the heart of the Monongahela National Forest taught her to appreciate the unique communities of both plants and people that make this area special. She hopes that her work inspires people to search for their own connections to the people and plants around them.

LOVE LETTERS TO APPALACHIA – Artists’ Statement: We are both beginning periods of our lives in which we’ll be spending some time away from Appalachia, so it seems appropriate to write some letters home. We are each expressing our love and connection to this place that brought us up, in our respective visual languages.

Jessie speaks through clay and fire. She sources and uses native materials throughout Appalachia to create and record stories of her home and the people in it. She’s interested in the stories of people and their connections to the land that they’re from. She’s wants to celebrate and cherish the connection the people here in Appalachia have to the land and one another.

Nevada speaks through paper and thread, by stitching one narrative to another. She is interested in the way memories become stories, by being told and retold within families and communities, eventually becoming part of the folklore of a place. Even as people are imbuing places with meaning this way, the plants stand witness and give the place color, shape, and life. Nevada’s art is a celebration of this symbiotic exchange of meaning that she has witnessed in Appalachia.

Our combined work is a message of gratitude and love for the place we are from, and will always be able to call home.

About ART26201: ART26201 is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “celebrate and promote the creative and inspirational opportunities in the Buckhannon community.” For more information about ART26201 projects, and for ways to provide financial or volunteer support, email info@ART26201.com or visit their website at www.ART26201.com.

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