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W.Va. Art Education Association conference being held in Buckhannon this weekend

Every October, visual arts teachers from across West Virginia convene at different sites around the state for the West Virginia Art Education Association’s annual conference, to share knowledge, ideas and best practices in teaching the state’s visual arts content standards.

This year, the conference will be hosted by West Virginia Wesleyan College on October 25-26, 2019.  The two-day event provides art teachers with valuable professional development and networking opportunities.

This year’s conference has been planned by Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School art teacher Sherri Butler and WVWC Art Department Chair Robert Howsare with assistance from ART26201.

The keynote speaker for the conference will be Mr. Brett Harper, son of the late, well-known visual artist, Charley Harper.  Brett Harper, owner of The Charley Harper Art Studio in Cincinnati, OH, will speak about his father’s work and legacy.   

The keynote address will be held on the WVWC campus in the Social Hall (third floor), from 1-2 p.m. on Friday, October 25.  Later that afternoon, from 4-6 p.m., a reception for Mr. Harper will be held at the Sleeth Gallery, also on the WVWC campus, which will include a book signing and sales event. 

Both events are free of charge, and the public is warmly encouraged to attend. 

Charley Harper (1922-2007) was a Cincinnati-based American Modernist artist.  He was born in Frenchton, West Virginia, and attended Buckhannon High School and West Virginia Wesleyan College.  Harper’s upbringing on his family farm influenced his work to his last days, and we celebrate him as West Virginia’s most well-known graphic artist. 

Best known for his wildlife prints, posters, and book illustrations, Charley created thousands of bold, stunningly colorful works that manage to be both elegant and amusing.  He revealed the unique aspects of his wildlife subjects through highly stylized geometric reduction in a style that he coined “minimal realism.” 

Charley said he was “the only wildlife artist who has never been compared to Audubon,” yet his wildlife art was just as instructive – the only difference was that Charley laced his lessons with humor.

The public is invited to purchase registration for the full conference and also individual conference sessions at the day of the event.  Friday sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m.  Saturday sessions will be from 9:30 a.m. to noon.  Sessions include Gelli printing, perspective drawing, stained glass, pottery, bookmaking, printmaking techniques and more.  

For more information about the conference, please contact Sherri Butler at slbutler@k12.wv.us

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