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Local Artist Parts with Treasured Works

Barbara Wilson poses in front of a display of her paintings. She is holding one depicting a black and white long-haired cat. (Photo by Betsy Allen)

Well-known Hurricane artist Barbara Wilson hosted an art show and sale at her home on September 17 and 18. Dreama Davis, the Real Estate Lady, helped organize the show and assist Wilson in downsizing the massive body of work she had completed over the course of her career.

Wilson was an art instructor for many years, teaching all over the country at the elementary, middle school, high school, and college levels. She helped found Main Street Studio in 1996, an artist co-op which operated for twenty-one years in Hurricane. She was also a featured artist at the Art Store in Charleston, which would become the primary location that her works were sold.

Most of Wilson’s paintings are monoprints – a painting done on a plexiglass or zinc plate and then run through a printing press to create a single print. Her works are very bright and colorful, with impressionistic and abstract details. Since she is an animal lover, her paintings often feature animals, with many having stories behind them. She also incorporates wood cuts into her paintings, which is another reason why her work is so unique.

In 2015, one of Wilson’s paintings was featured in the “Best of West Virginia” exhibit at Tamarak. The piece, a monoprint entitled “Don’t Like Chickens,” was inspired by a dog that she had worked with while volunteering at the Putnam County Animal Shelter. The dog had been adopted by a family who lived on a farm, but when the dog killed one of the family’s chickens, they returned him to the shelter. A sign saying “Don’t Like Chickens” was attached to his cage as a warning to prospective adoptees.

Many people came out to view Wilson’s work, including an art instructor from Hurricane High School, who purchased several of her paintings to use as teaching aids for his students. Wishing to share her love of art with young students, Wilson plans to donate two paintings to the art departments at Hurricane High School, Winfield High School, and St. Albans High School.

While most of Wilson’s paintings were sold during the show, a few prints are left. Wilson is working on a three-piece set depicting an ostrich, and it will be up for sale once it is finished.

Wilson plans to continue producing art. “This is my life,” she says. “It’s as simple as that. It was the main thing in my life as a child, and as an adult, it is the same.”

Those who are interested in purchasing Wilson’s art may contact Dreama Davis at 304-741-1400.

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