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Art Outside the Walls event to showcase local students’ talents

By Clint Thomas, Metro Reporter

Putnam County high school students can express their talents and vie for scholarships at the Art Outside the Walls Student Show coming to Hurricane in mid-April.

The Art Outside the Walls Student Show gallery will be open to the public from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 15 at Valley Park, Valley Park Drive in Hurricane. The scholarship presentation is scheduled for 7 p.m. First-, second- and third-place scholarships of $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively, will be distributed to the winning artists.

Registration for Putnam high school students is free. Each student can submit one or two of his or her works for consideration.

Submissions are due by Friday, March 31. Downloadable application forms are available at:

As outlined on the website, submissions must be completed solely by the student; no group projects are permitted. Two-dimensional pieces must have a weight-appropriate line, such as fishing line or wire, attached securely across the back for hanging, and be framed, if necessary. The minimum artwork size is 3-inches-by-3-inches (not including the frame) and the maximum artwork entry size is 48-inches-by-48-inches (not including the frame).

Artists can choose to list their original artwork for sale, or they can offer prints of their work for sale at the show. All subject matter, in any medium, must be appropriate for public viewing.

To defray administrative fees, the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau will take a 10 percent commission on any sales processed during the show.

Artwork will be judged by a panel of impartial of jurors. Winners will be announced on April 15.

Submissions must be delivered to the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s offices at 971 W.Va. 34, Hurricane, by Monday, April 10. They must remain on display through 7 p.m. April 15.

Art Outside the Walls is a project of Creativity Redefined, a volunteer group of Putnam County leaders and business owners who want to support local artists. Kelli Dailey, the executive director of the Putnam County Convention and Visitors Bureau and a Creativity Redefined member, explained last week how the Art Outside the Walls endeavor originated.

“Filip Vlasic, a Putnam County artist and owner of BelaStar Creative, has an educational background in fine arts,” Dailey said. “He contacted me in December about having an outdoors, community-event type of art show. He wanted to do one for students, with scholarship awards, and one for the general public.

“There are a lot of great artists in Putnam County who don’t have an opportunity to show their work,” she said. “We’re always looking for events to support the area, so we formed a volunteer group of business leaders and community leaders, and a couple of people who have experience in event planning. About six of us get together to meet to plan.

“Our plan is to make this an annual occurrence, for both students and the public. We’d love to see it grow to become a regional attraction. This year, it’s open only to Putnam County students and residents, but the opportunity for growth is definitely there. The first year around, we’re just limiting it to Putnam County, as we get our feet wet,” Dailey said.

“Putnam County and the surrounding area is desperate for some creative input from its community,” said Vlasic, owner of the Scott Depot-based BelaStar Creative. “We have a lot of creative people and not many opportunities for them to show their work and be recognized for it. So I wanted to create a show that is different and could attract a vast amount of people throughout Putnam County.

“I introduced this idea to several businesses, and we formed an organization called Creativity Redefined. The idea was overwhelmingly accepted, and the event is now known as Art Outside The Walls. Basically, the show is an outdoor show where the public can come and view the work of the people in this county,” he said.

“We encourage anyone interested to go to our Facebook page and our website and download the registration information. ... Please show your art, and let’s make this community an inspiration to others,” Vlasic said.

Dailey added that, in the event of inclement weather on April 15, the student art show will be relocated from Valley Park to the Putnam CVB offices at Area 34 in Teays Valley.

An art show for the general public is being organized for Saturday, Aug. 26, also at Valley Park. It will include monetary prizes for winning artists, Vlasic said.

The Putnam CVB, Suddenlink, City National Bank, BelaStar Creative and The Mailroom are sponsoring Art Outside the Walls.

For more information about Creativity Redefined, call 304-654-5614.


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