PARKERSBURG - More than 100 people attended the first "Reflections of Artsbridge" Decorative Mirror Show and Auction Friday evening at the Parkersburg Art Center.
More than 20 pieces were submitted by area artists for the event, which featured an auction of mirrors decorated or painted in a variety of fashions. Some were sculptural; others had the appearance of stained glass, and some were full paintings which used the mirror's surface as a canvas.
The auction was a fundraising event to benefit Artsbridge and the Parkersburg Art Center.
WAYNE TOWNER Special to the Times
Jenny Keup, of Parkersburg, examines one of the decorated mirrors donated by area artists for Friday’s first “Reflections of Artsbridge” Decorative Mirror Show and Auction.
John Hoffman, executive director of Artsbridge, said the event was a continuation of the popular chair auctions previously held by Artsbridge to raise money for its programs, when area artists and residents decorated chairs in special ways to be auctioned off.
Hoffman said Artsbridge officials are looking at doing a similar event with pillows and fabric arts in the future and then do a cycle among the three themes, helping things stay fresh and not become too repetitive.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to see all of the creativity that's in the community, on behalf of Artsbridge," Parkersburg resident Jenny Keup said of Friday's event. "They do a wonderful job in educating our young people about the arts, and it's time for the community to give back and support them."
Mary Ann Osborne, of Parkersburg, was among those interested in taking home one of the mirrors up for auction Friday night. Osborne said she has been a lifetime supporter of the arts and was raised to appreciate music and art by her mother, an artist and high school art teacher.
"It's wonderful," she said of Friday's auction and the pieces submitted by local artists. "A lot of hard work has gone into this, and it's a new idea."
Art center director Abby Hayhurst said she was pleased with the turnout for Friday's event and expects it to grow in the future.
"I think this is going to work out well. I think like any new thing it's going to take a while to get started, and I'm delighted to be working with Artsbridge," she said.
Following the auction, Hoffman estimated nearly $1,900 was raised through the sale of the mirrors. He expected a portion of Artsbridge's proceeds from Friday's event will go to help the annual Very Spectacular Art Festival in May. The festival features a full day of performances and hands-on interactive arts experiences for children with disabilities.
In addition to providing arts education programs in area schools, Artsbridge uses the money it raises to re-grant back to smaller arts organizations that need additional financial support through the year. Some past recipients are the Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet, the Schrader Youth Ballet, Parkersburg Choral Society, the Mid-Ohio Valley Players, the Mid-Ohio Valley Literary Group and West Virginia Symphony-Parkersburg.