Several local artists opened their studios to the community Sunday during the first Artist Studio Tour in Marietta and Parkersburg, and organizers and artists alike say they'd like to see the tour become an annual event.
"It's been fantastic-we've had several people and groups come through today," said portrait artist Anthony Wilson with Resolve Studios at 332 Franklin St. in Marietta.
Wilson shares the studio with wood sculptor Todd Morrow and muralist and sculptor Geoff Schenkel.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Local watercolor artist Debbie Dick works on a painting at the Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 Second St., Marietta, during Sunday’s first-ever Artist Studio Tour in Marietta and Parkersburg.
"I've been in business for about five years now, but I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawing," Wilson said, noting that he now does pencil portraits for weddings, graduations, anniversaries, and many other events.
But getting the word out about their talents can be difficult for area artists, which is one reason why the Riverside Artists Gallery organized Sunday's art studio tour.
"It's also a chance for us to invite people into the studio and show them our process," Wilson said.
About the Artist Studio Tour:
The first-ever Artist Studio Tour took place Sunday afternoon in Marietta and Parkersburg.
Visitors were welcomed to tour the Virginia Killian Studio, 3407 Packard St., Parkersburg; The Carriage House Studio, 178 Beckley Drive, Parkersburg; Resolve Studio, 332 Franklin St., Marietta; and Riverside Artists Gallery, 219 Second St., Marietta.
Source: Riverside Artists Gallery.
Morrow taught himself how to carve wood sculptures. He became interested after observing woodcarvers while his family resided in England in 1987.
He and Schenkel established the Resolve Studios two years ago, and Morrow said an event like Sunday's tour will help more people become familiar with the studios' location.
"I hope they do this again next year," he said. "It's been great."
Former art students Ruby Ruppel and Angie White of Parkersburg were among those who toured the studios Sunday afternoon.
"We were both art students at West Virginia University Parkersburg, so we can appreciate how much effort goes into these artists' work," Ruppel said. "And this tour has inspired us to move ahead with our own art."
While her interest lies in drawing and pastels, White enjoys sculpture and said she was really impressed with a tour of multi-talented artist Virginia Killian's studio at 3407 Packard St. in Parkersburg.
"She does so many different forms of art," White said.
Ruppel said she, too, hopes Sunday's tour will become an annual event.
Riverside Artists Gallery member Gwen Owen said the art studio tour was modeled on local annual garden tours.
"That's the idea we decided to run with," she said. "It's our pilot project, and from what I've seen today there seems to be a lot of interest."
At the Riverside Artists Gallery on Second Street in Marietta area artists Cathy Norosky and Debbie Dick set up temporary studios in the gallery's back room.
Norosky is known for her unique work using gourds as an art medium, and her work is on display at the Riverside Artists Gallery, as are Dick's watercolors and jewelry.
"I think the tour went well for our first year," Norosky said.
"I hope we can do it again," she said.