ArtOberfest takes over street

Photo by Madeline Scarborough Ivy Herriges, 15, creates a chalk drawing inspired by Glimmer reboot of “Shera,” and behind her Brianna Bodie draws a bee on a flower for Chalk the Block.

PARKERSBURG — After a couple of years of bad weather or outdoor circumstances, the ArtOberfest event saw good weather and an even better turnout with hundreds visiting Market Street to join in the fun Saturday evening.

“This is a great community event, and we could not have asked for a better day, we only just opened 30 minutes ago and the street is already full,” said Jessie Siefert, managing director of the Parkersburg Art Center.

There were less vendors than in previous years, but there was still plenty of creative opportunities for the public to enjoy.

New to the event this year were the Chalk the Block and CAR-toberfest activities taking place on the 800 block of Market Street. The chalk festival gave local artists the opportunity to create temporary art directly on the road.

“Drawing is my life, but this is my first time really drawing with chalk,” said Ivy Herriges, 15.

Children were also able to join in the chalk fun.

Torie Starcher, of Newport, brought out her kids to enjoy the festival, and ended up spending a lot of time on the Chalk Block.

“She (Nova Moxley, 2) is really enjoying playing with chalk,” said Starcher.

The event also offered live music from multiple musical entertainment groups including High Schools That Rock, Levi Westfall, Morgan Stubbe and Plan B.

The art center brought out its pottery supplies as well to teach children how to create clay mugs and carve details into the clay.

“I was doing good, it was fun,” said Asher Knell, 7, of Vienna

One of the new vendors this year was the Artbeat Studio, who was selling art to fund their studio.

“Artbeat Studio is a collaborative community art center,” said Brandon Gress, executive director of the Wood County Society.

According to Gress, the backbone of Artbeat Studio is a group of talented artists with developmental differences, but the studio also reaches out to those overcoming a substance abuse disorder or as a therapeutic outlet for children in the area overcoming traumatic life experiences.

Saturday’s festival was free, but donations were accepted at the entrance. All money raised from this event goes towards supporting the children’s art programs at the Parkersburg Art Center.


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