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Cultural Center opens “9 x 9” exhibit in Art and Lobby galleries

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History has unveiled a new exhibit, “9 x 9,” in the Art and Lobby galleries at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The free exhibition will remain on display through April 20, 2005.

The traveling exhibit is the result of a unique collaborative effort by nine artists and nine host organizations with the 2003 Creative Fellowship program of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation (MAAF). The program’s goal is to provide artists with the time, facilities, and technical support to create new works. The program has two parallel tracks. Each year it focuses on a specific artistic discipline. In 2003 that discipline was printmaking. MAAF also sponsors a residency opportunity for regional artists of any discipline at the Millay Colony, Austerlitz, N.Y., or the Virginia Center for the Arts, Sweet Briar, Va.

MAAF selected nine host sites to participate in the 2003 program. Each of the nine artists was then chosen by a host site for a creative residency lasting from two to six weeks. The artists received a stipend, materials allowance and subsidized housing and travel. The host facilities provided technical support and expertise in producing the new works.

The nine artists who participated in the 2003 program to create the 25-piece show include La Vaughn Belle, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Chakaia Booker, New York, N.Y.; Claudia Giannini, Morgantown, W.Va.; Michael Iacovone, Washington, D.C.; Kenneth Jones, Newark, Del.; Anne Lott, Virginia Beach, Va.; Ayanah Moor, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Jon Rappleye, Jersey City, N.J.; and Anne Rentschler, Baltimore, Md.

Host facilities included Artists Image Resource, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Brandywine Graphic Workshop, Philadelphia, Pa.; The Joel and Lila Harnett Print Study Center at the University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, Va.; The Print Center, Philadelphia, Pa.; Pyramid Atlantic, Riverdale, Md.; The Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper, New Brunswick, N.J.; Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, N.Y.; West Virginia University (WVU), Morgantown, W.Va.; and The Women’s Studio Workshop, Rosendale, N.Y.

West Virginia artist Giannini created her works at Artists Image Resource. While there, she produced a suite of four prints that explicitly address the healing properties of plants native to West Virginia. The prints combine etching, silk screen and collage on handmade papers.

Giannini received a bachelor of fine arts degree and a master’s degree in visual art from WVU. She also has a master’s of education in art education with museum education option from Pennsylvania State University. In 2000 she was awarded an Artist’s Residency at the Vermont Studio Center.

Since 1979, MAAF’s primary mission has been to support the careers of professional artists living in the mid-Atlantic region and to support arts programs on a regional basis. A private, non-profit organization, MAAF depends on its state arts agency partners and the National Endowment for the Arts to bring the highest quality arts programming and services available to artists, audiences and the public. The Creative Fellowships program is one of its latest initiatives.

For more information about the exhibition, “9 x 9,” contact Richard Ressmeyer, director of arts for the Division, at (304) 558-0240, ext. 721.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.