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A Decade of Winners: 1979-1989 exhibition to be on display at Grave Creek Mound


The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will unveil an exhibition, The West Virginia Juried Exhibition—A Decade of Winners: 1979-1989, at its Delf Norona Museum, Grave Creek Mound Historic Site, Moundsville, on Monday, June 18. The exhibition will remain on display through Aug. 3. A free reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibition will be held at the museum from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, June 24.

A Decade of Winners features artwork from the biennial West Virginia Juried Exhibition that now belongs to the West Virginia State Museum collection. Considered among the finest works created by West Virginians at the time, the show covers a wide array of styles and media that represents artists at various stages of their careers. (A complete list of artists and their works is attached, below.) Twenty-one works by 17 artists and craftspeople comprise the show.

Visitors can see such contemporary examples as the haunting landscape of David Riffle’s 1989 “Guarding the Womb,” the abstract expressions of Caryl Toth and Paula Clendenin, the primitive style of Cheryl Shaffer’s outdoor gathering in the 1979 “Harvest Dance,” the beautiful and meticulous woven work “Chance Encounters” by Amy Lipshie, and the organic sculpture of Alison Helm’s 1987 “Lifeboat from Aimlessness.”

West Virginia artists’ fascination with wood can be seen in pieces by Norm Sartorius, Reverend Herman Hayes and Sam Rizetta. Prints, photographs and a kind of “soft-focus” realism are evidenced by the pastel works of Beth Crowder, Caroline Jennings, the watercolor imagery created by Helen Chilton and Barry Vance’s muted oil landscape.

Obtaining outstanding new works for the State Museum collection is one of the goals of the West Virginia Juried Exhibition. Organized by the Division in 1979, the exhibition has awarded $362,000 to West Virginia artists and craftspeople in 11 shows. One hundred thirty works of art have been purchased for the permanent collection, documenting the works of this era for future visitors.

All of the selections in A Decade of Winners were winners of the highest prize awarded, the Governor’s Award, which at the time was $3,000. Out-of-state jurors chose which pieces would comprise each exhibition and picked the winners. Although some of the artists have moved away or changed careers, their work still serves to project the best of an era. The next West Virginia Juried Exhibition will open Oct. 13 at the Cultural Center in Charleston.

For more information about A Decade of Winners: 1979-1989 or the West Virginia Juried Exhibition 2001, call (304) 558-0220, ext. 128.

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 for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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The West Virginia Juried Exhibition

A Decade of Winners: 1979-1989

Laurie Cameron
Burning House

Helen Chilton
Stream Images

Paula Clendenin
False Alarm

Beth Crowder
The Birthday Party

Rev. Herman L. Hayes
Ballgame - 150 People

Rev. Herman L. Hayes
Signs of the Times

Alison Helm
Lifeboat From Aimlessness
Wood, glass

Caroline Jennings
Interior With Two Women
Oil on canvas

Caroline Jennings
Their Happiness
Oil on canvas

Caroline Jennings
Oil on canvas

Amy Lipshie
Chance Encounters

David Riffle
Guarding the Womb
Acrylic on canvas

David Riffle
Poca River Studio

Sam Rizetta
Heart Rose Dulcetta

Norm Sartorious
Fraternal Twins
African Blackwood

Ellie Schaul
Summer 1984 #2

Diane Schwenker
Mixed media

Cheryl A. Shaffer
Harvest Dance

Caryl Toth
Wand Waving Attic Dweller
Mixed media

Barry Vance
Sweet Springs

Diane White
Mythographer of the Big Home
Mixed media