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New exhibition at the Cultural Center features three West Virginia artists


The West Virginia Division of Culture and History unveiled a new exhibition, A Splash of Color, on Thursday, Aug. 7, in the Balcony Gallery of the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. The free exhibition features the work of three West Virginia artists and will remain on display through Sept. 2.

The show consists of 29 pieces and highlights works by Sonja Adkins of Clendenin and Jo Anne Jacobs and Kathleen Kimble of Charleston. The colorful exhibition contains a wide variety of media including oil pastels, tissue paper and watercolor collages, acrylic on paper and oil on canvas, among others. The works range from impressionistic to abstract.

Adkins studied art for four years at Marshall University and also took classes in abstract art with June Kilgore and color theory with Hank Keeling at the University of Charleston. Her work has been seen in the West Virginia Juried Exhibition at the Cultural Center, Allied Artists of West Virginia at the University of Charleston, Carnegie Hall exhibit in Lewisburg and The Renaissance Gallery in Huntington among others. She has received numerous awards including first place in mixed media and honorable mention in the French Art Colony juried exhibitions and honorable mention in the Renaissance Gallery National Miniature Exhibition in 2002.

A native West Virginian, Adkins is a member of Studio Five, Allied Artists of West Virginia, the West Virginia Watercolor Society and National Museum of Women in the Arts. She says of her work, “I like to capture the simple beauty of my surroundings and express it in a new way.”

Jacobs holds a master’s degree in elementary education from the College of Graduate Studies and taught in Kanawha County schools for 30 years. She has taken many art classes and workshops from Hank Keeling, Fred Graff, Vivian Ripley and Rick Ambrose among others, and has also studied calligraphy and rubber stamping. Her work has been displayed in several shows including Allied Artists of West Virginia exhibitions, West Virginia Watercolor juried exhibits and the West Virginia Juried Exhibition.

She received a best of show award for the 2002 Allied Artists of West Virginia Juried Exhibition, and a merit award in the West Virginia Watercolor Society’s Juried Exhibition in 2002. She says, “The adventure of starting a new painting is like beginning a journey that is unplanned. Through the interplay of light, shadow, and color, the painting itself tells me when that journey is complete.”

Kimble was born in Charleston and has studied art at the University of Charleston with Hank Keeling and Steve Watts, and at Marshall University with June Kilgore. Recently she studied with Doug Walton of Ruxton, La., at Louisiana University whom she credits with influencing her current work. She has been juried into Tri-State West Virginia Watercolor Society exhibitions, the West Virginia Juried Exhibition, Ashland Watercolor Show and Three Rivers Exhibition among others.

She has received numerous awards including best of show and merit awards in the West Virginia Tri-State Exhibitions. Kimble says “Painting for the end result is not my goal; I paint for the experience. I continue to push myself, while keeping an open mind and throwing in color along the way.”

For more information about A Splash of Color call Stephanie Lilly, exhibition coordinator for the Division, at (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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Ginny Painter
Director of Public Information
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Boulevard, East
Charleston, WV 25305-0300
Phone (304) 558-0220
Fax (304) 558-2779