The Arts Council of Preston County Spreading the Arts

Grand Opening of Art Studio

Inside the new art studio at the Szilagyi CenterThe Grand Opening of the Art Studio at the Szilagyi Center in Rowlesburg was held on Friday, May 27, 2011, at the River City Festival of the Arts. It was attended by approximately twenty-five people including Katie Wolfe Orescanin, Chair of the Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee and Anna Nassif, Chair of the River City Festival.

The Rowlesburg Revitalization Committee (RRC) applied for a grant from a private foundation with the enthusiasm and support of members of the Arts Council. The grant provided funds for the purchase of four pottery wheels, an electric kiln, start-up supplies for pottery classes, and some of the expenses of renovating the room.

The studio is in a classroom on the top tier which faces southwest, therefore providing lots of natural light. Lee Waybright of the RRC supervised the renovation of the room, doing most of the work and getting help from several volunteers. Additional features of the room include walls which have been painted studio white, tables and chairs for other art classes, a sink and shelves.

Imre Szilagyi was given the honors of cutting the ribbon since the grant was awarded from a family friend's foundation who wanted to give tangible support of the transition of the Old Rowlesburg School from the main offices of the rafting company, Appalachian Wildwaters, to the Janet and Imre Szilagyi Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.

The artists who have classes scheduled this summer gave demonstrations: basket making by Shelia Brown, felt appliqué by Donna Lohr, needle felting by Rachel Rerek, and Rick Bisgyer on the pottery wheel.

The Arts Council also had a tent in front of the Szilagyi Center on Saturday of the River City Festival to highlight the art available from Preston County artists. Artists took turns manning the booth, selling art and getting to chat with festival-goers.


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