PARKERSBURG — Artist Virginia Killian is inspired by all around her.
Around 65 of her paintings titled, “Virginia Killian: Images Just Come To Me” opened Sunday at the Parkersburg Art Center. The exhibit will run through March 16 and is sponsored by the Tellus Consulting Group.
Killian is a local artist, art instructor and founding member of Riverside Artists’ Cooperative. She is always experimenting with new materials and fresh ideas.
“This is an exhibit of paintings I have done mostly in the last three years,” she said. “I am a prolific painter and a retired teacher. I am passionate about painting.”
She taught art in elementary school in Wood County for years at Jefferson Elementary Center before retiring in 2005.
The works featured in the exhibit feature a variety of media including watercolors, acrylic, oil paints, mixed media and others.
“I am inspired by my environment,” Killian said. “I am a West Virginian. There is a lot of trees and this is tree country.
“Some are trip pictures, having gone to the sea. Some are dreamscapes where I started with a design and see where it goes. Some are inspired by things and some are still-life.”
Killian will usually jump into working on a new piece.
“I believe that I have above other people is I do,” she said. “I don’t believe in a process, I believe in doing.
“I believe inspiration comes from doing.”
Killian utilizes so many different mediums, said Jessie Siefert, managing director of the Parkersburg Art Center, who is also Killian’s daughter.
“Mom paints in the car,” she said. “She paints everyday.
“When she goes on vacation, she designates a room as her studio.”
The variety of works on display and Killian’s “fearlessness” have inspired a lot of people, she said.
Killian said even a new paint can inspire her to try something new or other works in a museum can inspire her to want to try a new technique.
Siefert said Killian will be teaching a class Sundays in March. “Calling All Makers” is a four-part series for artists who want to “go their own way” but may need a little help with selecting materials, honing painting or drawing techniques, forming compelling compositions, expanding their ideas or just want to spend some time working in a room with fellow makers.
Killian and the other class members will offer assistance and support to one another.
This class will meet Sundays, March 17 to April 7 from 2-4 p.m. For more information on this class, people can go to parkersburgartcenter.org/adult-and-teen-classes.
When it comes to her own work in the exhibit, Killian said she wants people to come in and really look at it.
“One of the worst things about being a painter, you have to bring yourself to a work that is static on the wall,” she said. “You just can’t pass by and give it a glance, you have got to look at it.
“My hope is I want people to come in here and look at it.”
The opening Sunday also played host in creating a series of community murals, a project done in cooperation with Downtown PKB.
Siefert, who serves as the chair of the Arts and Culture Committee with Downtown PKB, said they are putting together some murals that they will put up throughout downtown Parkersburg.
“What we are doing are some community murals where anyone can come in and paint,” she said. “No experience is necessary.”
They will be put up at a number of unoccupied buildings and outside at the Dils Center.
“We want to bring some life to areas of downtown,” Siefert said.
The panels featured a variety of scenes, including a lot of dogs.
“Who doesn’t like dogs,” Siefert said with a laugh.
Diana Wilson brought her daughter, Zoey, down to the art center to participate in the mural project.
“I brought Zoey in because she likes doing art at the art center,” Diana Wilson said. “It is a great time for us to bond and do something creative together.
“It think it is a great neighborhood project too.”
The murals are a way to add something to the downtown area, Siefert said.
“Downtown Parkersburg is going through a rejuvenation and part of that is to brighten things up and make people want to come down,” she said. “They are going to see something new when they come to downtown Parkersburg.”
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