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Over the Mountain Studio Tour special exhibit

By Staff | Aug 21, 2015

The Jefferson Arts Council (JAC) hosts an exhibit of new works by members of the Over the Mountain Studio Tour for the September exhibit in the Charles Town Fire Hall Gallery. The exhibit will be open Sept. 1-28, with the Opening Reception Sunday, Sept. 13, 3-5pm. More than a driving tour, Over the Mountain is a community of regional makers, working together to strengthen and promote the exciting resurgence of craft and making.

The Over the Mountain Studio Tour has been hosting their November tour for 26 years, and currently have 24 members. The 22 members exhibiting for this show include: Pam and Ren Parziale, pottery; Ann Sharp, portraits; Fran Brolle, silver and glass jewelery Joy Bridy, pottery Sheila Brannan, stained glass; Pat Langerhans, folk art animals; Joe Mayer, paintings; Eric Johnson, blacksmith; Nancy Streeter, wood carvings; Rose Sanders, hand forged jewelry; Tim Wohleber, rustic twig furniture; Vanessa Morris, salvaged wood toys; Steve Adams, hand hewn bowls; Anne Bowers, baskets; Treva Blackford, teddy bears; Tom McGarry, cabinetry; Bruce Fransen, sculpted wood vessels; Liz Goins, book and paper arts; Linda Case, polymer clay; Tara Bell, colored pencil drawings; Barbara Acker, gourd art.

During the Opening Reception on Sunday, Sept. 13, 3-5 p.m., visitors are welcome to explore the exhibit amid conversation and snacks. Group members will be available for questions, and wall text will describe some of their processes and inspirations. The group will also take part in Charles Town’s Third Thursday event, Sept. 17.

Pam Parziale, one of the group’s founding members, will offer a short introduction to our region’s makers at 4 p.m. She will answer questions about how a network of artists contribute to the larger community, and what people gain from making.

“The question often asked of those of us on the studio tour is, ‘How did you learn?’ In West Virginia, we tell stories, and the answer to that question depends on the story,” says Parziale.

Tim Wohleber, twig furniture maker and new tour member, says “I got started making furniture at age 15. Growing up on the side of a mountain, boredom got the best of me, and I saw a chapter on making rustic twig furniture while looking thru a book. Later that day, I went out into the woods and cut down a few small trees to make my first chair. My favorite part of making twig furniture is going out into the woods and finding the right pieces for my next project, looking at trees to see how they will fit into the final work.”

Bruce Fransen, wood vessel sculptor, musician and fifth year tour member says, “I see form as an infinite series of lines…sometimes visible, often invisible. It is with these lines that I shape and tease the form to beautiful and deeply satisfying existence. Exposing and highlighting the natural treasures embedded in the wood results in a visual and tactile rhapsody of pleasure.”

Nancy Streeter, wood carver and ninth year tour member says, “Always having an interest in crafts, I felt that woodcarving would be an interesting craft. So, one day I picked up a knife and a block of wood. When I was finished, you could at least tell it was penguin, so I started another piece, and another…”

The Fire Hall Gallery is located inside the Visitor’s Center at 108 N. George St. in Charles Town. The Gallery is shared with the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative, and is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, contact Pam Parziale, or visit Jefferson Arts Council page on facebook.