Internationally recognized Wheeling artist Marilyn Hughey Phillis has been elected by the American Watercolor Society to serve as chairman of a three-person jury for its 145th international exhibition opening in April at the Salmagundi Club in New York City.
Phillis, who is an Artworks Around Town member and director of its Studio Gallery in Wheeling, will be joined on the jury by Henry Casselli, an internationally known portrait painter, and George James, an innovative contemporary painter and professor emeritus from California State University.
She explained that from about 1,200 international entries, approximately 120 works were chosen by a jury of selection for this exhibition. From these finalists, the jury of awards will honor about 30 outstanding works with awards ranging from $500 to $4,000. Phillis said that she and the other two judges will be awarding close to $40,000 in total prizes.
Phillis commented, "As a juror, one has a tremendous responsibility to choose award winners that depict the high points of creativity and artistic excellence along with memorable expressions of personal input. Works must go beyond technical excellence to profound statements of the spirit of the artist. AWS awards are among the most prestigious in the country."
A recipient of many national and state awards, Phillis has served on the American Watercolor Society's board of directors and on previous AWS selection and awards juries, along with juries of other major national and regional exhibitions. In addition, she will be co-juror of the West Virginia Allied Artists Exhibition this year.
Wheeling playwright Jeremy Richter also is New York City-bound. He said his musical, "w@ if?," which he describes as a new cellphone musical (formerly titled "best imitation,") will return to off-off-Broadway this month.
The Emerging Artists Theatre has invited the show to open its New Works series at 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27. "After last year's experience, I look forward to a return collaboration and am excited to share my revisions," Richter said.
"Words can't express how grateful I am for this return opportunity and to all that have helped me grow, nuture and develop the show," the playwright and director remarked.
Holly McCluskey, a staff member of Oglebay Institute's Mansion Museum, is teaching a series of decorative arts classes at the museum in Oglebay Park this month. The classes continue from 1-2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
This is a special opportunity to go behind the barriers and in to the period rooms to examine pieces up close while the museum is closed to the public," she explained.
In the remaining classes, McCluskey will cover the Empire period (1810-40) on Feb. 15; the Victorian period (1840-1900) on Feb. 22 and the "Oglebay" period (1901-26) on Feb. 29.
Classes are limited to 12 people. Participants can attend individual sessions or the whole series. The charge is reduced for institute members. To make reservations, call 304-242-7272.
Linda Comins can be reached via e-mail at: Comins@news-register.net