Coming Soon: Citywide Ceramics Take Over! Alex Panas February 23, 2023 Wheeling is about to get a whole lot more creative as local ceramic artists, along with Oglebay Institute, Wheeling Heritage, Artworks Around Town, East Wheeling Clayworks, Clientele Art Studio and the McLure House Hotel are teaming up to host an extraordinary citywide ceramics art takeover! Ceramics Take Over Wheeling will be a seven-week-long showcase of ceramic art that includes juried art exhibitions, workshops, and special events. During this time, Wheeling will be bursting with unique and vibrant ceramic art pieces created by local and visiting artists. The concept for the Wheeling Ceramics Take Over was developed by local ceramic artist, Lambros Tsuhlares. “When the concept of a ceramic take over with a national show was presented, the response from every person and organization involved was ‘what can we do to help.’ It was a process involving many people and many meetings over the last year and a half,” said Tsuhlares. “I think Wheeling is the perfect place to stage a national ceramic show and I am so excited for the Wheeling area to see the ceramic talent that is about to take place in this city.” Lambros Tsuhlares, left, and Rick Morgan, right, at Stifel Fine Arts Center. Morgan and Tsuhlares have been connected by clay for many years. Tsuhlares was Morgan’s pottery instructor at West Liberty University a couple of decades ago. And, when Tsuhlares taught ceramics at Stifel Fine Arts Center in the 1990s, he gave the West Liberty student his start with Oglebay Institute. Now, the two are working together for the citywide “Ceramics Take Over Wheeling.” The Main Event: Earth and Fire The focal point of the Ceramics Take Over is the Stifel Fine Arts Center’s inaugural Earth and Fire exhibition, which will be on display from Feb. 24 through March 31. Earth and Fire is a juried ceramic exhibition that will feature 99 ceramic works created by 78 artists representing 29 states. The exhibition will award $7,000 total in cash prizes, with a $4,000 top prize. Ceramic work from "Earth & Fire" on display at Stifel Fine Arts Center gallery. Fused Dwelling I, Stoneware, Glaze, Underglaze; Luke Huling, Aberdeen, NC. Self Portrait Clay; Kara Zupancic, Pittsburgh, PA. Eastern Tea, Clay, Luster Glazes and Glass Beads; Madeline Kaczmarczyk, Rockford, MI. Pedestal Teapot, Cone 10 Wild Clay; Andrew Tran, Fort Wayne, IN. Sheep, Clay, Glazes; Mindi Rockwell, Grafton, WV. A free, public opening reception for Earth and Fire will be held at the Stifel Fine Arts Center on Friday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. Regular gallery hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday. Admission is free. Rick Morgan, director of the Stifel Fine Arts Center, believes that Wheeling could “become a cool, trendy place for ceramicists.” He is hopeful that the annual ceramics event will attract more and more artists to town, and perhaps they will make Wheeling their home. “The Friendly City can be friendly to ceramic artists,” Morgan said. Community-Wide Ceramics Exhibits Additional ceramics-focused exhibits are planned throughout the month of March at Artworks Around Town, Clientele Art Studio, Oglebay Institute’s Gallery at Towngate Theatre, and The McLure House Hotel. These include: March 1 – March 31, 2023 East Wheeling Clayworks (747 Market Street) will have a special showcase of their employees’ artwork at their retail shop throughout the month of March. In addition to their handmade pottery, they will also have paintings, jewelry, prints, stickers, and other fun products available for purchase. March 1 – March 31, 2023 The McLure House Hotel (1200 Market St, Wheeling, WV 26003) storefront windows will display Stifel potters during the month of March. The artists’ reception will be held on Saturday, March 18 in the lobby of the hotel from 4 – 6 p.m. March 3 – April 1, 2023 Artworks Around Town (2200 Market St, Wheeling, WV 26003) will have ceramic works by Tom Thomas, Bo Bedilion and Betsy Cox on display, with an opening reception held on Friday, March 3 from 5:30 – 8 pm. March 4 – May 26, 2023 The Gallery at Towngate Theater (2118 Market St, Wheeling, WV 26003) will host a ceramic exhibit featuring works by Jennifer Allen and Richard “Duke” Miecznikowski. The opening reception will be Thursday, March 9 from 6 – 8 p.m. March 9 – April 2, 2023 Clientele Art Studio (43 15th St, Wheeling, WV 26003) will be hosting Andrea Dubiel and Jake Pierce with an opening reception on Thursday, March 9 from 7 – 11 p.m. More information about these exhibits can be found by visiting each institution’s website or at ceramicstakeoverwheeling.com. Special Events and Workshops In addition to gallery exhibits, there will be plenty of special events that the community can attend. Wheeling Heritage will host a Potters Tea Party at the Wheeling Artisan Center on Saturday, March 25 from 2-4 p.m. Guests will receive a handmade tea bowl upon entry, which they can fill with specialty tea provided by the Empress Emporium Tea and Parfumerie. Scones, tea sandwiches, and other light fares will also be included in the $35 admission ticket. The event will also feature tea sets on display made by local and regional ceramic artists, and will be available for purchase via a silent auction that will take place during the event. Other special events include a variety of ceramic workshops at the Stifel Fine Arts Center, a raku firing, and a pottery throwdown competition. The inaugural Ceramics Take Over Wheeling is sure to be a celebration of creativity and community! We invite everyone to join us and explore the unique and vibrant ceramic art pieces that will be on display throughout the four-day event. You can learn more about Ceramics Take Over Wheeling and check out all of the upcoming ceramics events by visiting ceramicstakeoverwheeling.com. 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