MARTINSBURG — Anna Howard, president of the Berkeley Arts Council, expressed excitement for an upcoming Berkeley County-focused open art exhibit as part of Berkeley’s 250th anniversary celebration. The call for artists is extended and Howard encourages all artists aged 18 and over to submit work.
May 15 of this year marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of Berkeley County. Among the celebratory activities, this art exhibit will feature all art mediums that follow the theme of the exhibit, titled “Berkeley County, WV: Future, Present, Past.”
This exhibition is one of the official events selected and supported by the Berkeley County Council and will consist of a visual art exhibition as well as presentations of literary, performance and musical arts from May 18 to June 25 at the Berkeley Art Works , at 116 N. Queen St., in Martinsburg.
“The Berkeley Arts Council invites you to celebrate and honor this unique region with your art,” the official press release said. “We ask that you use Berkeley County, WV – its sights, history, cultures, and communities – as inspiration for your work. We hope to build a rich perspective of Berkeley County through interpretations in all the arts by artists of all cultures, identities and ages.”
According to Howard, the Berkeley Arts Council got involved in the 250th from the start when local officials started talking about the celebration.
“We wanted to make sure the art was part of the whole celebration because art is part of the community,” Howard said. “It was really important to me, personally, as a newcomer to the community. I wanted to know more about the community in which I now live and of which I am a part. I felt it was important for artists to be represented at all celebrations.
Howard explained that the hope for the exhibit, in his view, would be more than just photos of what was. She said the hope was to have a unique compilation of representations of what Berkeley County means to artists.
“We wanted to include everything,” Howard said. “We want people to think about the past. Many people who have just arrived do not know the past, but they are part of the present, and they are also going to be part of the future. We want everyone who loves the art and who produce art submit.
The event is open to all artists in the United States, over the age of 18, working in any artistic field, including visual, literary, musical and performing arts.
“Artists do not have to be current residents of Berkeley County; however, entries should reflect the artist’s interpretation of a future vision, adventure, event, memory, experience, etc., present or past, in the county of Berkeley,” the statement read.
“It’s a celebration of artists and art in Berkeley County,” Howard said.