The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

May 2, 2013

Fayetteville Arts Coalition excited about weekend event

FAYETTEVILLE — This Friday’s second annual “Big Art in a Small Town” event in downtown Fayetteville marks a happy anniversary for Fayetteville Arts Coalition director Shea Wells.

“The cool thing about this event is this time last year, the organization was focusing on Art in Sight project, with the goal of getting a sculpture up and one of our future goals was to have an arts co-op,” says director Shea Wells.

On May 4, 2012, the group held a one-night arts event in a space above the Secret Sandwich Society on Keller Avenue.

“It was so well-attended that we just stayed. In the past year we have developed the space for an arts co-op where artists volunteer their time to work there,” says Wells.

“It’s just really exciting, a year later, to see the co-op established, and there’s still a lot of energy in the community.”

This year’s event is both a celebration and a fundraiser aimed at moving forward with the group’s next mural project on Court Street.

The evening will feature a raffle of work donated by 11 Tamarack juried artists, as well as art for sale. The work by local artists includes woodworking, photography, jewelry, ceramics, painting and sculpture.

Photo Earth, which shares the co-op space, will provide a photo booth for attendees.

Andrew Adkins, Melissa Bright and African drummer Casey Jones will give concerts.

The coalition is still adding artists to its roster and developing art classes in the community.

On Friday, attendees will be able to sign up for those classes, which include African drumming, kids arts and crafts, and mixed media.

Wells’s goal is to build the classes and keep the co-op space open from Thursday through Saturday, May through October this year.

She invites more artists and community members to get involved.

“Even if you don’t want to display work, you can teach classes. And we’re always welcoming new artists and volunteers,” she says.

The coalition’s next mural project will tentatively be created by Charles Jupiter Hamilton. Wells says she welcomes ideas and suggestions for a theme. The group’s goal is to get started in late summer or early fall.

Last fall, the group installed a sculpture at the intersection of Court Street and Keller Avenue. It also oversaw the painting of a mural on the side of a business on Court Street last year.

“We’re basically trying to work our way into town with outdoor artwork,” said Wells.

A $5 donation is suggested at the door, which includes a raffle entry and food from local restaurants like Secret Sandwich Society and Wild Flour Bakery.

Beers from Bridge Brew Works run $5 per pint, with all proceeds benefiting the coalition’s work.

For more information, visit or

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