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Morgan Arts Council Berkeley Springs, WV
Press Contact only: Betty Rivard -- or call 304-364-8972 or Mary Hott - or call 304-258-2300



BERKELEY SPRINGS, WV ---- Selected works of 19 professional photographers from nine counties throughout West Virginia are showcased in "West Virginia Photographers," a special exhibit opening at the Ice House Gallery in Berkeley Springs on Friday, August 29 at 7:30pm. A gala opening reception also features a special opportunity to be photographed by Berkeley Springs portrait photographer Bob Peak. Curated by Betty Rivard, a photographer from Braxton County, WV and produced by the Morgan Arts Council (MAC), the show is displayed through September 28.

The photo show opening at the Ice House is the second stop on an Artwalk that begins at 5pm at Mountain Laurel Gallery on the Square with the opening of another special photo exhibit, "The Beauty of West Virginia" showcasing the work of Lynn Golemon. "Mountain Laurel's show is a perfect partner," says MAC Executive Director Mary Hott. "The Ice House exhibit includes not just photos of the state but also of other parts of the country and the world."

In addition to more than 70 photographs on exhibit and for sale, as well as other offerings ranging from books to calendars and notecards, the gala Ice House show opening promises participation fun. "Local photographer Bob Peak is doing portraits of people attending the opening," says Hott, "and the Ice House is making available costumes, hats and other accessories from the theater costume room should people want to get dressed up for their pictures." Portrait shooting begins at 7:30pm as does the reception.

Along with Peak, who has exotic shots from his global tours on display, the show exhibits other nearby professionals including Rip Smith and Frank Cervalo of Martinsburg, Cervalo is noted for his postcard series of the state.

Sheila Caim of Calhoun County is a master of digital watercolor, a technique that is practiced on a computer screen. "It is a picture drawn with light using a digital stylus for a brush," Caim says of her fine art products which begin with her photographs "I often make substantial changes to the original shot in order to achieve the underlying mood I sense. My medium is light."

Bruce Haley of Charleston is another photographer whose work makes use of digital technique. His nature photographs morph into impressionistic fine art through what he calls PhoDigital Paintings. Stephen Lawson's award winning nature photographs are rooted in his lifelong commitment to conservation of the environment and its photo documentation. Lawson often creates daylong and even yearlong images capture through specially created cameras. His unique work is in dozens of collections around the world. Jurgen Lorenzen of Summersville, a Master of Photography and winner of several significant photography awards, exhibits classically beautiful fine art images in the show.

Curator Rivard has expansive dreams for this show of West Virginia photographers including melding it into a traveling exhibit that showcases the skilled artists that live and work within the state. "We're hoping that this Berkeley Springs exhibit is just the first stop," says Rivard, who is assembling a CD based on the Ice House show. "The CD is what I will use to promote the high quality of work in the state to the world," she said. Rivard lists other photographers in the show including Beth Forester, Steve Shaluta, David Fattalah, Robin Hammer, Michael Keller, Thorney Lieberman, Brittain McJunkin, Laura Moul, Steve Payne, Moriah Scher, and Steven Rotsch. She will also be showing her own photographs.

More photography activities are planned at the Ice House in conjunction with the show including a digital workshop conducted by Bob Peak on September 6 and 7 as well as a two-week showcase in mid-September of nature photographs by students at a recent Cacapon State Park workshop.

Funding for special exhibit gallery shows at the Ice House is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, West Virginia Commission on the Arts and hotel/motel tax revenues from Morgan County and Bath.

The Ice House is located on Independence and Mercer in downtown Berkeley Springs. Gallery hours for seeing the show are Friday through Sunday from 11am to 5pm. For more information on the Morgan Arts Council, call 304-258-2300 or check online at