The Parkersburg Art Center will open two new exhibits Friday, one focusing on the artistic talents of young adults and the other on a classic American Icon.
The annual Washington State Community College Student and Alumni Art Show is returning for a seventh year to the art center at Eighth and Market streets in downtown Parkersburg.
Art center director Abby Hayhurst said it will be joined by "an unusual showing of Harley-Davidson-themed artwork, posters, apparel and memorabilia, as well as 10 custom-painted motorcycles."
The art exhibit will be in the Esbenshade Gallery, while the Harley Davidson exhibit will occupy the Main and South galleries.
An opening reception for both exhibits will be 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the art center. Admission is free for art center members and $10 for non-members to the reception. The evening will include a style show of Harley Davidson clothing with some area celebrities as models, as well as dancing with music from DJ Chris Fouss.
The two exhibits will be on display through April 28. The center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily admission fee is $2 for non-members, with no charge for children under 12.
In the WSCC exhibit, 10 students and alumni are presenting about 20 different pieces of artwork, including paintings, drawings, sketches, sculptures and photography. Several of the participating artists will attend the show's premiere, along with WSCC art instructor John Crum.
"This is a great opportunity for our students to show off their work and for the entire Mid-Ohio Valley community to see what WSCC has to offer," said Crum.
"We always look forward to this show. The student work is always edgy, bright and new, and is a good bellwether of what will be the new trends in art," Hayhurst said of the WSCC annual exhibit.
Hayhurst said the Harley-Davidson exhibit, which is called "Born to Run: Defining American Graphic Design," grew out of discussions of iconic American logo design.
"There are few, if any, product identifiers that are as evocative of American graphic design and manufacture than the Harley-Davidson 'bar-and-shield' logo. For the past century, the Harley-Davidson company has lead the industry - not just in the production of motorcycles, but in creating new and exciting art and graphic trends," she said.
"Many famous artists, such as Kenny ('Von Dutch') Howard and Ed Hardy, can trace their styles back to the seminal 'cool' of Harley-Davidson," she said.
A number of the bikes on display feature airbrushed artwork by Tad "Fad Daddy Tadpole" Gallaugher, of Athens.
"Tad's work is extraordinary," said Hayhurst. "The bikes are highly individual artistic statements, reflections of the personalities of both the bike's owner and the artist."
The exhibit is also scheduled to feature one of the City of Parkersburg's Harley-Davidson custom police motorcycles.