Artists at Work will host a one-of-a-kind reception and live artist demonstration from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday to welcome its newest members to the Elkins community, woodturner Stuart Strong and potter Kate Harward.
The free event is designed to give the community a chance to meet the artists and learn about their inspiration and works.
Refreshments will be provided by Henry G's and the gallery will be filled with the live music of local favorite Caleb Karriker.
Visitors will be able to watch as Strong demonstrates the art of woodturning and explains how he takes a piece of wood and turns it into a piece of art.
Strong came to Elkins in 1978 from the Philadelphia area to attend Davis & Elkins College. He graduated in 1982 and has been in the community ever since. He works full-time at the Huttonsville Correctional Center as a substance abuse therapist. In his free time, he creates beautiful bowls, pencils and wine stoppers.
He has created wooden toys and cutting boards over the years, but has been turning bowls for about two years. It took several years for him to be able to save enough money to buy his own equipment. Since he began turning wood, he has created more than 150 pieces, and now Strong has joined the Artists at Work Gallery.
"What I like best about working with wood is anticipating how a piece is going to end up," he said. "When I first select my pieces of wood, I develop a vision of what the final piece will look like. It is amazing to watch the transformation as chunks of wood shape into a decorative bowl."
Strong is excited about demonstrating how he creates the lovely bowls featured at Artists at Work. He will have his lathe and supplies set up in front of the store to demonstrate the artistic process.
Artists at Work also would like to introduce Harward, who has worked in Barbour County creating Tygart River pottery for nearly 40 years. Her work is mostly in porcelain and both wheel throwing and slab building are used to create her unique and sometimes whimsical utilitarian works of art. Using clay from Ohio, she employs and unusual single-firing process to achieve her unique earthtone glazes. She has spent time in Japan and China to study with master potters. Her work is featured in many galleries and shops across the United States.
Founded more than 20 years ago, Artists at Work features a variety of handcrafted items including baskets, cards, jewelry, quilts, paintings, pottery, photographs, stained glass, textiles and much more. Artists at Work is located at 329 Davis Ave., Elkins. More information is available by calling 304-637-6309.