New Martinsville resident Glen Barnes will be showing his popular West Virginia frontier and wildlife art in a solo show at Oglebay Institute's Stifel Fine Arts Center June 21 to Aug. 3.
The public is invited to the free opening reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on June 21. The Stifel Fine Arts Center is located at 1330 National Road in Wheeling, W.Va.
Barnes has been a full-time artist for the last 27 years and specializes in historically accurate paintings of the people, wildlife, and events of the Eighteenth Century in the area surrounding the upper Ohio River. On his website, he states, "For as long as I can remember, drawing has been an important part of my life. Some of my earliest memories are of pencil drawings on smooth pieces of wood that my father brought to me from the Arkansas lumber mill where he worked. These drawings were usually cartoons or sketches of animals, and horses were a favorite subject then as well as now. Many hours of my school age years were spent doing characters and scenes from Western films, but they were done for my own amusement and shared with very few others."
The work of artist Glen Barnes, who lives in New Martinsville, will be featured in a solo show this summer at the Stifel Fine Arts Center in?Wheeling.
Realizing that a career as an artist could be a tough one at that time, Barnes decided to pursue mechanical drafting, an alternative that allowed him to use his drawing skills. Barnes remained in the Ohio Valley and spent most of his adult life in New Martinsville. Art remained a beloved activity, albeit a part-time one, and during the early 1970s, at a Pittsburgh art gallery, he exhibited pastel and oil paintings that featured Civil War subjects.
In 1985, he began to pursue painting full-time and found "ideal subject matter to explore" as Barnes found that very few paintings showed the history of the late 1700s when Indians and frontiersmen were in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains; he has pursued this subject matter ever since.
In order to gain insight into the everyday life of the Eighteenth Century, Barnes collected artifacts and clothing like that worn on the frontier and has become a participant in many historical reenactments. Barnes has photographed many others and often uses fellow reenactors as models for characters he wants to show.
Barnes is a member of several conservation organizations, including The Ruffed Grouse Society, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, White Tails Unlimited, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He has donated artwork for over 500 of their fund-raising banquets, and estimates that the auctions have produced over $175,000 for the preservation of wildlife.
The Wonderful West Virginia magazine has featured his historical articles and paintings and Tamarack honored him with its 2001 Artist of the Year award. In the last 20 years over 200 galleries and frame shops in 17 states have shown his artwork.
Barnes states, "From my studio window the view to the east is filled with the rugged, thickly forested terrain common to the eastern mountains, a view unchanged since the day of the Shawnee hunter and the adventurous frontiersmen. Looking westward, toward the Ohio River, it is easy to suspend your sense of time and expect at any moment to see a flatboat crowded with settlers and their belongings floating slowly around the bend on this historic waterway, the turnpike of the frontier traveler. These scenes have been the inspiration for my artwork."