Piccalilli Parkersburg Art Conference draws artists from across West Virginia

Artists from across the state of West Virginia gathered to create art together and network.
Piccalilli Parkersburg Art Conference draws artists from across West Virginia
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 9:12 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) -A little after 1:00 p.m. on September 14, the Parkersburg Piccalilli Art Conference was on its lunch break in the ballroom of the Parkersburg Art Center.

Artists from across the state of West Virginia sat and talked about their work and careers.

Domenica Queen, operations director for the Tamarack Foundation, one of the groups behind the conference, said having these conversations between workshops and presentations on the business of art is important. “Here in West Virginia, we live in mostly rural areas, and it’s really easy to feel disconnected from community, so I’ve just like, really enjoyed hearing all of these conversations of, like, ‘Hey, when can we get together next?’” Queen said.

The Piccalilli Conference has two main categories of presentations and events: ones focused on creating art, and ones focused on the business side of art. “You can kind of pop back and forth between the tracks as things apply to you,” Queen said.

Kylie Proudfoot-Payne, a fellow of the Tamarack Institution attending the conference and a speaker on a panel on building a career as an artist in West Virginia, emphasized the professional development value of the conference. “As artists, we do want to make a living and make a living wage and to create a business around our artistry, and that those two things can exist at the same time.”

Proudfoot-Payne said the major highlight of the conference for her was getting to see her fellow artists from the region. “The networking. The in-person. Seeing people, meeting people in person that I may not have actually met before in person.”

After Proudfoot-Payne’s panel with three other artists at Artsbridge, the first day of the Piccalilli Conference ended with a multi-part artistic celebration. Conference attendees and community members gather to paint panels that will become part of a new mural in downtown Parkersburg.

In the Art Center, a popup display showed off the work of the artists attending the conference, and Proudfoot-Payne painted her daughter to create a moving, living work of art.

The Piccalilli Conference will continue through Friday, October 15.