The old Pineville library had been vacant for nearly 3 years. But that didn’t stop a group of creative Wyoming County residents from holding an art show in the space this year.
As a part of the Hub’s Innovation Acceleration Strategy (IAS) program in Pineville, the Wyoming County Arts group formed to connect artists within the county and address the role that arts can play in building community.
With a focus on Wyoming County arts, culture and entertainment, the group rolled up their sleeves and went to work promoting their passions.
With 22 people on board, three local artists helped the group connect with other artists in the county. Beth Lewis, an AmeriCorps VISTA serving with the Rural Appalachian Improvement League, teamed up with Kody Crawford, an AmeriCorps VISTA with the National Coal Heritage Area, to help the Wyoming Arts group plan, and access materials.
Within weeks the arts folks had come to a consensus and began planning their first community event.
The group debuted an art show during Pineville’s annual Autumnfest in October. The show featured a variety of exhibits, including paintings, handmade quilts, woodworking projects, pottery, and live musical acts, most of which hailed from Wyoming County.
Turnout was great. Some artists were able to sell a piece, or two. The community celebrated local artisans, and all of this took place within the walls of an old library that had not been utilized in years.
It took some work, though! Volunteers spent hours readying the building for its debut – dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, and breathing life back into the space.
Now, the old library building, owned by the Pineville Chamber of Commerce, is set to host another community event in the coming months. I’d like to think that Lewis, Crawford, and their fellow Wyoming County Arts comrades paved the way.