Upcoming

​Opening reception is planned for June 5, 2022, from 2 to 4 p.m.

In conjunction with the Huntington Museum of Art, the Tri-State Arts Association presents its biennial juried exhibition, a recurring showcase of the best artwork representing artists from West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. A variety of media will be displayed, including painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, sculpture, glass, wood, textiles, and mixed media.

The Tri-State Arts Association was founded in 1953 to encourage and promote the work of artists living and working in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. TSAA and HMA have enjoyed a natural partnership thanks to the organizations’ shared mission to champion the arts in our community.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Ceramic artist and teacher Kathleen Kneafsey has served as Artist-in-Residence at the Huntington Museum of Art for the past 22 years. In addition to teaching various clay classes and maintaining the ceramics studio, she is responsible for inviting world-class clay artists to Huntington, West Virginia, through the Museum’s renowned Walter Gropius Master Artist Program.

This engagement includes an exhibit of the artist’s work, a public lecture, and an intensive multi-day workshop conducted in the Museum’s art studios designed by famed architect and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius.

Assembled from Kneafsey’s wildest imagination, the roster of ceramic artists who have visited the Museum includes both early vanguards of the studio pottery movement and next generation artists redefining what it means to work with clay. For more than two decades, Kneafsey’s efforts have earned this program national prominence.

A native Huntingtonian, Kathleen Kneafsey left her hometown at 17 years old and embarked on an exciting path of growth and discovery that ultimately, serendipitously brought her back to the place on the hill where it all began. “I had my first introduction to clay at the Museum, which led to a life choice that has been completely fulfilling,” Kneafsey said. “That first experience drove me to pursue study in clay, taking me to Clemson where I was fortunate enough to learn from a wonderfully gifted professor and mentor. I also met my husband there, and through his career travels, I was able to study clay in many different places with great artists. Then, we came back to my hometown, and the Museum and I became reacquainted.”

By chance, in 1997, Kneafsey saw an advertisement at Marshall University that the Huntington Museum of Art was looking for someone to teach children’s pottery. Perfectly suited for the role, her appointment soon expanded to include additional classes and, in 2000, after finishing graduate school at Miami University, the Museum offered her the position of Artist-in-Residence, a role she has cherished ever since. “My family has grown right along with this program,” Kneafsey said. “When I started in this position, I was expecting my first child, and the way I recall the dates of an artist’s visit is by how many children I had at the time or which child I was pregnant with. Many of the artists whom I asked to visit were chosen because they were parents themselves. I selfishly wanted to see how they juggled all the balls in the life of an artist, teacher, and parent. So, the growth of the program and the growth of my family, now three children in all, are completely intertwined.”

Kathleen Kneafsey’s lifelong commitment to ceramics education quietly underlies Serendipitous: A History of Clay at the Huntington Museum of Art. This sprawling exhibit, built from the Museum’s permanent collection, features contemporary ceramic artworks made by visiting artists in the Walter Gropius Master Artist Program. Brief recollections by Kneafsey, extruded from memory, accompany select artworks and enrich the gallery presentation. This is our history, and her story.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

The Daywood Collection

July 16 - February 12, 2023

Between 1916 and 1965, Philippi, West Virginia, natives Arthur Spencer Dayton (1887-1948) and Ruth Woods Dayton (1894-1978) carefully developed a superb collection of American and European paintings, prints, sculpture, and decorative arts that speaks to their personal philosophy of beauty in art.

The couple began seriously building their collection during their years in Charleston (1923-1948). They purchased works from art galleries and, over the years, built a special relationship with MacBeth Gallery in New York City. They also bought from auctions, from prestigious exhibitions such as the Carnegie International, and purchased works directly from the studios of artists whom they admired – both in the United States and abroad. The Daytons bought what they liked and what they could afford. They also kept a detailed and valuable record of where and when objects were acquired.

They were well read on the history of art, especially 19th and 20th century American artists, sharing a love of landscapes. The strength of their collection lies in academically trained artists working in the various schools of realism and American impressionism, including masterpieces by Childe Hassam, J. Alden Weir, Emil Carlsen, John Twachtman, Willard Metcalf, Frank Benson, Charles Davis and works by “The Eight.” Early American modernists and the ideals expressed by those artworks were of little interest.

In 1929, Ruth purchased from MacBeth Gallery an etching titled Calvary Church in Snow by Childe Hassam and gave it to Arthur as a Christmas gift. Thus, began a collection of engravings, etchings, and lithographs by a literal “who’s who” of American and European printmakers. The Daytons also had a penchant for small bronzes, especially by women artists working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including Grace Helen Talbot, Harriet Frishmuth, Anna Hyatt Huntington, and Edith Parsons. A small collection of Lacy period glass was also part of the collection.

In May 1948, Arthur Dayton died suddenly at the age of sixty-one. With the goal of sharing the collection with the public, Ruth Dayton turned a building on the property adjacent to their home in Lewisburg, West Virginia, into a museum. She called it The Daywood Gallery, combining Arthur’s surname (Dayton) and her maiden name (Woods). The collection continued to grow through purchases and donations. The Daywood Gallery remained in operation from 1951 into 1966. The following year The Daywood Collection was donated to the Huntington Museum of Art.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

Illustrated storytelling is a primal form of human communication, believed integral to the development of language. In this sense, the visual and narrative styles beloved in contemporary culture as comic art are simply modern expressions of a collective impulse buried deep in our prehistoric past.

Nearer the present, comic art represents a natural evolution of the political cartoons and satirical caricatures which have been printed in European and American newspapers and periodicals since the early 1800s. Cleverly designed interplays of text and image allowed for effective communication with a wide audience, regardless of age or literacy, making this format ideal for delivering social critique, propaganda, and entertainment. Published compilations of cartoon reprints and newspaper comic strips foreshadowed what was to come and, in 1935, the first comic book featuring original cartoon artwork was released. However, the Golden Age of Comic Books truly began in 1938 with Action Comics, no. 1, when an extraterrestrial infant refugee with superhuman potential crash landed in the idyllic American Midwest. The boy’s adopted parents named him Clark Kent, but humanity came to know this archetypal superhero, champion of the oppressed, by his alter-ego: Superman. By the mid-20th century, in addition to a growing number of mainstream comic creators, diverse independent artists, writers, and publishers were producing self-expressive comic art that commented on culture and politics from new perspectives. Barriers continue to be transformed into frontiers for creativity as artists and writers who once had limited voices in the traditional comic industry now enjoy a wider audience and larger platforms to tell their stories.

Once primarily an American art form, comic books and the pantheon of characters spawned within their pages now connect legions of devoted fans around the world through a common language. Comic sales have risen consistently for decades, and consumer demand continues to reach astonishing heights, a trend supercharged by the popularity of graphic novels and digital downloads. Free Comic Book Day – an annual promotional effort supported by participating comic book vendors – has spread to nearly sixty different countries. An undeniable pop-culture juggernaut, scores of commercially successful comic-inspired movies dominate at the box office, and critically acclaimed TV series stream directly into our living rooms. The original artwork for newspaper comic strips and comic books is coveted by collectors and exhibited by major museums.

No longer a niche hobby, comic culture is decidedly mainstream.

“POW!”: Comic Drawings from the Permanent Collection features original comic book art, comic strips, and sequential drawings created by some of America’s most noted comic artists, such as Bob Kane, Ernie Chan and Neil Adams, from the Huntington Museum of Art’s Michael Reynolds Collection of American Popular Culture.

This exhibit is presented with support from The Isabelle Gwynn and Robert Daine Exhibition Endowment.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.