Artist Sidney Duncan is exhibiting in Raw New Photos at The Diamond Shop, opening April 7, 6-9pm (320 High Street). She shares with Zackquill about how she came to be an artist getting involved in the local art scene.

Z: How did you end up in West Virginia?

S: I have lived in West Virginia for most of my life. This is where my family is from, so after my mother completed her residency in Pennsylvania   we moved back here to be close to everyone again. West Virginia is in my blood, it’s the only place I ever remember being and it’s where I feel at home.

Z: How did you come to be an artist? 

S:  I originally became interested in art during high school, although I never thought of it as a career, or life path. Honestly, without the support of my mentor, Rueben, I would have never pursued art past that first class, but he saw something in me and encouraged me to build my skills. After that I fell in love, art became my passion, but again it fell by the wayside as I went on to my college career. After a long freshman year, I came to the realization that I would never love the career I had once been so eager to achieve, changed my major to photography and never looked back.

Z: How did this exhibition come about? Why is this important for the Morgantown community?

S: This exhibition is a compilation of the work of all of the upper level photographers in the College of Creative Arts at WVU. It came together as a way for us to showcase our art. I would say that this a strong way to share the creativity of those involved with the program and give people a way to become familiar with local artists, as well as fine art photography.

Z: How do you think the environment is for the arts in Morgantown? How do you think it could improve?

S: I think right now the art scene is a new, but growing, community within Morgantown. Galleries like the Diamond Shop are opening new doors within the community to help build the communication between artists, as well as those within the community that art interested in the arts. I would say that a way that the attitude towards art could be improved is to better advertise exhibition events within the community. Once people have experienced and enjoyed the art they will be more willing to learn and become involved with it themselves. 

 Z: What is your favorite thing about being an artist in Morgantown? 

S: My favorite thing about being an artist in Morgantown is the sense of community with all of the other artists at the CAC. Without the influence of the artists I’m around every day I wouldn’t be half of the artist that I am now. Their support and criticism has helped me to grow and become aware of new artists and art. 

Photo of the artist.

Sally Deskins is an artist, writer and curator. She currently serves as Exhibits & Programs Coordinator with West Virginia University Libraries and edits the blog Les Femmes Folles: Women in Art. Contact her at sallydeskins@yahoo.com.