Featured Artist: Janice McSherry
Janice McSherry grew up in a small town in upstate New York that is similar to Weirton in many ways. As a result, she feels very much at home here. Prior to moving to West Virginia, she lived in Pittsburgh for 15 years and thinks of it as her other favorite place. She has held many interesting jobs in many exciting places, but the longest and best, in her opinion, was heading the legal department of a global consumer products company.
In the years since Janice’s retirement, she has enjoyed many “creative” pursuits: cooking, gardening, cat herding, and dog hugging. She serves as a Director for the Mary H. Weir Public Library, and is the secretary of her college class, which involves compiling news from over 500 classmates for the university magazine four times a year. “Even before I retired, I wanted to become more connected to community-focused activities. I tried a couple of groups, but they weren’t quite the right fit. The Top of WV Arts Council (TWVAC) offers me a way to work with a wide variety of individuals who appreciate the creative process in a social setting,” Janice said. “With the addition of new leadership at the Top of WV CVB, the Arts Council has expanded its reach into the community by providing educational, performance, and display opportunities for a broad constituency.”
Since Janice joined the TWVAC in 2020, she has served in the role of secretary, recording the business of the Council, and helping to organize ways of working. However, her main goal was to become a displaying artist, which she’s become only recently. “The Arts Council members are extremely supportive and have encouraged me to become the artist I once was,” Janice added. “Creating and appreciating art is uniquely human and can be entertaining, meaningful, challenging, and disruptive. Art can be an expression of those things that cannot be put into words – or it can simply be a pleasurable pursuit, a way to capture beauty, whimsy, or a moment in time.”
Janice recalls the time she and her husband Garen DiBartolomeo sponsored an exhibit in 2019 called “Three Cousins” which featured his photographs and the paintings of his two cousins, who also grew up in Weirton. “It was a great display of creativity!” Janice exclaimed. “Unfortunately, the opening reception was curtailed by a torrential summer storm which stranded many who tried to attend!”
Janice speaks to the ways that the TWVAC is working to provide an enhanced program of classes, open studio time, and other public activities and events. “The TWVAC is helping to make art accessible to anyone, young or old, who is interested in enjoying and creating art. This is not limited to 2D creations – sculpture, music, poetry, dramatic and performance art are all on the menu!”
You can shop for Janice’s work at the Top of West Virginia’s Summit Art Gallery, located at 3539 Main Street, Weirton, WV.