The Times West Virginian

April 26, 2014

Award-winning artist Holmes featured at library

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Having a passion is something artist Jack Holmes has had since college.

Following his passion of capturing breathtaking scenes through photography and creating pottery pieces he doesn’t want to see sell, Holmes had taken and created hundreds of pieces of artwork. His creations are now on display at the Marion County Public Library (MCPL) in downtown Fairmont.

Today, residents can view Holmes’ work and meet him in person at the Meet the Artist event in the exhibition room at the MCPL. The event is from noon to 2 p.m. and will be catered by Fish Hawk Acres. It is free and open to the public.

Holmes, an award-winning artist, is juried in at Tamarack. At the library, the public can see why his work is unique, showing off the beauty of West Virginia and different locations of where Holmes likes to spend his time.

All of the photographs on display are digital except for one of Hatteras Island, N.C., which was taken by film.

“There are also a couple of altered Polaroids,” Holmes said. “Those are the oldest things in the show. They go back to around 1985.”

One of his favorite photographs on display at the library is of his neighbor. The picture is in black in white and shows a person with their hand over their face.

“A lot of people look at it without looking at the title,” Holmes said. “They think someone is in mourning, but they are actually laughing.”

As for the pottery on display, Holmes has items from pots and jugs to sculptures at the library. One of the types of pottery Holmes uses is raku.

In fact, one of his favorite pieces, which is also on display, is a green jug made with raku pottery.

“I don’t know why, but I really like it,” Holmes said.

Holmes graduated from West Liberty University in 1977. While attending the university, he was introduced to clay and fell in love with creating artwork with it.

“There, I devoted most of my time to clay,” he said.

Holmes said the fluidity of clay is what he enjoys most about working with that specific medium.

“After it’s fired, it’s permanent, unless someone breaks it,” he said.

Learning how to make pottery came before Holmes began taking pictures as an artist.

“I do more photography now, but I want to get back into pottery,” he said.

With his photography, Holmes said he rarely alters a photograph. Basically, what is displayed at the library is the way he took the photograph.

“Probably 80 percent of my work is straight out of the camera,” Holmes said.

Artists interested in displaying their work at the Marion County Public Library can contact Julie Mike at 304-366-1210.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.