The Times West Virginian

October 16, 2013

Exhibition room at library provides more space to display art

By Emily Gallagher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Local commercial artist Justin Roark is back with even more works of art to view.

Roark, who paints on hand and circular saws, skateboards and ironing boards as well as canvases, will be displaying his work at the Marion County Public Library throughout October.

This isn’t the first time Roark has put art in the library.

In August 2012, he showed his work, but this time around there is more space available. His work can be seen in the exhibition room on the bottom floor of the library.

“I’m glad they have the exhibition room now; there’s more space and room for people to walk around and see the art,” Roark said.

Roark said he wanted to come back to the library to display the art because of the atmosphere of the library. He also wants to be involved with his community.

“I’d like to find more things in the community where I live,” he

said. “I’ve been trying to find more venues and events in Marion County.”

Roark said another reason he returned to the library is because of the experience he had just over a year ago.

“The way they treated me was very nice, and I got a good response from viewers,” he said.

Works on display are acrylic paintings of West Virginia landscapes, including paintings of Valley Falls State Park and Cedar Lakes State Park.

“I have a lot more landscapes this time,” he said. “Most of the canvases are from Valley Falls or Cedar Lakes to hopefully make them more recognizable compared to last time where a lot of it was out toward Pricketts Fort.”

Roark said the paintings of Valley Falls are some of his favorites because he has been taking more time to finish those pieces and focus on their detail.

“I’m really pleased with those,” he said. “I’m trying to take more time instead of rushing to get works done. I’ve been trying to step away and then come back and take more hours investing in more detail to have a better-quality piece — I think that shines through with the Valley Falls paintings.”

Roark’s hometown is Ripley. He got his bachelor’s degree in commercial design and an associate’s degree in graphics.

When his work was on display last year, Roark said he always takes time to prepare before working on a piece of art.

“I’m a man of faith,” he said. “A lot of times I pray in preparation, and I put myself in a place where I’m ready to start something or just to find peace about it.”

After his work leaves the Marion County Public Library, Roark said he’ll be taking his art to different shows. He’ll travel back home to Jackson County for a craft show, then to Morgantown for a show in December.

“I’m just trying to keep busy,” Roark said.

Roark’s art will be on display throughout the remainder of October and can be seen during normal Marion County Public Library hours.

Julie Mike, public relations manager for the Marion County Public Library System, said the library welcomes different types of artists, from those who paint to those who create sculptures.

Artists who would like to have their works on display at the Marion County Public Library may contact Mike at 304-366-1210 or jmike@mpls .org.

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