Importance of Arts to Our Cultural History

When we talk about the value of arts and culture to society, we always start with its intrinsic value: how arts and culture can illuminate our inner lives and enrich our emotional world. This activity encompasses a broad range of disciplines that ranges from performing arts production and presentation, to visual arts exhibition, to arts education and arts in healthcare, to preservation and interpretation of our collective heritage. This is what we cherish.

However, we also understand that arts and culture have a wider, more measurable impact on our economy, health and wellbeing, society, and education. It is important we also recognize this impact to help people think of our arts and culture for what they are: a strategic national resource.

Essentially life without the collective resources of our arts communities would be static and sterile—no creative arguments about the past, no diverse and stimulating present and no dreams of the future.

Current Exhibitions

The 2021 West Virginia Governor’s Art Exhibition, An Open Invitation to Almost Heaven, is currently on display as of March 5, 2021 in the Capitol building. The display is located outside the Governor’s reception room in the West Wing. However, the Capitol is still not open to the public, but there will be a notification sent out when it does reopen so visitors can see the exhibit. Click here to view the Virtual Gallery. The exhibit will be on display until late August or early September 2021.

The 2021 Quilt and Wall Hangings Exhibition, the premier showcase for arts, heritage, history and culture will open on Friday, May 28, 2021 at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. An awards ceremony to honor the winners for the exhibition will be held on Saturday, May 29, 2021 in the Culture Center theater; however, this ceremony will only be open to quiltmakers and their guests. The exhibition itelf will remain on display until September 13, 2021. If you are not able to make it in to see the quilts in person, click here for an online photo exhibit.

Upcoming Exhibits

The Department of Arts, Culture and History will be accepting entries for the 22nd West Virginia Juried Exhibition. Please see the current ProspectusThis year, we have included the option to email pictures of your submission, however, we ask that you contact the Exhibits Coordinator, Cailin Howe, before submitting this way.

To be eligible for entry, entries may include painting, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, digital artwork, photography, mixed media and crafts. Video or film entries are not eligible for this exhibit.All entries must have been created in the last two years and can not have previously been entered in a Department of Arts, Culture and History exhibition. Entrants must be over the age of 18, and be a resident of or maintain a permanent address in West Virginia. Students and military personnel with West Virginia resident status and a home address in West Virginia are eligible to enter.Entrants must update or complete their Artists’ Register information.

If there are any additional questions, please contact Cailin Howe by phone (304)-558-0220, ext. 128 or [email protected]

Past Exhibits

To see our vast past exhibits, visit the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History’s Zenfolio page.

You can also visit the Museum Education’s Exhibits webpage for more information on the recurring exhibits and previous specialty exhibits.

Specialty and Recurring Juried Exhibitions: Past and Present

Blenko: A Century in West Virginia

WV State Police: Proudly Serving for 100 Years

WV Transportation: Roads to Prosperity

High Drama: Contemporary American Theater

One Hundred Years of Costume, 1875-1975

Pageantry with a Purpose, 75 years of Miss WV

Annual Quilts Exhibit

Biennial West Virginia Juried Art Exhibit

Annual Congressional Art Exhibit

WV in the War to End All Wars