Art gallery draws big crowd for opening

WEIRTON – The Tri-State Area has a new place to visit for residents interested in viewing local art, or those looking for a new piece for their home.

Summit Gallery officially opened its doors Thursday, hosting a reception at its new home inside the Top of West Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau, 3393 Main St.

Summit, described as the first community art gallery in the region, is the result of a cooperative effort between the CVB and the Hancock County Arts Council.

CVB Executive Director Dan Greathouse and Arts Council Chair Nancy Wright welcomed those in attendance Thursday, discussing the creation of the gallery and their hopes for its future.

“I think there’s a lot of artistic talent in this area,” Greathouse said, noting Summit Gallery would not be possible without the work of the Arts Council.

The design of the gallery, in space previously occupied by the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, was directed by the arts council with input from Kenneth L. Morgan, chair and professor of fine arts and curator of permanent art collections at Bethany College.

“We worked on this for several months, but it was so worth it,” Wright said.

Wright also thanked Greathouse and the CVB staff, in particular Alecia Sirk, for their assistance in opening the gallery.

The inaugural showcase includes works by Diana Holcombe of Smithfield, Ohio; Mary Ann Reese of Weirton; Deb Snelling-Strunk of Follansbee; and Greg Starr of Follansbee.

The displays will be changed every few months, with each showcase featuring local artists.

Wright explained the artwork also is available for sale.

Summit Gallery is open to the public 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Greathouse explained he hopes the gallery is the first step toward the creation of a regional showcase for artwork and craftsmanship for the Northern Panhandle, similar to the Tamarack in Beckley.

(Howell can be contacted at, and followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)