Watson among inductees for HOF
WEIRTON — Robert L. Watson Jr. has been selected to be among the members of the 2019 class of the Weirton Hall of Fame, to be inducted in the category of music and fine arts.
This year’s Hall of Fame induction banquet will be held at 2 p.m., Aug. 11 at Undo’s in Weirton.
A native of East Liverpool, Watson enlisted in the U.S. Navy following high school, serving from 1962 to 1966. During this time, he began his formal education toward becoming an architect. Following his service in the Navy, he worked as an architectural draftsman at engineering firms in Florida and Georgia, while also continuing his education.
He passed the state architectural registration board exams in 1978, becoming licensed in Georgia, and then registering in Florida.
He worked for more than 40 years with a firm in Atlanta, the last 16 of which involved managing the design and overseeing construction of collegiate athletic facilities, including at West Virginia University where he was a staff architect on the football stadium and lead architect on the Coliseum renovation project and the women’s soccer facility.
He and his wife, Jane, returned to Weirton upon his retirement in 2011.
Throughout his career, he kept an interest in free-hand drawing and painting, inspired from his high school years as a student of Robert Haworth at Weir High. His paintings have focused on watercolors, with more recent attempts with pastels.
He has received several awards for his artwork, including Best in Show in the recent Churches of the Ohio Valley competition held by the Top of West Virginia Arts Council and honorable mention at the Steubenville Art Association spring show. He achieved signature membership status in the Georgia Watercolor Society in 2004.
He has displayed several times at the Summit Art Gallery in Weirton and is active in the Top of West Virginia Arts Council, the Steubenville Art Association and the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society. Watson also has instructed watercolor workshops and assisted with other instructors.
He currently is working on an exhibit, for November and December, showcasing the works of art students from the high schools of Hancock and Brooke counties.
Other members of the Weirton Hall of Fame Class of 2019 are Herman F. Capito, business; Dr. Eli Dragisich, public service; Brenda Casey, music and fine arts; Richard “Rik” Rekowski, public service; Stephen G. Greiner, sports and athletics; and Louis Kuntupis, sports and athletics.
Tickets are on sale now through July 31, at a cost of $30 per person. They will be available at the Weirton Municipal Building, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will not be available the day of the event.