Celebrate local artists

Good teachers have the ability not only to help us learn, but to inspire us to reach for our dreams and go farther than we ever thought possible.

Many of us have had at least one teacher in our lives shine that light of inspiration, putting us on a special path toward honing our skills and improving ourselves and others.

Several generations of Weirton residents have had such an influence in the form of Robert Haworth, who spent more than 30 years teaching art at Weir High School.

Haworth, his decades of students, and the continuing lessons of their work will be celebrated this weekend with the eighth-annual Robert Haworth Memorial Art Exhibition at the Weirton Museum and Cultural Center.

The main exhibition will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, with a preview reception set for 7 p.m. Friday. Both events will be open to the public, and we encourage area residents to attend.

According to the event’s organizers, Haworth inspired many local students to pursue their passion for art, with many eventually gaining some fame on their own in a variety of artistic media. Each year, the committee selects one of those former students as a focus of the exhibit, but also invites other local artists to showcase their work.

This year, the work of Lewis Kesling will be featured. Kesling, who was born in Hollidays Cove in 1930 and died in Monterey, Calif. in 2003, was known for his work in abstract art.

Kesling will join the ranks of former Haworth students to be honored, including Harry Ameredes, Anthony Sellitti, Bill “Vaso” Ameredes, Mary Ann June, William Zdinak, Virgil Cantini and Herman Capito.

Other area artists, including several current Weir High students, also will have work put on display this weekend.

There are many talented artists in our area, many of whom may have been taught by Haworth or influenced by his work. Many more have established their talents with paint and brush in the years since. They all should be celebrated for their abilities, though, and that’s why we are glad to see this event continue for our area.

We urge our residents, no matter where they reside, to attend Saturday’s art exhibit. You may see a piece you enjoy, and may even be inspired to try your own hand at art, sharing your abilities and passing on the influence and knowledge to others just as Haworth did for his many years of teaching.