Jay’s Getaway to host an art showing this Saturday
Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 11:07
Jay’s Getaway located on Chestnut Street will host an art showing this Saturday 5-8 p.m. Titled "HomeSpun," the opening will showcase an array of artwork conceived and created by local artist and West Virginia University alumna Karri Roberts.
Of the event’s title, Roberts says it’s indicative of the process behind the artwork.
"HomeSpun" means "made at home," referencing weaving, even leaning toward inelegant," says Roberts. "I made this art at home. It’s not the fanciest thing in the world, but neither am I."
Roberts describes herself as a farm girl. She grew up in the southern part of the state with farmers for parents and said she very much enjoys the outdoors as well as putting in a day’s work.
"I think that’s why I create," says Roberts. "It’s all tied together, staying busy and working. In a few words, I suppose I consider myself thoughtful and old-fashioned."
True to her self-label of old-fashioned, Roberts’ work doesn’t need the shine and glimmer of the new to impress. Through various tools and techniques, her paintings and drawings accomplish the goal they’re after and aim this fresh eye on folk art.
Her images are sophisticated and present an artist older and wiser than the mere 29 years Roberts suggests she’s had, yet they also do not suffer from much of a nostalgic or old, tired tone. When you give yourself the second to peer into them, you just tend to forget a bit about the hustle and bustle of your daily life and slip away.
The work’s warm and considerate, and you can imagine the maker as a truly focused person.
Joseph Lupo, associate professor of art at West Virginia University, said Roberts was always a noteworthy student.
"She always had a knack for drawing and an interest in storytelling," says Lupo. "Karri’s (Roberts’) fellow students were always drawn to her work, and I think the sophistication in which she makes images and works with narrative has improved over the years."
Roberts said she was always involved in the process and spent much of her childhood making art. During her college days, she tried to take her work into a more avant-garde, in-your-face direction, but now simply sees her work as a way to better herself.
"Now it’s a way to quietly strive for perfection," Roberts said. "It’s a way to challenge myself and be a source of pride. I don’t take it as seriously but rather appreciate the fact that I can do what I do and practice it."
As for the practice, Roberts cites Morgantown as an appropriate setting for her choice of profession.
"I enjoy Morgantown and West Virginia. I enjoy the time I have that art folks in a big city might not be granted. Also, for my subject matter, my muse flourishes here. Fields, pines and fauna abound just outside of a place where I can still get a drink, see a show or even catch a bus to New York City."
This opening at Jay’s Getaway marks the first of this type of event for the business, and Jay’s Getaway manager Grace Hutchens emphasized her excitement.
"I wanted to bring her work to the bar just to get a new style of event in there," Hutchens said. "I know people who frequent the downtown businesses (especially the Moose and Jay’s Daily Grind) would enjoy to see her have a chance to exhibit."
Hutchens organized the event after a casual conversation one day while at the Blue Moose Cafe.
"She brought up the idea, and I offered the venue," says Hutchens. "Simple as that."
The duo have been friends for two years according to Hutchens, and she said she loved Roberts’ art all along.
"About Karri (Roberts), I love her," says Hutchens. "She is a great person and a fantastic artist. I’m excited to be able to show Karri’s (Roberts’) work at the bar."
Lupo shares in that pride and isn’t afraid to express it when asked.
"I am really proud of what Karri (Roberts) is doing with her work lately," says Lupo. "She is someone who has really merged her life with her art, and that is the kind of person you can only hope to teach."
As for Roberts, she just hopes people take away the desired affect she’s built into her creations.
"Hmmmmm," Roberts pondered. "I want people to look at my art and experience the antique aesthetic and the detail involved.
"I’m a farm girl who loves to paint and draw, and I want to celebrate that and let people see it!"