Creative freedom, diverse perspectives, talent, camaraderie, and recognition are hallmarks of the annual Crosscurrents art exhibition at Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center in Wheeling.

A staple in OI’s exhibition season for 45 years, Crosscurrents is a unique blend of styles, techniques, mediums, and subject matter that collectively reflects the creative energy in the community and beyond. Each year, dozens of artists vie for the opportunity to be showcased in this prestigious exhibition. Artists in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia are eligible to enter new work for consideration. A guest juror selects the works for the exhibit and cash prizes are awarded to winning artists.

Crosscurrents 2024 is on display now-June 14. Gallery hours are 9am-5pm Monday-Friday and 10am-4pm Saturday. Evening hours are dependent on classes and special events. Admission is free.

1st place: Gary Henzler Allen, Homestead, PA—”Night Visions 4”

Oglebay Institute curator of exhibitions Kevin Clancy curated the exhibition. Michael Dixon, professor of art at Albion College in Michigan, served as juror.

The Crosscurrents exhibition, as its name suggests, is a place where various artists working across all mediums gather to share their differing thoughts, beliefs, and experiences. Although certain topics can sometimes be derived within the exhibit, there is no single theme for Crosscurrents.

More than 250 pieces by 93 artists were submitted for entry into Crosscurrents 2024. Entries came from West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, and Washington DC. Dixon selected 91 pieces for the exhibition and chose first, second, and third place along with two honorable mentions. The winners were announced during the opening reception and awards ceremony April 11.

2nd place: Jade-Lynn Lewis, Huntsville, OH—”One of the Guys”

Winners of Crosscurrents 2024

1st place: Gary Henzler Allen, Homestead, PA—”Night Visions 4”
2nd place: Jade-Lynn Lewis, Huntsville, OH—”One of the Guys”
3rd place: William Gene Kuhn, Wheeling, WV—”Vic’s Charge”

Honorable Mentions:
Jesse Baggett, Morgantown, WV—”Piano Recital”
Dai Morgan, Pittsburgh, PA—”The Elephant of Shamrock Island”

Juror’s Remarks

In his juror’s statement, Dixon said it was an honor to serve as juror and thanked the artists that applied for the opportunity to be in the show.

“It was a joy to see your work, and it is never easy to make decisions that limit participation,” he said.

3rd place: William Gene Kuhn, Wheeling, WV—”Vic’s Charge”

Regarding his jurying process he said, “I looked for artwork that was aesthetically pleasing to me. These criteria included any of the following observations: the work was well-crafted; there were interesting compositional choices; there was strong use of color theory; the work had challenging content; and/or the work had strong conceptual ideas. I was also very aware of trying to select a variety of different mediums to be included because it is easy for me to favor 2D work as an oil painter.”

He congratulated those artists selected for the exhibition and offered encouragement to those who were not chosen for this highly competitive show. “If your work was not invited this year, please keep making and continue to apply for opportunities. Rejection is baked into our lives as artists. There will be more rejections and other opportunities to show your work. If you aren’t being told ‘no,’ then you aren’t trying hard enough. Good luck.”

Jesse Baggett, Morgantown, WV—”Piano Recital”

Thank You to Our Sponsor

Opportunities for artistic expression and personal growth at Stifel Fine Arts Center are made possible, in part, through generous corporate support. United Bank is the corporate sponsor for the Stifel Center’s 2023-24 art exhibition season and has served as the season sponsor for many years.

“United Bank’s longtime support of the annual exhibition season makes it possible for Stifel Fine Arts Center to thrive,” said Oglebay Institute development director Micah Underwood. “Their generosity creates opportunities for local artists to share their work in shows like Crosscurrents and for our community to enjoy the pleasure of touring the galleries, meeting artists, and even adding new pieces to their own collections. We are proud to count United Bank among our dedicated community partners.”

Dai Morgan, Pittsburgh, PA—”The Elephant of Shamrock Island”

As a nonprofit arts center, Stifel Fine Arts Center relies on the generosity of our patrons, neighbors, and friends.

When you give to Stifel, you invest in our community and the ways we connect through visual art. Donate online today.

Many of the artists represented in Crosscurrents 2024 were in attendance for the opening reception at Stifel Fine Arts Center April 11. They enjoyed a pre-opening reception with members of Oglebay Institute, attended the awards ceremony, and mingled with each other as well as gallery visitors in attendance at the event.

About Stifel Fine Arts Center

Located at 1330 National Road in Wheeling, Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center is conveniently located just off exit 2B of 1-70.

Housed in the historic Edemar Mansion and part of the nonprofit Oglebay Institute, Stifel Fine Arts Center is a public arts center with galleries, classrooms, and performance space. It serves as a gathering place for artists, emerging artists, art lovers, students, educators, and families–connecting and engaging the community in creative pursuits.

An iconic focal point of the Dimmeydale neighborhood in Wheeling, the Stifel Fine Arts Center welcomes thousands of people annually to its classrooms, galleries, and picturesque grounds.