A Shepherd University photography student is exhibiting some of her newest portrait work at a downtown Martinsburg art gallery through September 21.
Junior Jessica LaRue McCann is an art major with a concentration in photography and computer imagery. She won a contest sponsored by the Berkeley Arts Council called Photo 14, and first prize is an exhibit of her work at the Berkeley Art Works gallery.
“I am trying to find different ways to branch out, make more connections, just get my work out there,” McCann said. “I was really excited to win.”
The exhibit includes a self portrait of McCann in the woods, holding a bird. Some of her friends posed for other portraits that feature elements of nature such as water, ferns, and moss.
“My body of work in general has this kind of fairy tale, storybook kind of vibe to it,” McCann said. “I love working with people and I love the unique fine arts so I kind of mushed those two together.”
McCann hopes the exhibit will help inspire other students who are studying art and photography to consider marketing their work beyond the campus borders.
“It’s not impossible to do this while you’re in school,” she said.
Rip Smith, a professional photographer who serves as the gallery manager, said Berkeley Art Works is excited to exhibit McCann’s work.
“I feel like Jessica has an amazingly mature aesthetic for someone her age and her work is interesting and very well done,” he said. “We think she’s going to go a long way.”
McCann’s photographs are being exhibited with work from the West Virginia Water Color Society. Berkeley Art Works is free and open to the public. It’s located at 116 N. Queen St. in Martinsburg. Hours are Thursday 11 am–5 pm, Friday 11 am–8 pm, Saturday 10 am–5 pm and Sunday noon–3 pm. A reception for the two exhibits is scheduled for September 6 from 5–7 pm.