FAIRMONT – A local arts organization wants to ensure that deceased artists of local significance are not forgotten.
The Fairmont Arts & Humanities Commission recently installed an exhibit that honors the legacy of some of the commission’s previous winners. The exhibit, which includes artist biographies and a photo, can be found in the fourth-floor hallway of the Marion County Courthouse, between the city and county offices.
The first winners to be placed in the exhibit are Fairmont native novelist John Knowles, rock and blues musician Johnnie Johnson, local historian Glenn Lough and Fairmont State College theater veteran George Turley.
In 1959, Knowles received acclaim for his novel “A Separate Peace,” which tells the story of two students who attended prep school in New England during World War II. Critics regard the novel as “an enduring classic” because it has been used in high school English classes across the United States for decades.
Born July 8, 1924 in Fairmont, rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Johnnie Johnson has collaborated with Chuck Berry on songs such as ‘Roll Over, Beethoven’. Berry’s hit “Johnny B. Goode” was written as a tribute to Johnson.
Fairmont City Council established the Fine Arts and Humanities Commission in 1984, and in the years that followed AHC sponsored or co-sponsored lectures, art exhibitions, and various musical and theatrical events.
The primary responsibility of the commission is to honor residents of the region who have demonstrated talent and creativity in the fields of music, theater, literature, scholarship and visual arts or who promote the proliferation of the arts through their philanthropy. The commission also honors art patrons and teachers, as well as high school students in Fairmont County and State who have shown promise in the arts. AHC holds an awards ceremony each spring to recognize these efforts.
“The AHC hopes that the public will come to view the exhibit and take a few moments to learn more about the winners and find out why they so deserve this honor and the gratitude of all of us for enriching our lives,” said Jack Hussey. , president of the AHC. in a press release.