If you go
What: Grace Martin Taylor exhibit featuring works from Acme Fine Art, Boston
Where: The Art Store, Bridge Road
When: Through February
FYI: A reception and talk by West Virginia University assistant art professor Bob Bridges is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at The Art Store.
Lucie Mellert is on a mission to keep her mother's art alive.
Grace Martin Taylor was a prolific and well-known West Virginia artist whose work was known well beyond the state. When she died in 1995 at the age of 92, she left a huge catalog of paintings, drawings and prints.
Mellert has many of them, as do private collectors. She donated a collection to West Virginia University's art gallery and has donated pieces to the state Culture Center and the University of Charleston, where her mother once taught. Other pieces are exhibited at the Acme Fine Art gallery in Boston and at The Art Store in Charleston.
This week, more than 25 pieces of Taylor's art arrived at The Art Store from Acme in Boston and will be on exhibit through February.
Most are wood block prints using a Japanese technique Taylor studied in the 1930s at the encouragement of her cousin and fellow artist Blanche Lazzell. The carving technique Taylor used allowed her to create one wood block and apply multiple colors to it for one print, rather than creating a series of blocks, one for each color.
One of the block prints was made in the 1930s; others were created at different times but using blocks Taylor had carved early on. The exhibit also includes abstract paintings and collages. Prices range from $8,000 to $20,000.
Mellert and former Art Store gallery director Ellie Schaul got the idea to borrow the works and bring them here.
"I decided I was going to do something different," Mellert said. At 80, she is more motivated than ever to make sure her mother's work is seen and yes, purchased, by appreciative collectors.
"At my age, anything can happen," Mellert said. She and her husband have one son, a United Methodist minister in Point Pleasant.