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Kemp Littlepage McElwee's one-woman art show at UC

By Judy Hamilton

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston artist Kemp Littlepage McElwee will have a one-woman "New Paintings" show Oct. 2 - 31 at the University of Charleston's Frankenberger Art Gallery, in the Geary Student Union.

From 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3, she will host a reception at the gallery. The reception is free and open to the public.

The art exhibit will feature 30 acrylic paintings of landscapes and flowers.

McElwee, who has always signed her paintings with only her first name "Kemp," said, "I always work in acrylic. Birch panel is new to me but I love it. There's something about it, almost a glassy smooth surface."

"I think Kathy Foster is an artist with a green thumb, the way I am with a paintbrush. I loved her white walls and her beautiful flowers," McElwee said referring to the painting "Kathy's Garden Wall," which is featured in the show.

"I majored in art at WVU in the '60s. I just sort of evolved and painted all these years. I love my state. I love West Virginia landscapes and West Virginia wildflowers. I just paint what I love," the artist said.

"At WVU, my number one teacher was Joe Moss. I worshiped him. Most of the art students were focusing on abstract art and kind of looked down on my art. He said, 'Do not let that bother you one minute. The only good art is authentic and you have to paint the way you want. Stick to your own style. Your own way. Paint what you like. Do your best and you will be just fine.'

"He made me feel that I had value even though I was very different. I loved realism. I wanted to share my vision. I only have the song to sing that I have. That man made a difference in my life," McElwee said.

University of Charleston, Frankenberger Art Gallery, second floor of the Student Union building, 2300 MacCorkle Ave. S.E., Charleston. Contact 304-357-4804. Open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is free and the gallery is open to the public.

Reach Judy E. Hamilton at judy.hamilton@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1230.


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