The program is modeled in part on one in Randolph County Schools, where volunteers stepped up to provide arts education after it was dropped by county administrators.
In another community project, West Virginia Wesleyan College students produce videos of artists at work. So far, they've produced videos of Hinkle, Fetty, sculptor Ross Straight and potter Scottie Wiest, which can be viewed on the gallery's website, www.mainstreetartscoop.org.
The arts really come to life in Buckhannon during the Main Street Arts Festival, which this year will take place Sept. 21. Participation of West Virginia artists in the festival has doubled each of the last three years, starting with eight artists in 2010 and growing to 30 last year.
The festival celebrates all the arts, including musicians, dancers and actors who perform on Main Street, which closes to traffic for the day.
Lynch credits Steve Foster of the Upshur County Economic Development Authority; Kim Ellsner, formerly of West Virginia Wesleyan College; and artists Ron and Karen Buckton with helping to get the cooperative and gallery off the ground, and VanNostrand, who owns the gallery's building.
He's always looking for board members, as well as artists to represent in the gallery, to continue the cooperative's growth.
"We're a young organization. We've accomplished a lot, but there is still lots to do," Lynch said.
Main Street Gallery, 27 E. Main St., Buckhannon, is usually open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Because the gallery is staffed by volunteers, it's a good idea to call 304-473-1444 or email mainstreetgallery.i...@gmail.com to check on hours.
Robinson is a former staff writer for the Sunday Gazette-Mail.