Businesses show support for artists during Arts Night Out
HUNTINGTON — Heritage Station was transformed into a one-stop creative space Thursday evening as Arts Night Out kicked off its first event of the season with creative presentations, individual artist exhibitions and a short film festival.
Individual artist exhibitions were the mixed-media work of Robbie Poore displayed in The Red Caboose, Patty Stewart’s “Splash of Color” displayed in Sip Wine and Whiskey Bar and Benjamin Tappan’s “This Is a Failed Idea I Won’t Paint Over” hosted in Moonlight Cookies.
Molly Paxton, who owns Moonlight Cookies with her wife, Anna Paxton, said Arts Night Out is the perfect opportunity for businesses to show their support for local artists.
“Small business is an artistry in itself,” Molly Paxton said. “It’s super important for businesses to show support for artists because if we don’t, then who’s going to? A lot of people say they support artists, but putting their art on your walls and pushing for people to buy their stuff, that is supporting them ... That is where you put your money where your mouth is.”
The night was also the kickoff for the Huntington Fiction Factory, the brainchild of local writer Sheila Redling, who writes under S.G. Redling. Author Marie Manilla, the first writer featured by the Huntington Fiction Factory, spoke about writing short fiction.
Manilla writes novels in addition to short fiction.
Redling said she developed the Fiction Factory to fill the need for something more craft-forward for writers,
because Huntington already has good reading and book-signing events. She said she hopes it becomes a regular event for people to touch base with the craft side of writing.
“Huntington has so many talented writers,” Redling said. “It’s almost embarrassing how much talent we have in this town.”
The Huntington Fiction Factory will take place at each Arts Night Out, and will continue on past when the season ends in October. Arts Night Out will take place at Heritage Station on the second Thursday of every month through October.
Next month’s Arts Night Out will take place May 9 and will feature Candace Nelson, author of “The West Virginia Pepperoni Roll” book, a pepperoni roll bake-off.
“It’s just a great place to wander around and soak up some good, creative vibes,” said Raine Klover, manager at The Red Caboose and an organizer for the Arts Night Out. “I hope people realize how much amazing artists and creative energy that we have here in Huntington, and it’s just a growing scene, and I think the more people see it, the more it will grow.”
Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.