‘Young Artists of Wheeling’ Group Hope to Strengthen Local Art Community

By Sean Kranske, Contributing Writer

The Wheeling area is full of aspiring artists, but some in Wheeling’s art world feel that there isn’t a real sense of community among them. A group known as ‘Young Artists of Wheeling’ is seeking to change that.

The group functions from a Facebook group that currently has nearly 60 members, and any local artist is encouraged to join. The group was created by local photographer Monica Mull, with West Liberty University student Caleb Hedrick serving as the page’s administrator.

Despite what some may think, Hedrick believes there is a sense of community among Wheeling’s local artists.

“The page wasn’t created with the intention of filling a lack of community,” he said. “It’s supposed to be an addition to the community, a convenience for artists.”

“I want the group to be a place where artists can share their work, regardless of what genre of art it is,” Hedrick said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s visual art, performance art, or music.”

Hedrick hopes that the group will be a perfect place for local artists to work together. Hedrick said, “It’s a place where artists can get feedback, ask for assistance, or collaborate.” Hedrick also expressed that although he is the page’s administrator, he hopes that it will take a life of its own. “I am the page’s administrator, but I also want the page to be very community-driven.”

The page is gaining traction, and already artists are finding the page useful. West Liberty University student and Young Artists of Wheeling member John Heiserman said, “Something I really like about the group is the fact we are using social media as a way to connect and meet other artists. It creates a perfect breeding ground for collaboration, support, and much more forms of artistic expression.”

There are rules in place to ensure the page remains all-inclusive. Because some works of art may be seen as offensive by others, a system has been put in place that allows anybody’s uncensored art to be shared, while still respecting the values held by potential viewers. “We’re aware that some people have sensitivities,” said Hedrick. “We only ask that if your art contains any explicit content, that you post a link to view it rather than posting it directly on the page.”

Any artist who’s interested can join the ‘Young Artists of Wheeling’ page on Facebook.

Photo by Monica Mull