PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – The Appalachian Arts Center is hosting an original art exhibit, but every piece is made in the mountains.
Wesley Hunt, a native of Pike County who previously worked as a counsellor, needed a way to express himself and release stress. About five years ago Hunt began painting abstract expressionist works and has never looked back. Let the surrounding energy guide him on a journey of spiritual and artistic healing.
“I just started praying and meditating on it like I needed a power outlet and literally in the middle of the night I just got up one day, well, I got up one night and I started painting,” Hunt said. “From then on, it was like I was just addicted. It was like something was happening, it was just a release.
Hunt quickly received support from abroad and his art was exhibited across the country and around the world in places like Italy. Soon, he would receive honors as one of the top 100 international artists at a fair in South Korea for his “folk art meets fine art” mindset.
“It’s folk art, you know, and people don’t usually see it as folk art,” Hunt said. “I have this saying when you come to see this, you come to see where folk art meets fine art.”
After gaining ground, Hunt wanted to return home and show his work to friends and family in the mountains while gaining local support. Shortly after, the APP invited Hunt to show his art inside the room.
“For them to reach out and give it to me was, I mean, it was, you know, a dream come true honestly,” Hunt said. “It sounds corny, but it was really because I could go to my hometown and show people that this was me and I did this.”
Hunt’s exhibit, titled “Appalachian Abstraction,” opens March 2 with a wine and cheese tasting and local musicians. The gallery with Hunt’s works will remain open until April 3.
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