picture by: Photo by Joselyn King
WHEELING – Do you know where a multi-media artwork by Charles “Moondog” Waldrum hangs in downtown Wheeling? How about the artwork “Sanctuary for a Windmill Rat?” Or the “Thomas the Turtle” sculpture?
A pin and cursor now mark the locations of the many art exhibits in downtown Wheeling following work by Wheeling Heritage to create an online map of public works of art.
The map can be viewed at wheelingheritage.org/public-art-trail.
There are 65 public works of art on the map, starting at Mount Wood Cemetery Castle and extending to North Wheeling and stretching through downtown, to Wheeling Center and even to a painting mural at the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Christ in Mozart.
Artist Robert Villamagna’s “Moondog” is in the Wheeling Visitor’s Center at 14th and Main Streets, while “Shrine for a Mill Rat” is in the Ohio County Library and “Thomas the Turtle” in Market Plaza outside the old Stone and Thomas building.
Seeing the 65 works of art can be like an artistic scavenger hunt in the friendly city, and Wheeling Heritage is ready to add more to the map if needed, according to Alex Panas, communications and development manager for Wheeling Heritage.
“As Wheeling’s public art inventory continues to grow, we will continually add information to the online arts map to help showcase the arts in Wheeling.” Panas said. “We are also seeking public input. There are probably a few places we missed, so we’ve included a place on our website where community members can submit information that can then be added to the map.
According to Wheeling Heritage Executive Director Scott Schenerlein, projects like this are important to the organization’s mission to be a catalyst for the revitalization of Wheeling.
“Public art brings the community to life and highlights its special attributes. This card can be used by everyone – visitors, teachers, students and the local community,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the work that has been done and delighted that we have been able to partner with other organizations to show what happens when talented people work together.”
Wheeling Heritage has also partnered with the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission and the Oglebay Institute to offer a printed brochure to complement the online map. The Downtown Art Trail brochure will take people on a three and a half mile loop through Wheeling’s Downtown and Central Market neighborhoods to see several public works of art up close.
To request a copy of the brochure, those interested can email [email protected]