Artist says former West Virginians captivated by West Virginia imagery

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Artist says former West Virginians captivated by West Virginia imagery
Atlanta, Ga., artist Seay Earehart is selling prints from his Christmas in Beckley series at the Beckley Arts Center.

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Former West Virginians are increasingly interested in art that recalls the past in the Mountain State, says an artist launching a series of Christmas sketches he created more than a quarter-century ago.

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, who is perhaps best known as the artist who creates monsters in the television series, says he understands the fascination.

Beckley in winter in 1880.

"So many West Virginians have left the state," he says, "and so many are reminiscing about it now. I absolutely understand it."

Earehart himself left West Virginia in the 1990s during an economic downturn in which thousands of professionals left for bigger cities and greener pastures.

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With the advent of the work-from-home revolution, however, many former West Virginians are moving back to the Mountain State or are considering a move back. Earehart says he's considered a return home and may if the state continues to develop its film industry.

In the meantime, he says he's decided to market a series of holiday sketches of Beckley through the years through the and is considering continuing the series.

Main Street in Beckley in 1940 by Seay Earehart

"Christmas has always brought out the best in people, and I think many former West Virginians have wonderful memories of the holiday season there," he said.

Earehart's work as a scenic artist can be seen in such films and television series as Lore, Flight, Taken III, Fear Street, and The Hunger Games: Monkingjay.

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However, the artist says his best-known work so far is his creation of the monster on Stranger Things, which designers asked him to create. The resulting tendrilled beast has captured the imagination of a generation of sci-fi enthusiasts.

The collector's edition prints of Beckley, signed by Earehart, are available in limited quantities at the center on Johnstown Road.

Each print can be bought separately at $15 per print or as a set of five prints for $60. For more information on the prints of the arts center, call 304-253-9226.


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