Croft Gallery: Blog en-us (C) 2022 Croft Gallery [email protected] (Croft Gallery) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:50:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:50:00 GMT Croft Gallery: Blog 120 60 Wheeling Flood Wall-Mural Project Wheeling Flood Wall  
September 2015



The Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation (WNHAC) led a preservation initiative that ultimately led to saving the “The Flood Wall” on Wheeling Island. This mural project started in November 2014, took a hiatus for winter and a very rainy spring, and was finally completed in July 2015.    The wall was actually part of a building located at the corner of Virginia and South Penn Streets.  Gene Long, of the Gene Long Family Center (the last business standing in said building), recorded every major flood to hit Wheeling Island by painting the date and high water marks on his exterior wall.   


The flood marks were painted in 1979, so most of the text was chipped, faded, and mainly unreadable.  I was hired to restore the text and add the names and dates of all the former businesses that resided in that structure from the 1890s to the 1990s.  On one wall, I was simply restoring an original painting back to its former state (as well as adding additional text acknowledging all the key partners) while on the adjacent wall I had free reign to design logos of seven of the former businesses.  It was next to impossible to locate actual images of the signs or logos, since they were family owned shops and/or very old, so I used the dates of each establishment to lead me in creating something fitting for each time frame. While the research and design of this project was inspiring and thought-provoking, the true experience laid in the hands-on painting of the Flood Wall murals.

“Thank you for doing that!”
“You’re doing a great job!” 
“Honk! Honk!” - from a car with a thumbs up out the window
Those were just some of the affirmative and excited shouts and sounds of people driving by as I painted.  Some residents would even park, get out of their cars and walk over to me just to regale me with memories they had of eating Kirk’s Ice Cream at the counter or delivering pharmaceuticals for McAllister’s Pharmacy.  Others would recall times from the actual floods, or the floods that their dads or grandads endured.  I felt truly honored.  Here I stood, a transplant from Rhode Island, just completing a commissioned job- but that didn’t matter to them.  The day-to-day people, for whom this project truly impacts, were sincerely appreciative that a piece of living history was saved (and enhanced) for them.  

I am grateful to have been included in this project and wish to extend kudos to WNHAC for making this vision a reality.  This wall will now be part of a larger project- a small park with edible plants and seating areas.  This green space will be a welcomed oasis on an otherwise busy intersection in a residential area.  From the above photo you can see that WNHAC has already installed a historical informational plaque so visitors- old and new- can delve deeper into the history of Wheeling Island.  And of course, talk about its floods.


[email protected] (Croft Gallery) Arts & Crofts Gene Long Wheeling Wheeling Island art arts & Crofts arts & crofts blog flood wall inspiration mural painting wall wheeling Wed, 30 Sep 2015 07:34:01 GMT
East Wheeling Instameet

Wheeling_Shooters Instameet Sunday!  

Join us this Sunday, September 27th, for our 3rd photography meetupThis time around we will be exploring East Wheeling.

East Wheeling is an extremely photogenic neighborhood with community gardens, two new greenhouses, and beautiful architecture.

We will meet at 11:00am at the Blue Church - 1206 Byron St.  Get there early for the group shot before we venture out. 


1st  - $25 gift card to Good Mansion Wines
2nd - $15 gift card to Grow Ohio Valley's farm stand and a Farm 18 t-shirt. 
3rd - hand crafted mug by Adam Bedway

As a short background, this group was started as an Instagram Hub by Jason Foose, @foose03, and Andrew Croft, __croft__, of Arts & Crofts.  Instagram users can tag their photographs to #wheeling_shooters and have a chance to be featured.  We feature photos on Monday and Thursday, but we hope to feature more often as we receive more entries.  We also started a page on Facebook to reach an audience that may not be on Instagram.  You do not need to be on Instagram to participate (can post to our Facebook page), but you do need to submit to Instagram for prize consideration.    

We started Wheeling_Shooters to encourage the many talented photo-takers in the area to take more photos!  This city deserves to be photographed.  Take notice the next time you walk in almost any neighborhood in Wheeling.  The entire city is photogenic!  We have historic buildings and tunnels, stunning views, beautiful parks, friendly people, and even a couple of waterfalls.   


Tags for East Wheeling Instameet


Use these hashtags to be considered for features and prizes.  We will post winners from each category and three overall winners will receive a prize.  

‚ÄčEmail us to receive a PDF or .png.


The last two Instameets were a blast and very well attended!  We had more than 50 participants for the downtown walk and about 35 in Centre Market.  Our #wheeling_shooters tag currently holds over 3,000 photos.  If you haven't had a chance to browse, or tag, please do so.  Show some love to our local shooters and participate yourself.  This group is for all types of shooters.  Whether you have a professional DSLR, a little point-and-shoot, or even a phone camera, everyone is welcome to attend.  Hope to see you there!

Here are some of our favorite shots from the last two meets....

Photos of Instameets Past




[email protected] (Croft Gallery) Wed, 23 Sep 2015 16:05:34 GMT
World Wide Instameet in Wheeling, WV On Sunday, March 22nd, there will be a World Wide Instameet in Wheeling, WV and it is shaping up to be a great event!  

Roughly three weeks ago, Jason Foose reached out to a few local Instagrammers to gauge interest in hosing an Instameet in Wheeling.  There was a bit of interest, so he and I started talking more about it offline.  Ideas began flowing and it quickly became obvious that Wheeling would be an excellent host.  

I met Jason about a year ago through Instagram.  He is easily one of the most creative and talented photographers in the area.  If you have not seen his work, take a look through his gallery.  His IG handle is @foose03.

Instameets are nothing new, but there has certainly been a lot of questions from friends and acquaintances.  What the heck is an Instameet? Do I have to be a professional?  Do I have to be on Instagram?  Can I just come hang out with my friends?

Simply put, an Instameet is a social gathering of Instagram users looking to be creative with one another by taking photos and videos.  Given the way some people use Instagram, it sometimes gets a bad rap (I once asked a new friend if they were on Instagram and she replied, "no, because I'm not 13"), but I assure you if you filter well enough there is a massive, amazing, and supportive community of photographers who take their craft very seriously.  You will generally find these folks at Instameets.  

You do not need to be a professional to attend an Instameet.  It is a great place to network and learn from each other.  You will see people taking their first shot with a new (or old), entry level DSLR, or their 10,000th shot with a pro-level DSLR, or using phone-cameras only.  The main purpose is to get together, be creative, and finally meet some of the people you have been following and supporting for the last few years.  

Considering the name of the event is INSTAmeet, it is safe to say you should be on Instagram, but it is not mandatory.  One detail, which makes being on Instagram important, is that a specific hashtag is used for each event so people can enjoy all the amazing work from that day.  The hashtag for this event is #wwim11_WheelingWV.  

If you have friends attending the event and you would like to come, but are not that interested in taking photos, join us as a model or just some inspiration!  Photographers are always looking for different people to be subjects in their photos.

Wheeling is an extremely photogenic city and this will be a great event to showcase it!

Jason and I have been working to give people a little bit of guidance, if they wish to use it.  We have put together a photo scavenger hunt, that includes items such as: photograph rust, a stranger, faded advertisements on building, churches, ect.  We also asked Hal Gorby, PhD., a friend and local historian, to give us a list of his 10 favorite buildings of Wheeling.  We will provide hashtags for each item and will judge the photos after the event. The grand winner will receive a gift card.  

In anticipation for the event, Jason and I have started a new hub on Instagram called Wheeling_Shooters.  Here, we showcase the Instagrammers of Wheeling.  For a small community, it has been well received and we are pleased with its progress.  In just under two weeks, there have been over 300 photos tagged and they are wonderful captures of the Friendly City.  If you are on IG, follow us to support our community and tag #wheeling_shooters for feature consideration.  


The World Wide Instameet in Wheeling, WV will take place on Sunday, March 22nd.  The group will gather at Heritage Port at 10:00am.  

Hopefully this will unite a group of unique people who will continue to meet and create together for many years following this event.  Come help us flood IG with hundreds, or thousands, of photographs from Wheeling!


See you then and let me know if you have any questions.





[email protected] (Croft Gallery) arts & crofts blog instagram instameet ohio valley photographer photography west viginia wheeling world wide instameet Mon, 09 Mar 2015 10:39:33 GMT
Urbex & Instagram Oh Instagram, I do love you!  But let's be honest, it has taken some time for our relationship to develop and work out the kinks.    I didn’t quite understand why I needed an IG account in the first place.  I couldn’t decipher what I should post to Facebook, or to Instagram, or to Twitter, or to Google+, or to, well, you get the point.  It seemed so repetitive and I just get bored with repetition.   

Then I figured it out...

I needed to narrow my Instagram feed to follow those who care most about what I care most about: Photography and Art.  I went ahead and deleted every photo that I also posted to Facebook, or other social media platforms, and began only sharing photos I felt were ‘worthy’ of being shared with an art focused community.  Whether that community deemed them worthy enough is a different story, but that is for them to decide.  I will admit that I also began to loathe feeds that were just a repost to or from Facebook, or Twitter, or G+, or so on.  Why do I need to see the same post by the same person in four different locations?  I began to unfollow all of those IG contributors and since then, I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute spent on Instagram.  That is not meant to disrespect you re-posters out there, but I'll just catch up with you on Facebook.  I now feel like I am part of an amazing community that has only been providing each other with love and positive support.  I have also met some wonderful, and talented, artists who have rejuvenated my thirst for the perfect photo.


Through Instagram, I was also introduced to Urban Exploration, or urbex for short.  Basically, this is the exploration of abandoned structures.  We have some great history and old buildings here in Wheeling, as well as in Pittsburgh and other nearby areas.  I have always wanted to tour them but now I have a renewed interest.  The artwork obtained from photographing these buildings and rooms has staying power.  I never get sick of looking through them!  Setting up a shot and trying to get that perfect perspective allows me to reminisce about a place in which I have never been.  How is that even possible?  I feel connected to the building, the room, and even the people who once inhabited this space on a regular basis.  I will admit that there is also a childish fun that comes along with climbing through windows, crawling in small spaces, and getting dirty!  The process is a fountain of youth, both for me and the structure. 

I am happy I stuck it out and believe to be a better photographer for it.  If you care to browse through my feed, you can find me at (those are 2 underscores before and after my last name).  Please follow, like, and comment if you feel so inclined.  Also, take a gander at a few other photographers that I respect and have become friends with along the way.  Their user names are foose03, jermycracker1, and o0xerog0o.


[email protected] (Croft Gallery) art arts & crofts blog croft east wheeling inspiration instagram photography wheeling Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:04:29 GMT
Happy 2014! Happy 2014 everyone!  This is the first Arts & Crofts blog of 2014 and I am very excited!  Blogging has long since been an interest of mine, but I have always had trouble starting and deciding which content is appropriate.  With the start of this new year, blog-journaling will be a priority of mine.  I feel that this will be a good way to flush out ideas for future paintings/art collaborative projects, reflect on past work and perhaps provide inspiration for others.  

Now that the holidays are over and winter break ends tomorrow, I have started thinking about my next project to tackle.  Reviewing some of the photos I have taken around Wheeling last year, there are still many that did not make it into the Wheeling Observations show and I would like to continue with the "local architecture" theme.  I enjoy finding and photographing buildings on my daily walks/runs (with my dogs Eli and Olive) in and around the downtown Wheeling area.  Once I have a building photographed and my canvas or board prepped, I begin the underpainting.  After reading an article about an artist in American Artist magazine, I was fascinated by her very vibrant under paintings that peeked out of the finished landscape.  I started playing around with that process in the most recent building painting of mine, Blue,

where I exaggerated the green undertones in the building and the pink in the sky.  As you can see, most of that got covered over with layers of "blue bricks" but I think that the almost neon tones held onto the brightness and freshness that I was going for while keeping the nice contrast between the foreground and the sky.  I can't wait to start my next one, maybe it will be this half-torn down building

that I see daily on my walks.  I love the blocks of various insulation and the majesty it exhibits as it sits perched on top of a hill.  The clouds are a nice touch too.

Here's to a new year and exciting new prospects!  I'll check in soon with some new works.  Take care ya'll.



[email protected] (Croft Gallery) East Virginia West Wheeling art arts & Crofts blog inspiration painting process Wed, 15 Jan 2014 15:35:37 GMT
Wheeling Observations


Wheeling Observations

Join us Thursday, October 17 to view new work by Arts & Crofts 
at the Main Street Gallery in St. Clairsville, OH.

This photography and painting collection marks the first solo show by Arts & Crofts in the Ohio Valley. It features two years of Wheeling (2011-2013) as seen through the eyes of the new, East Wheeling residents. Andrew's photography, engaging a different mood than his past work, plays with saturation, shadows, and lines to display grand views of Wheeling or to capture an intimate clip of a local alleyway. Patricia's work focuses solely on the cityscape of East Wheeling. She uses bright oil colors to render the buildings she walks by every day in her neighborhood. Bringing these structures back to life on canvas provides the viewer an interconnection with the architecture of Wheeling.

View Wheeling Observations from October - November 2013.

Opening ReceptionThursday, October 17 at 6pm.

The Main Street Gallery is located at 145 Main Street, St. Clairsville, OH 
(Hays Landscape Architecture Studio.)

Regular gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm.


[email protected] (Croft Gallery) art arts & Crofts blog fine art opening Wed, 16 Oct 2013 16:00:08 GMT
April News Happy Goodness - 2008 AC Forum - Calling All Artists!

Arts & Crofts will be hosting its first ever Online Art Critique beginning on June 1. 2012.  To participate, we ask interested artists and art enthusiasts to contact us at [email protected].

What is AC Forum? It is the opportunity to display your artwork on our website accessing it to commentary and suggestions from serious art enthusiasts and other artists.  We will host up to 5 artists, 1 or 2 pieces each, on our site for 30 days in a password protected gallery inviting cyber-critiquers to offer their comment, opinions, and feedback.  All commentary will be emailed to the featured artists after their month is up. 

Take advantage of this great opportunity to connect with other artists and expand your vision, limits, and idiosyncratic vocabulary! 



Arts & Crofts e-Newsletter

We just sent out our first monthly e-Newsletter.  If you do not currently receive our emails but would like to keep up with the going ons of Arts & Crofts, email us at [email protected].  Click here to view our April e-letter.

[email protected] (Croft Gallery) AC Forum Art Critique Arts & Crofts Arts and Crofts Blog Critique Forum Online Art Critique WV Wheeling Wheeling, WV Tue, 10 Apr 2012 14:03:29 GMT