Fairmont Arts & Humanities Commission to Present its 2022 Awards | The life
FAIRMONT — The Fairmont Arts and Humanities Commission is preparing to honor those who have made significant contributions to the arts and humanities over the past year.
The 37th Annual Commission Awards Ceremony will be held April 24 at 2 p.m. at Central Christian Church, 1641 Big Tree Dr., Fairmont. This year, the Commission will honor the work of multimedia artist Carol Workman Grimes, musician Jeremy Batten, and genealogists David and Patricia Rowand.
Grimes, a longtime resident of Marion County, takes great pleasure in bringing images to life through a creative process best described as a blend of artist’s vision and graphic detail worthy of a master technician.
After graduating from Fairmont Senior High, she earned a degree in visual communication from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, then attended Fairmont State College where she fell in love with pottery.
Grimes began her 30-year career at West Virginia University, where she served as a senior biomedical designer in the Department of Biomedical Communications at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center. She worked to ensure that she and her staff produced top-notch graphics that portrayed the WVU Schools of Health Sciences and the state of West Virginia in the best possible light.
While running a graphic design business, she created graphics for many long-time clients such as Seseen Frances Publications’ five travel magazines. Her graphics were also featured by the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services which were distributed to rape and domestic violence crisis centers statewide.
Many area nonprofits have also benefited from Grime’s graphic talents and community spirit, including the local United Way and Fairmont Senior High. If you’ve ever attended a Christmas party presented by the FSHS Madrigals, you’ve sat among its handmade stained glass windows that help transform the school cafeteria into a medieval castle.
In 2016, she retired from WVU and “started living her dream” at the potter’s wheel. As the first investor in Joe ‘n’ Throw pottery, Grimes turned lessons on the potter’s wheel into a second career teaching young and old the joys of working with clay. Today, she is the linchpin of a community of potters learning from her years of experience and love of the creative process. Her recent works combine two of Carol’s lifelong passions, her love of graphic design and her beloved West Virginia.
Originally from the state of Maine, Jeremy Batten is a musician, producer and sound engineer. After graduating from Fairmont Senior High, he pursued music in college after being encouraged by the late Douglas C. Bunner. He attended WVU’s Jazz Studies program from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, he toured with Scott Simons of The Argument and Teammate, and he fronted the Batten, Bunner, Russell Trio.
In 2008, he joined Ultimatums and produced and mixed their second album. He has performed, recorded, produced and mixed for singer-songwriter Haley Slagle and currently tours with William Matheny’s national touring band, The William Matheny Group.
Batten plays guitar, bass, piano, mandolin and banjo and loves almost all American music, especially country, jazz and Americana.
He is also the creative director of LIFE United Methodist Church, where he oversees the music program, leads the music teams and, along with the pastor, helps plan worship services. During the pandemic, he mixed music and sermons for post-production.
He lives in Fairmont with his wife Renee, child Theo and dog Benny.
David and Patricia Rowand
For 43 years, the David and Patricia Rowands have been involved in the local genealogy club, located at the Marion County Library. Dave is the club president and Patricia is the secretary. Since taking office, the club has grown to 200 members and has a Facebook page with 882 people, all determined to discover their roots and connect with loved ones.
They have made extensive resources available to anyone seeking club services, including historical and census records by county, vital statistics, cemetery listings, wills, books and records. surname files, City of Fairmont-Morgantown-Clarksburg directories, war records including Civil War records, Marion County Courthouse records, voter records, local obituaries from 1982 to today and Fairmont State University and Marion County school yearbooks.
Together they also published books on families, including the descendants of Rowand, Summers, West, Layman, Wells, Boyles, Radcliff, Fast, Edwards, Robinson, Gary, Henry, Hinegardner, Watson, Dillow and Showalter.
In addition, each year the club sponsors a seminar. This year, Ray Richardson talks about “The Vikings”.
With the help of volunteers and other club leaders, the genealogy room is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (also by appointment during regular library hours). Guests can use the club’s computer loaded with information about VM’s culture and history.
There’s a video about the Rowands called “Marion County Roots,” at the county’s Convention & Visitor Bureau. They say they are blessed with all the help they receive from other club leaders and many volunteers and appreciate their work as much as ever.
The Arts and Humanities Commission Awards Ceremony is open to the public, but may require spacing and masks. A reception will follow.