Localization showcases local artists in Huntington

The second annual Localization pop-up art show allowed local artists to celebrate and have their work acknowledged Saturday, Oct. 6, at The Progress Building in downtown Huntington.

Lilly Dyer, senior at Marshall University and photo editor for The Parthenon, said she created the event to expose and inform people about the art and music scene in the Huntington community.

“I created Localization because there’s so many people that constantly are very bitter about the lack of art and culture in this area, but there’s honestly so much happening all the time and people aren’t informed and they don’t take the time to be informed,” Dyer said.

Dyer said she made the event free to the public so it could be an available learning experience for anyone to come to and enjoy themselves.

“I wanted the event to be free and reachable to everyone, no matter their income,” Dyer said. “I want people to walk away having a good time and finding a new artist or musician they like. And learning about something in Huntington they didn’t know existed before.”

Dyer said the event is not only for the community but also for the artists because it gives them a space to display their work.

“The event offers the artists a great way to network with the community and are able to grow with their art and marketing by being able to communicate with people they live close to,” Dyer said.

Dyer said after the hardships they faced obtaining the building, seeing everyone come together was a great feeling.

“I love how people can come together in such an intimate and small space and have fun,” Dyer said. “Nobody cares about what the other person’s background is; it’s a special and different area where people are together. And after being told we might not have the building was an incredible feeling seeing everyone here.”

Toby Poole, Huntington community member, had a music and comedy project, called glass diaper, that performed in between the bands, while selling merchandise and playing footage. He said he enjoyed the diversity among all artists.

“I love the variety of the artwork,” Poole said. “When you walked in there is pottery, then edible cookie dough, then you go upstairs and there is a lot of young artists with clothing, painting, photography and video. And there’s nothing like this happening in Huntington right now.”

Poole said Localization offers another aspect to viewing local artists around Huntington.

“Localization is a good alternative to some of the other events in town, there’s not many places in Huntington where you can see young artists work other than the Visual Arts Center in Huntington, and Localization offers that to the community to people of all ages,” Poole said.

Keyamo Onoge, M.B.A graduate student at Marshall, said he displayed his photography at Localization to showcase his art freely and with no judgment.

“Localization was like a breath of fresh air, there weren’t any gatekeepers, it’s still very experimental, and in the beginning stages, so it’s come as you are and there’s freedom of expression,” Onoge said. “It gives local artists permission to present their stuff no matter what it is.”

Dyer said she hopes in the future Localization can form into a nonprofit organization in the Huntington community to help expand the music and art scene.

“My main goal is to close the gap between people who are uninformed and local businesses with art and music, because a lot of people want to support local artists they just don’t know where to start, and localization can be that starting point for people,” Dyer said.

Lillie Bodie can be contacted at [email protected].