POINT PLEASANT — Family is important to everyone. For some, family can even be an inspiration. Commission artist, Irene Roush, 89, has been painting for over 50 years and will now have her own show at Gallery 409 in Point Pleasant this weekend. She said her late son, Jim Roush, first inspired her to start her dream of painting.
“I had always wanted to paint because it’s a good outlet. If I’m worrying about something, I can just go and paint. Sometimes I get so involved I even forget to eat,” Roush said. “My son, Jim really got me started. He encouraged me to paint because he just loved art.”
Roush has passed her love of art on to her family even doing collaborative pieces with Jim and her daughter, Kay Roush-Smith who now teaches art.
“She’s always loved to paint,” Roush-Smith said. “After she raised us she decided to start painting. A lot of my mom’s images are images from the past. She grew up in the country and many images are of past landscapes and travel photographs.
Roush has a wide variety of paintings in a variety of mediums on display. She says she enjoys painting a lot of different images.
“I’m interested in birds especially,” Roush said. “I also enjoy landscapes and portraits. I’ve done portraits more so than anything else for commission. My favorite in this gallery is ‘Memories of Mom.’ Everything in it belonged to her.”
Mary Ruth Finley, owner of Gallery 409 and the Lowe Hotel, said she has already heard much
“We had some hotel guests come over and look at the gallery,” Finley said. “They were amazed by the diversity between Irene’s many paintings.”
Finley said Roush’s son, Jim who passed away two years ago, also inspired many others with his love of art, and even helped set up Gallery 409.
“Jim had a restaurant here in town that included an art gallery, and his concept of having art as well as food was a very good one,” Finley said. “ It helped us realize the need for a gallery here in town and we were lucky to be able to work with him and have him help us with the wiring and renovations. He’s a huge part of Gallery 409.”
Roush-Smith said she and her mother both feel it important for people to people to find some type of hobby to keep them inspired.
“So many people don’t have a hobby they can fall back on once their children grow up, and art is a wonderful outlet,” Roush-Smith said.
Roush said she can speak from experience because her painting “keeps her on her toes.”
Roush’s work is currently on display at Gallery 409 through September, Fridays and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment at (304) 675-6950. An Artist Reception for Roush will take place Saturday, August 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Gallery 409.