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Arts Mon hosts new Sam Madia exhibit in May

MORGANTOWN — Area arts organization Arts Monongahela will host an exhibit featuring the art of Salvatore “Sam” Madia beginning Friday in its gallery on High Street.
A reception to open the exhibit will be held from
6-8 p.m. Friday. The exhibition will be on display through June 28, and the reception and show are free.
The work included in the exhibit will reflect different themes that illustrate Madia’s fascinating life story, experiences and topical interests.
Madia was born in 1924 and immigrated to West Virginia as a young child from the town of San Giovanni In Fiore, Italy. He settled with his family in Morgantown, growing up in the Greenmont section of town, graduating from Morgantown High School and WVU. As a youth, he helped to provide for his mother and two sisters following the untimely death of his father.
He was drafted to serve in World War II, landed at Normandy, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and earned many commendations, including a purple heart when he was wounded on Christmas Day, 1944. He was a member of the elite “Hell on Wheels” 2nd Armored Division, which was the first American unit to enter Berlin at the end of the war. He is one of the few remaining veterans from World War II.
Following his service, he enrolled at WVU but was urged to pursue a degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He graduated from AIP, returned to WVU to earn his M.A. in art education, then went on to teach at Morgantown High, University High, and later, Glenville State College, and California University of Pennsylvania, where he retired as a full professor in industrial arts. He was named an emeritus member of the faculty at Cal U following his retirement.
Throughout his life, Madia continued to paint, draw and sculpt, creating and donating many pieces to churches, schools and nonprofits throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, including more than 25 works that are part of the permanent collection at the Art Museum of WVU. His work has been shown at galleries throughout the area, including those in California, Pa., Brownsville, Pa., and Morgantown.
In addition to careers in teaching and art, Madia is a coach and senior athlete. He has competed and won at the highest level of senior athlete games throughout the United States, and was the head coach for the 1955 University High School state championship wrestling team. He also coached track and field, wrestling and tennis at Cal U.
Madia celebrated his 94th birthday in March. As a tribute to his hometown, and to celebrate his life’s accomplishments, his family worked with Arts Monongahela on this final art exhibit.
Arts Mon regular gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.
Info: Jay Redmond at 304-692-9771.