Frank and Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center Presents “Wonderful West Virginia”

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University is pleased to announce “Wonderful West Virginia,” an online photography exhibit that celebrates the natural beauty of our state. This collection of outdoor photography by local artists Cynthia Staley and John Dent was curated by Danielle Doss, a 2021 Fairmont State University graduate. The exhibit is available through “LibGuides,” a service of Fairmont State University’s Ruth Ann Musick Library. The online exhibit is free and open to the public.

Photographer Cynthia Staley served in the military, worked in corrections and worked as a social worker before turning her passion into her profession by becoming the campus photographer for Fairmont State University. After her retirement, Cindi continues to photograph wildlife and her new interest, Civil War reenactments. Staley’s stunning photographs depict birds in flight and animals in their habitat. Her wildlife photographs can be seen at

John Dent worked with Ms. Staley as an intern while finishing his degree in graphics technology at Fairmont State University. He was the regular photographer for the University’s theatre productions and had been honored by the Fairmont State Theatre program for his outstanding work. Dent’s landscape photographs include well-known locations such as Blackwater Falls and Seneca Rocks. His photos can be seen at

Danielle Doss, a studio art major, curated this exhibit as the capstone project for her museum studies minor. She researched the content of each photograph and provided information, folklore and stories related to the animals and places in the photos. Doss was mentored by Charley Hively of the Ruth Ann Musick Library, Dr. Marian Hollinger, adjunct professor of museum studies, and Dr. Francene Kirk, the interim director of the Folklife Center.

“They could not have chosen a more apt title for this marvelous exhibit,” said Mirta M.  Martin, Fairmont State University President. “The photography of Cynthia Staley and John Dent showcases West Virginia’s unmatched natural beauty. And the curation work done by Danielle Doss brings those photos to life. This exhibit is the perfect antidote to our shared winter cabin fever.”

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University houses academic minors in museum and folklore studies. Students in these fields gain hands-on experience working in the Center’s archives and gallery spaces. For additional information about the photography exhibit, the Folklife Center, or the folklore or museum studies programs, call 304-367-4403, or email