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Making Waves: Local artist’s work benefits children’s hospital

HUNTINGTON — A Rome Township artist has two pieces of work on display in downtown Huntington.

Diane Smallwood, a painter and sculptor, recently created two pieces for the series of tugboat installations that were auctioned to benefit Hoops Family Children’s Hospital.

Smallwood said she submitted two sketches and was chosen to create two of the boats for the series of 38, now on display downtown.

“They gave you a fiberglass form in March, and they asked you to make some designs,” she said.

The forms are decorated in various themes by the artists.

“Every artist had a different idea,” she said.

Smallwood’s two pieces, “Day on the Water” and “Garden Party,” can be found on opposite sides of Ninth Street, near the Marshall Hall of Fame Café.

“I thought ‘A Day on the Water’ would be perfect,” Smallwood said of the nautical-themed piece. “Because there’s nothing happier than that.”

While “Garden Party” features details such as a lighthouse, pond and tadpoles.

Smallwood said the pieces were auctioned earlier in the year and will remain on display through early fall, when they will be given to their buyers.

Smallwood said she began painting when she was working as a nurse.

“I had a patient who loved the ocean, so I painted that,” she said. “And I haven’t put down a brush since.”

She said she has retired as a nurse, having worked for Cabell Huntington Hospital and Our Lady of Bellefonte. She has been a member of Tri-State Arts Association and has taught art classes.

Proceeds from the art sales will benefit Hoops Children’s Hospital, a 71-bed children’s hospital within Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Smallwood, who took part in a previous series for the effort featuring trains, said she has enjoyed the experience.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be imaginative,” she said.