Weirton: The City Forged by Steel Art Competition

"Weirton - The City Forged by Steel" Art Competition encourages the growth of arts in Weirton

Thanks to some great artist feedback, we have updated the Weirton – the City Forged by Steel prospectus, so that artists can better capture all of Weirton’s history and heritage!

Here is a brief summary of changes in the updated prospectus:

1) Registration has been extended through Nov. 18 (participants can register online by clicking the Eventbrite link on the right, or register in person at the City Manager’s office. Registration ends prior to the exhibit to give Renaissance Weirton time to plan and organize this one-and-only event!)

2) Artists can submit up to three (3) pieces for the $25 entry fee

3) Works can be created from existing photos or others’ photos, or memories or stories!

4) Any original work by the artist can be submitted, even if it was not created during 2017.

5) Clarification - Photographs can be used as part of mixed-media/collage submissions.

Thank you to everyone for your interest in this event! We are looking forward to seeing your work!

Please contact with any further questions!


Weirton (WV) – For decades, the Basic Oxygen Plant (BOP) and blast furnaces at Weirton Steel choked and gurgled with the business of hot metal. Steel created in Weirton supported structures throughout the nation, while the human effort it required created a community, then a city.

In the mid-1990s, the mill’s closure changed the lives of 13,000 employees and their families. But the 25-story BOP behemoth remained, towering over the downtown and forming the only skyline most residents had ever seen.

This summer, the BOP and nearby blast furnaces’ future changed. Save one operating section of the property, the bulk of the former Weirton Steel property was sold. The BOP and blast furnaces are scheduled for demolition, miles of metal and piping and towers will be cleared for redevelopment.

Inspired by what will be a monumental change in the skyline, the City of Weirton Renaissance Committee is launching the “Weirton – The City Forged by Steel” art competition, calling for artists to capture impact of the mill, the BOP and blast furnaces before they are gone.

Online registration for the Weirton – The City Forged by Steel Art Competition opens Sept. 10 and will run through Nov.18. Artists can register in person and pay by check at the Weirton City Manager’s Office in the Weirton City Building, 200 Municipal Plaza.

Artists will have through the end of the year to complete works in one of six categories: oil; acrylic; watercolor; pastel; drawing (such as charcoal or colored pencil); and mixed media/collage and printmaking. Artists can work from photographs, in-person visits to Weirton, or even from memory.

A $500 Best in Show prize will be awarded at the opening reception on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. First- and second-place prizes in each category of $200 and $100, respectively, will also be awarded. Any artist over age 18 is eligible. Photography will not be accepted. Works will be juried by a highly noted artist and will be displayed in Weirton through March 2018.

Mayor Harold Miller, who retired from the Weirton Steel sales department, along with a representative from event sponsor Frontier Group of Companies, will announce the winners.

“This singular event will have a huge impact in our community,” Mayor Miller said. “It’s exciting to think how the creative expression prompted by this project will positively influence our region..”

The competition was created to honor the employees and the legacy of Weirton Steel and ArcelorMittal, said Alecia Ford, Show Chair. In addition, the event marks a first step in looking forward to the new development and business that the Frontier Group of Companies will bring to Weirton.

"We are proud to be a part of this event to honor Weirton's industrial heritage through art," said David Franjoine, CEO of the Frontier Group of Companies. "The removal of the BOP and blast furnaces are going to have a great impact, not only on the skyline, but also on the economy and the city's future. Frontier is excited to be a part of making this new chapter a reality."

The subject matter of Weirton – The City Forged by Steel is the former Weirton Steel mill in general and the impact on the skyline of the BOP and blast furnaces in particular, but artists are encouraged to interpret the subject through the frame of the mill’s impact on the city, region and nation. Interested artists can be based anywhere in the state or region, the call to artists is not limited to residents of Weirton.

A full prospectus is available by clicking the link on this page. A registration fee of $25 for up to two submissions can paid by credit card online at, search for “Weirton,” or by paying in person at the Weirton City Building, City Manger's Office.

Artworks will be juried and shown beginning January 20, 2018. Awards will be presented the opening night of the exhibit.

Registration ends Nov. 18, but artists will have through the end of the year to create their work. Updates and information about the competition can be found on the Weirton – The City Forged by Steel Facebook page. For more information about the competition, email Ford at


Photo of the former Weirton Steel BOP building courtesy of HCAC member Salene Mazur Kraemer

Weirton Steel BOP buidling - Salene Mazur Kraemer