Artist Kenneth Gilbert, 78, of Parkersburg, WV has died in Parkersburg. He was born in Spencer, WV a son of the late Delmer and Marie (Jones) Gilbert.

Kenneth Gilbert was an active artist as well as an art educator in the Parkersburg Area. He taught on the elementary, junior high, senior high and college levels. He also served as the art coordinator for the Wood County School System. Approximately 200 of his former students are professional artist and work all over America.

Other professional achievements include founding and directing the Mountain Trace Folklore Program at Parkersburg High School where he and his students produced three hardbound books, two on West Virginia Heritage and Culture and the other a History of Parkersburg High School. They also produced twenty-five paper bound volumes. He is also the author and Illustrator of the Blennerhassett Sketch Book and the children’s book, Tilly Hen. He was a recipient of a Fulbrlght to teach in England for a year.

After leaving the world of education he was appointed by two governors, Governor Underwood and Governor Wise to serve as West Virginia’s Human Rights Commissioner.

His students contributed to many community projects including teaching art to elementary students, painting murals for senior citizens. Illustrating a book for the Blennerhassett Historical Society, refinishing the dressing rooms and painting murals for the Smoot Theater, air brushed a van for medical missionaries of Honduras, Painted murals for the day care center of the YMCA and a Parkersburg Day Care Facility and created the Christmas cartoon character for the Parkersburg Sentinel Newspaper each year.