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Cultural Center to sponsor free art workshops for youth in December and January

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will sponsor five free “Art Start” workshops on Saturdays in December 2005 and January 2006 for students in grades one - 12 at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. Each workshop will feature a visiting artist to lead the session, and students will create a piece of art and view the West Virginia Juried Exhibition 2005 (WVJE) which is currently on display. The five visiting artists all have work included in the show. Space is limited in the classes and reservations are required.

On Dec. 3, Herb Weaver of Bethany will lead students in a workshop to make stuffed fish from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The class is open to students in grades two - six and is limited to 15 participants. Weaver is a professor in the fine arts department at Bethany College, teaching classes in ceramics, sculpture, 3-D design, art history and art education. His work has been included in juried exhibitions throughout the United States including a solo exhibition entitled Ceremonial Teapottery at the Pinckney Gallery in Bend, Ore. This year, he was honored with a $5,000 Governor’s Award in the WVJE for his ceramic piece Hook, Lying, and Sinker.

The Dec. 10 session will feature Barbara Marsh Wilson of Hurricane, who will teach students how to create an animal painted collage from 1:30 - 3 p.m. The class is for students in grades two - four and is limited to 12 students. Marsh Wilson is a native West Virginian who has shown her work in Pennsylvania and Florida as well as in the Museum in the Community, Hurricane; Boreman Arts Center, Martinsburg; Glenville State College; Steifel Fine Arts Center, Wheeling; Huntington Museum of Art; and Sunrise Museum, Charleston. She served as an adjunct professor of art at West Virginia State College from 1994-96. She says of her affinity for animals, “As an artist my intention is to share with the viewer the animal spirit as I perceive it.” Marsh Wilson won a $2,000 Award of Excellence in the WVJE 2005 for her oil-based monoprint Dixie, Beatrice’s Pet Goat.

On Dec. 17, Charleston artist Barrie Kaufman will teach students the art of printing from 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The workshop is open to students in grades one - four and is limited to 12 participants. Printmaking has been Kaufman’s primary medium for many years. Most of her works are large, woodblock prints with many colors printed on hand made Japanese paper. Kaufman says of her work, “I am drawn to depicting the interior life: the joy and quietness of meditation, the strength of the female, the glowing inner thread that runs above the material world.” She has had many solo exhibitions including Sotheby’s in Stockholm, Sweden; Kurts Bingham Gallery, Memphis, Tenn.; and The Art Store and Callen McJunkin Gallery, both in Charleston. She has won several awards such as an Award of Excellence in the WVJE 1993 and Taipei City Mayor’s Prize in Taipei, Taiwan.

The January sessions begin on Jan. 7, 2006, with Robert Villamagna of Wheeling, who will lead a class entitled The Illustrated Word from 10 a.m. - noon. The workshop is open to students in grades seven - nine and is limited to 10 students. Born in California, Villamagna moved east in the late 1960s. For the past 20 years he has worked as an illustrator, steelworker, art therapist and teacher. Combining found machine parts, hardware, toys, furniture parts, plumbing and building materials with art materials such as acrylic, oil and enamel paints, oil sticks, clay, wood and metal, Villamagna creates thought-provoking and humorous compositions, giving these found materials new life and transforming them into art. He has a master’s degree in art therapy from Wright State University, and is currently an assistant professor of art at West Liberty State College. This year, Villamagna also won a $5,000 Governor’s Award in the WVJE for his piece Fountain of Youth.

The final session will take place on Jan. 21, 2006, and features Bruce Haley of Charleston, who will teach a class about creative photography from 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The workshop is open to students in grades nine - adult and is limited to 10 participants. Students must bring a digital camera. An accountant by education, Haley has always searched for a creative outlet. He says his “photographic career” began as a combat photojournalist in Vietnam in 1968. It wasn’t his job, but he had a camera and used it to shoot pictures other than snapshots for the first time. He now creates fine art nature photography and PhoDigital paintings, which are photographs shot specifically for the purpose of making digitally enhanced paintings. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions, including the Main Street Studio Group Exhibition at Showcase West Virginia in Charleston; Scenes from West Virginia Invitational exhibit at the Parkersburg Art Center; 37th Annual Festival Exhibit and Competition, the French Art Colony, Gallipolis, Ohio; and the WVJE 2005. He will be featured in the Painting with Light solo exhibit at the French Art Colony this December. He says, “Photography, for me, is life living and life giving. My vision is constantly changing, evolving. Creating from my heart will always be my goal.”

No experience is needed to participate in any of the workshops. With the exception of Haley’s creative photography class, which requires a digital camera, all supplies will be provided. For more information, to make a reservation for a class or to find out about accessibility services, contact Nancy Herholdt, education manager for the Division, at (304) 558-0220, ext. 112, or e-mail nancy.p.herholdt@wv.gov. Participants requesting sign language interpretation should call two weeks in advance of the workshop.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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Ginny Painter
Deputy Commissioner/Communications Manager
West Virginia Division of Culture and History
The Cultural Center
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV  25305
Phone (304) 558-0220, ext. 120
Fax (304) 558-2779
Email ginny.painter@wvculture.org