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Free Family Fun Day to focus on sculpture


Flex your fingers, stretch out your arms, and head over to the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, in Charleston as the West Virginia Division of Culture and History continues its Free Family Fun Day series on Saturday, March 31, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hands-on activities are geared for children; however, visitors of all ages are invited to discover something new by participating in the free event.

Keith McManus of Core will lead kids on their journey into the world of sculpture. An artist and storyteller, he is an instructor at West Virginia University’s College of Creative Arts, where he teaches painting, printmaking and sculpture. In addition, as a founding member of the old-time string band Stewed Mulligan, McManus plays banjo and fiddle, and has traveled from coast to coast and overseas performing in music festivals. He believes that the production of quality art starts with one’s attitude and that by enhancing the “artistic attitude of the general public, the quality of life in and around West Virginia will be improved.”

Participants will gather in the Great Hall for the day’s activities. Children can learn the art of sculpture from the ground up as McManus helps them explore form, movement and structure. They can shape clay and use Carv-foam, a lightweight urethane substance, to carve figures, sculpt wire and twist creations into life, apply mesh to bend and stretch forms for paper mache creations, and use plaster cloth to make casts of their hands or face.

Visitors can create images of their friends, family and pets and can bring photographs as a reference point. Because of the nature of the activities, children are encouraged to wear “play clothes.”

Rounding out the event, sculptures from the West Virginia State Museum’s Collection will be on display, and information about the history of sculpture will be available. In addition, the Youth Art Month Exhibition, featuring the works of 91 West Virginia students, grades K-12, can be seen in the wings of the Balcony Gallery.

Free Family Fun Day is an ongoing series that occurs on the last Saturday of every month. This month’s event is made possible by a grant from Target. Next month, instead of Free Family Fun Day, the Division will present Free Family Fun Week during Kanawha County School’s spring break, from April 16 - 20.

For more information about Free Family Fun Day, call Bil Lepp, education coordinator for the Division at (304) 558-0220.

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 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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