Kids drawn to May Day at the art center

PARKERSBURG – Area children got a chance Sunday to see what kinds of arts were available locally during the Parkersburg Art Center’s annual May Day Arts Celebration.

Over 200 kids came to the art center in downtown Parkersburg with their parents and got to try out a variety of art-making activities including handicrafts, necklace making, painting, working with clay, drumming, face painting, movement, dance and more, said Jessie Siefert, education coordinator at the center.

“This is our May Day event,” she said. “It is our free community arts day. Today we have about 10 make-and-take arts projects.

“It is our way of celebrating the arts and welcoming everyone from the community.”

Kids could come and make something at a number of the stations or participate in a number of activities during Sunday’s program. Parents could watch from the side or join in with their kids and share the experience.

“It really is for anyone,” Siefert said.

Samantha Harris, of Parkersburg, brought her two children to see what was available and the kinds of activities they could do. She had brought her youngest son before to a number of events that have been held throughout the year at the center, the Arty Party programs.

“He has really liked coming to the art center,” she said of 6-year-old Quade. “He fell in love with the place.”

Harris was standing with her 10-year-old daughter Emma who was making an owl out of cardboard tubing. Emma has been in Guild Builders at the Parkersburg Actors Guild for awhile and this was her first time at the May Day event at the art center.

“This was her opportunity to come down and try some stuff and see what she thinks of it,” Harris said.

Emma Harris said she was having a good time.

“It was fun,” she said. “I liked the arts and the live animals.”

Samantha Harris said the event was very accommodating for everyone.

“It is very kid friendly and family oriented,” she said. “It was very welcoming.”

Her children especially had a good time.

“They loved being able to be creative and express themselves,” she said.

Meredith Woodburn, of Parkersburg, brought her two daughters, Addison and Peyton, to the event to see what was available. The girls got to experience a wide variety of things from working with clay to painting to playing on a drum and more. The art center has the resources and instructors to do a program like this,” she said.

“It is something to let the kids experience it,” Woodburn said. “I think it is good because it is not something they normally get to do at home.”

Juanita Salazar, 7 of Lubeck, was one of the participants in the painting station where kids got to work with brushes, paints and more.

“You get to make your own design and do it however you want,” she said.

Megan Dolly, of Mineral Wells, brought her 4-year-old son Owen to Sunday’s May Day. They saw the event advertised and thought it would be something he would enjoy.

“It is wonderful,” she said. “It has been a lot of fun.”

Owen was involved in a lot of activities, but seemed to enjoy making a necklace the most.

“That took a lot of time and he was very particular about all the beads he wanted to put on there,” she said. “He had a lot of fun doing that.

“He has a blast. He loves doing stuff like this, making things and crafting all the time. I thought this would be something he would really like to do.”

Local musician Mary Mary Gonot conducted the drumming demonstration and said the kids had been enthusiastic all day.

“As soon as they see a drum and a cymbal and they know they can make all the noise they want, they can’t wait,” she said. “They love to sit down and love to play with it.”

Gonot was teaching the participants about each drum she had, how they made different sounds and how kids could make their own percussion sounds with everyday things.

“There are a lot of different things I bring to them and they bring to me,” she said. “With their enthusiasm, I love to share it with them.”

Sunday’s event was a chance for kids to be social and experience art through different mediums, Siefert said.

“I hope we further their love of art and hope they come back and take advantage of what we have to offer here at the art center,” she said.