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December 29, 2013

A FINE MESS: Carnegie Center hosts young artists for a Day at the Museum

NEW ALBANY — Taking his craft very seriously, Oliver Goodman took his time lining up everything in the tin punch for his lantern. After his careful consideration, his masterpiece was finished.

At the age of 4, he doesn’t joke around when it comes to arts and crafts time.

The Carnegie Center for Art and History hosted its Day at the Museum on Friday. Children came with their parents to create various pieces of art to help bide their time on winter break.

Laura Wilkins, director of marketing and outreach at the center, said as parents spend time at home with their children during the holiday vacation from school, the museum wanted to offer something fun to fill up some of that time.

“A lot of times, there’s family in town and a lot of holiday obligations — there’s family, traveling, shopping,” Wilkins said. “This is something to get them away from the holiday hustle and bustle and it’s just a nice break for everyone.”

Wilkins said students got a chance to make their own tin punch lanterns out of soft drink cans, their own hand-made books, stamped thank you cards and other crafts. She said some children may not even have an opportunity to do much with art in school, since budget cuts often target arts programs, either limiting or eliminating them altogether.

But whether their medium was paper, tin or plastic, children made their own works to take home and show off to their parents.

Wendy Smith, 41, New Albany, brought her daughter, Madison, 7, to give her something hands-on to do over her school break.

“I like that we can come and it doesn’t cost anything,” Smith said. “We got to see some friends we normally wouldn’t get to and it’s just a fun day of crafts.”

Madison made her own book with collage-styled pages. She said it’s fun work on craft projects.

“It’s just fun to do,” Madison said. “I got to make stuff again that I already know how to.”

Wilkins said the event was more perennial in the past, but cuts in the museum’s maintenance department have prevented them from hosting it in the last couple of years. She said they hope to host it again soon, but doesn’t know when they will.

Wendy said it was nice to give her daughter a chance to use her imagination with art projects, but it was also nice to not have to clean up the mess afterward.

Wilkins said that’s half the reason for having the event at the museum.

“Kids are so creative, each one in his or her own way,” Wilkins said. “Some families might do these kinds of activities at home, but whether they do or not, it gives them a chance to make the mess here instead of at home.”

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