The Wheeling Arts & Cultural Commission received a $1,500 matching grant from the State Department of Arts, Culture and History to support student-created art in downtown Wheeling.

The purpose of the project is to connect children with public art in their community.  K-12 students from throughout Ohio County will create turtles in various artistic media at their schools, in after-school programs, and at local community centers. The turtle is inspired by the existing metal sculpture in downtown Wheeling. Local students will also create five mini murals featuring Wheeling landmarks and history.

Project lead, Micah Underwood said of the project, “Our local youth have so much creativity. This project creates an opportunity for our community to celebrate that and to make our vibrant downtown arts landscape even brighter.”

The commission will partner with downtown businesses and property owners to place these pieces as a temporary installation.  The commission is also partnering with Wheeling Heritage to create a public art map, which will be used to create educational materials for schools and a scavenger hunt and walking tour of downtown Wheeling. Once the turtles are placed and the map is complete, a public reception will take place in June 2022.

The commission hopes this project will help local youth connect more deeply to their city. Betsy Sweeny, Chair of the commission expressed, “In the past year the arts commission has really reinvented itself, and the commissioners have identified creating more public art to enhance our community as a top priority.  This project does a great job of partnering with other organizations, and involving kids in a way that will foster an appreciation for Wheeling as they grow older.”

Schools, businesses, and afterschool programs that are interested in creating a turtle or participating in the program can contact project chair Micah Underwood by calling 740-312-9975 or emailing micah.labishak@gmail.com for additional information.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

About The Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission:

The mission of the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission is to support and promote Wheeling’s arts and cultural communities. Their vision is to  be the catalyst for a long term rich, inclusive arts and cultural experience for our community.

Visit wheelingartbeat.com or the Wheeling Arts and Cultural Commission Facebook page to check out additional arts and cultural events.

 

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