Visual Arts Center’s education program to showcase youths’ work

The Visual Arts Center again will open its doors to middle schoolers for four Saturdays beginning Feb. 14 for The Collaborative, a hands-on, student-centered workshop that allows youth to explore art within a dynamic artistic space.

Classes for sixth- to- eighth-graders will be held from 10 a.m. to noon for four consecutive Saturdays beginning Feb. 14 on the 5th floor of the Visual Arts Center at 927 3rd Avenue. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to join the 9:30 a.m. student-led tour of the building Feb. 14.

Dr. Maribea Barnes, an art and design faculty member and the lead educator for this year’s program, said this workshop, titled “Book of Dreams and Aspirations,” will focus on printmaking.

“Guided by art educators and B.F.A. artists, students in this workshop will develop a series of illustrations centered on their dreams and aspirations,” Barnes said. “During this process, students will experiment with different-colored inks, decorative papers, and hand-coloring processes.”

Barnes said students will transfer their illustrations to printing plates to complete a series of relief prints. Their printed test prints, also known as proofs, will be displayed during the final workshop March 7 on the Visual Art Center’s 5th floor. Parents, guardians and friends are encouraged to attend this session. Participants’ final prints will be compiled into a hand-created accordion book.

Barnes, a licensed PreK-12 visual arts teacher, will be joined by Shelby Spence and Kayla Varndell, two art education students who are president and vice president of the university’s National Art Education Association Student Chapter, respectively.

The cost for each child is $40, and financial assistance is available. Support for the development of this youth program comes from a Hedrick Grant for Teaching Innovation from Marshall University. Each class is limited to 20 students in order to provide high-quality, individualized instruction and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, contact Barnes at or ext. 6-2895.