Imagine your child being the next great architect, following in the footsteps of Frank Lloyd Wright, Thomas Jefferson,

Youth Museum of Southern WV

Youth Museum of Southern WV

Frank Gehry, Ieoh Ming Pei, or Zaha Hadid. In Young Architects: Designing the Future this dream can come true!

The Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is pleased to present Young Architects: Designing the Future, an exhibit designed by The Children’s Museum of Cleveland. The exhibit opened last week in time for the Beckley Classic Kids Festival and will run through the end of the year. In this exhibit, which highlights famous architects as inspiration and various block building media for a hands-on interactive learning experience, children will become young architects as they design for the future.

Young Architects is divided into three main areas – live, work and play – with each area highlighting one or more renowned architect accompanied by photographs of their iconic buildings. As children observe these various structures, they will be challenged to contemplate such questions as: Why does it look the way it does? What is it used for? What materials were used in its construction?

Trasi Branch Lewis, Museum Gallery Coordinator says, “Included within the exhibit are hundreds of assorted building blocks – wooden, plastic, foam, and more in a huge variety of colors, shapes and sizes – inspiring children (and adults) to either attempt to replicate the amazing designs illustrated or to let their creativity soar as they design and build a structure that is uniquely their own.’
Lewis adds, “By participating in this hands-on, creative learning opportunity, the children are becoming more meaningfully involved with the concepts of math and science. As they play and build they are also experiencing the ways gravity, compression, and tension affect their building’s construction and stability — and all the while, they are having loads of fun. During Kids Fest, many of the kids begged to stay when their parents told them it was time to leave.”

In conjunction with Young Architects, the Museum will also present a small exhibit highlighting the work of the artist, M. C. Escher. Director of Operations, Leslie Gray Baker explains, “We wanted our visitors to truly understand the artistic connection to architecture. M.C. Escher started his studies in architecture and then moved into the graphic arts. He became famous for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. His works feature illusions, explorations of infinity, and tessellations. Many of his works focus on buildings and structures that have elements that are confusing to the eye. He used his knowledge of architecture to help create his never ending staircases and walkways.”

“We felt that including some of Escher’s artworks, along with the Young Architects exhibit, would supplement and help complete the educational aspect of the two exhibits. The children can really see how art and architect are so closely related”, Baker adds.

The M. C. Escher exhibition will open on September 28 and be on display until October19, 2013.

The Youth Museum complex is located in New River Park adjacent to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. Museum hours are daily 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Many of the exhibits and classes are funded in part by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts. For more information, call 252-3730.


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