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Volume 26, Number 2 — February 2019

"Art with a Heart" draws a crowd at Heartwood

Mosaic artist Ruth Ann Kondylas works with 7-year-old Emily Perdue at
Mosaic artist Ruth Ann Kondylas works with 7-year-old Emily Perdue at "Art with a Heart."
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February 09, 2014

ABINGDON, Va. Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway was a busy place on Saturday, where more than 50 kids turned out for the free "Art with a Heart" valentine craft workshop.

"You're always looking for free, exciting things for your kids to do," said Tyler Goad of Bristol, who brought 3-year-old daughter Addy Mae to make a mosaic and a valentine card. "When it's cold, it's always good to get in and have something fun to do."

At "Art with a Heart," children arranged colorful stones onto wood shapes, which were then glued down using hot glue to make mosaics. They also glued small beads in between. At the other end of the tables, they used printed paper, stickers and other materials to design their own valentine cards.

Mosaic artist Ruth Ann Kondylas ran the workshop, which was coordinated by 'Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Network, the organization that works with the artisans whose artwork is sold at Heartwood.

"The kids love it, and I'm really happy that we've had a huge turnout," said Kondylas. "Anyone can do mosaic art. Hopefully after they go home they'll continue to do things like this."

Debby Loggans, membership manager for 'Round the Mountain, said the plan is to do more free craft workshops for kids in the future especially since this one was so well-received by the community.

"It's always great when we can get artisans and children creating together," she said. "It's an opportunity for the kids to have fun and learn about the culture of Southwest Virginia, and artisans like Ruth Ann really enjoy working with them."

There were a lot of smiling faces Saturday as kids worked on crafts; many stayed for lunch with their families and explored Heartwood's craft galleries together. Parents and grandparents said it really made their kids' day to come out to do a special Valentine project.

"I think it's wonderful that we had an opportunity to bring him here," said Sarah Melkowski, who brought 5-year-old grandson Logan Wilson from Bristol. "We think Heartwood is great, and we're very fortunate to have it here in our community."

Ben Hahn, 7, of Meadowview, shows off a mosaic he made at "Art with a Heart."

Lots of kids turned out for Saturday's "Art with a Heart" free craft workshop at Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway.