George Washington Carver National Monument officials are ready for the third annual Art in the Park event, set for this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

George Washington Carver National Monument officials are ready for the third annual Art in the Park event, set for this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.

“It is a day of just celebrating George Washington Carver’s love of art,” GWC National Monument Park Ranger Curtis Gregory said. “His first love was art as a kid on the Carver Farm. He got his first taste of love of art and had an interest for the rest of his life, actually when he left here (Carver Farm) to pursue an education…. He never gave up his love of art, it became more of a hobby for the rest of his life.”

There will be numerous of events on tap including artists in the park to workshops to even a mural dedication.

“We will have local artist that we have invited to come in and set up on park grounds, just being inspired by the natural beauty and create if they want to,” Gregory said. “We have workshops, hands-on workshops for visitors to participate in. We are going to have a workshop on watercolors, we have a person on nature art, we invited a professional storyteller and illustrator Wil Clay to come in and he will be doing some illustration workshops, as well as story telling.
There is a new Carver children’s book that just came out and he was the illustrator for it.”

Workshops start at 10:30 a.m. and run to 3 p.m. and each last about an hour. In the large tent, there will be: 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. illustrations and story telling with Wil Clay; 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 watercolors with Linda Duncan; 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. nature art with Pauline Charles; 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. illustrations and storytelling with Clay; and 2:30-3 p.m. nature art with Pauline Charles. There are limited seating available for the workshops.

But there are also things for children to do in the small tent. Painting with natural dyes, painting on rocks and an art workshop for kids (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.).

Also, Expressions of the Soul, a special exhibit of George Washington Carver’s artistic endeavors, will be located in the visitor center’s lower level. It is also National Junior Ranger Day, where kids can visit the Junior Ranger booth and earn their junior ranger badge? All Junior Rangers will get to try out some cool art techniques.

Another event will be the unveiling of “The Spirit of Giving,” mural dedication by artist CJ Kindy inside the visitor center. Kindy is the winner of the 2008 Thomas Hart Benton Festival’s mural competition.

“We are just excited to add another mural to our family of murals that we have in Newton and Jasper counties,” Newton County Tourism Council President Steve Roark said. “Within a couple of weeks, we are going to launch our driving maps and of course the mural that they are dedicating at George Washington Carver will be on that driving map. I think that we are up total now 24 murals between Newton and Jasper counties. We feel like we have certainly reached a realistic number of murals that that we have them divided up into two separate driving tours. I think that it is more of a family to do in one day to actually go and see all of the murals when they go to a location like George Washington Carver National Monument, where there are so many other things to do there, in addition to looking at the mural.”

The monument is located two miles west of Diamond, on Route V, then south 1/2 mile on Carver Road. For more information, please call the park at 325-4151 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.