A version of this story appeared in The Rotunda
Love was in the air on Saturday when The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts hosted a Valentine’s Day Art festival featuring arts and crafts workshops for children of all ages. The workshops included making Valentine’s Day cards and animal-themed Valentine’s Day puns, such as “Will you bee my Valentine.”
There were also crafts like making a heart to put on your sleeve to represent the hearts that a man in Victorian England would wear on his sleeve bearing the name of the woman he loved. Children attending the festival could also listen to Valentine’s Day themed stories.
The event was organized by Emily Grabiec, the LCVA’s Director of Education and Outreach. It is an annual event, and this is her ninth year organizing it, though it has been going for several years before she began. She says that “it’s one of our most popular free family workshops.” She puts on this workshop every year because “it’s a very fun thing for families…to come together and get to make art.” She hopes that events like this will raise the Farmville community’s awareness and interest in the LCVA.
She finds it hard to pick out a favorite activity out of all of them, but she feels she would have to pick the one in which the children make their own valentines. She says that she likes “to see the kids be really creative and see them come up with their own ideas.” “There’s no rules, they just get to make whatever they want, and I think it’s really fun to see what they come up with.” She also describes how the number of attendees can fluctuate rapidly from year to year. “We’ve had anywhere from two hundred to six hundred people come, so I think it’s a good thing to be prepared for as many people to come as possible,” she adds.
These workshops were also heavily attended by several fraternity members. Leslie Brett is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity that frequently volunteers in the Farmville community. Her job at the event was to help the children with any problems that came up, and starting at the station where the attendees made Celtic knots, and moving around to many different tables.