Friday, August 27, 2010

The Tibetan Way!

The Virginia Discovery Museum is proud to announce it's next Exhibit, The Tibetan Way!
Exhibit runs September 25th, 2010 - March 27, 2011.

A mysterious land in the Himalayas, Tibet is known as the country that sits "on top of the world". Explore the unique culture and traditions created by people who thrive in this extraordinary landscape of mountains and valleys. Visit a nomads tent. Learn the many uses of yaks in the highlands. Try blanket weaving or trade goods in the bustling market. Listen to Tibetan music while you dress in traditional garb for the Losar Festival, celebrating the Tibetan lunar New Year. Explore the Buddhist altars where all Tibetans worship. This exhibit will open your eyes to a fascinating world that remains one of the most inaccessible and intriguing places in Asia today.

Sponsored by SNL Financial

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Making the Summer a Success – Thank You to the Museum Teen Volunteers!

This summer, the Virginia Discovery Museum once again hosted the Museum Teen Volunteer Program. We received a record number of applications and accepted 38 volunteers representing 5 high schools in the Charlottesville area. These enthusiastic teens attended an orientation session where they learned all about the museum and its mission. Then, serving as Gallery Volunteers, summer camp assistants, and Date Night helpers, they interacted directly with the visitors creating a fun, safe, and educational environment in the museum.
During the hectic and hot summer months, the staff relies on the MTV program to help monitor the atmosphere in the museum. We had a great group of teen volunteers this year and the staff could not be more grateful for their hard work. They volunteered a total of 945 hours over the summer. That’s tremendous! The volunteers gained some valuable work experience, met new people, and had fun during their time with us. Several of the teen volunteers aim to continue dedicating their time to the museum during the upcoming school year. We wish them luck in the fall season and hope that they will stay in touch with the Virginia Discovery Museum. Many thanks to the Museum Teen Volunteers!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Camp Wrap-Up!

What a summer it has been!! The Virginia Discovery Museum has had a very busy and entertaining summer season. We hope that all of our visitors, both regular and new, have enjoyed the museum, the exhibits, and, most especially, the camps! This summer, the Virginia Discovery Museum hosted 7 camps, each with an original and exciting theme encouraging the kids ages 4-7 to learn to express themselves in new and imaginative ways. The camps kicked off with This Land Was Their Land, an examination into the history and culture of original North Americans such as the Pueblos, Monacans, and Inuits. Kids designed their own straw-covered wigwams, made scrimshaw etchings, and constructed miniature “igloos” out of sugar cubes.

In the Friendship and Fantasies camp, children dove into the imaginative and unearthly world of Neil Gaiman and Tony DiTerlizzi. Embracing the literature of these two creative authors, the children practiced their letters while producing images of dragons and other fantastical creatures. Following the themes of the books, campers made pirate maps and went on treasure hunts, created “crazy hair” out of angel hair pasta, and fashioned their own hot air balloons helping their imaginations soar to exciting heights.

To round out the month of June, our third camp brought the focus back down to earth by Going Green! In honor of the museum’s back gallery exhibit of “It’s Easy Being Green,” children learned about our environment and how to preserve it. Incorporating the museum’s exhibit, the campers made art out of recycled materials, studied the pollination of flowers by bees, and witnessed the metamorphosis and releasing of our butterflies.

July took off like a rocket with the Infinity and Beyond camp that explored the far reaches of our solar system. Campers constructed constellations, turned themselves into aliens (complete with antennae!), and experienced the vast wonders of space with StarLab, the museum’s portable planetarium.

Our Best Friends encouraged the campers to become acquainted with the critters that sometimes become dearly loved household pets. Children interacted with a variety of furry friends such as dogs, cats, hamsters, and even chinchillas! They enjoyed special one on one time with each animal as they learned about the care and responsibility of providing for a pet.

With the end of July, campers ventured to the Asia in the Manga Madness camp to learn about the culture and history of Japan. The children experienced traditional Japanese foods such as tempura and miso soup along with creating their own Zen gardens and cherry blossom paintings. They continued their journey into Japanese culture with woodblock prints, ikebana flower arrangements, shoji screens, and warrior kites. What a way to study abroad without ever leaving the room!

Our last summer camp, Colorful Constructions, focused on the colors and shapes used to create fine art reminiscent of renowned artists like Picasso and Matisse. Campers constructed color wheels, fashioned bug mobiles, and created shapes to make Tanagram puzzles. On one exciting day, the campers ventured out of doors to the Mcguffey Art Center where they met artist Lana Lambert and learned about woodblock prints.

We hope that the children enjoyed these camps as much as we did. Please feel free to contact us with feedback and get ready to gear up for a thrilling fall season when we bring back regular weekly programs and introduce new original programs! Keep ahead of the season by checking out our webpage, our facebook page, and our monthly calendar.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Continuum - A New Exhibition in the Program Room

"For years, the circle has meant everything, and nothing to me, all at once."

-Shana R. Goetsch
Once again, the Program Room at the Virginia Discovery Museum has been transformed into a modern art gallery by the watercolor paintings of local artist, Shana R. Goetsch.

Goetsch aims to highlight the complexity of the circle by exposing the many layers and flaws found within its simple shape. She focuses on the paradox of the circle as "a single tension that holds countless other tensions; it alludes to life, the human body, nature, and religion." The circle serves as her muse for her abstract watercolor paintings whether they represent a barely audible "Whisper" or a manic "Deluge".
These works, on display from August 3-22, can be viewed at any time. The Program Room is open at all times whether for a summer camp, a weekly program, or for your viewing pleasure. Please enjoy the exhibition and let Goetsch abstract watercolors inspire you as you walk through the museum. The paintings are also for sale, so please contact a Staff member if you are interested in purchasing a beautiful work of art.
Thank you so much to Shana R. Goetsch for sharing her works. To view more of the artist's work and her blog, please click here: