Parkersburg Art Center begins after-school program

Photo Provided The Parkersburg Art Center has hired local artist Brandon Coss, right, to head art projects at the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg and McKinley Elementary School sites through the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Coss recently helped children at the Boys and Girls Club create and decorate paper head masks.

PARKERSBURG –The Parkersburg Art Center is providing a local artist to teach two after-school art programs.

The Parkersburg Art Center, with funding from the Neighborhood Investment Program and Mike and Joyce Vierheller, has hired Brandon Coss to head art projects at the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg and McKinley Elementary School sites through the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

“With Wood County Schools only having one designated art teacher in the elementary schools, we feel there is a need for more art programs to fill the void,” said Jessie Siefert, education director at the Parkersburg Art Center. “Art is creativity, it builds critical thinking skills, problem solving skills and is the overall basis of design.”

Coss is a local artist and a veteran of the United States Navy, where he served two tours. Before joining the Navy, Coss attended Fairmont State University and studied art education.

Kicking the program off in early February, Coss instructed the members at the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg on how to make African masks.

The BGCP members created head masks out of construction paper, paint pens, flowers, and dried grass.

Coss will be visiting the two sites on alternating Thursdays.

The Boys and Girls Club is a safe place for children during out-of-school times. Located at 1200 Mary St. in Parkersburg, Boys and Girls Club provides program opportunities for more than 1,250 boys and girls each year. The club is open from 3-8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Volunteers interested in helping meet the needs of Parkersburg youth, can contact Boys and Girls Club, 1-304-485-6434 or visit BGCParkersburg.org.

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