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Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:35

Life-sized whale helps kids learn about art and the environment

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“Cool!” was the typical response from kids as Fun Factory visitors walked in to find a colorful, life-sized killer whale on display just inside the Fun Factory’s entrance. It’s the centerpiece of a free August and September arts and crafts program hosted by the Macon County Arts Association and the Fun Factory.

The MCAA is a nonprofit that regularly conducts children’s art classes at its gallery, so the Fun Factory approached them to help create a fun program for kids based around its giant, fiberglass killer whale that just happened to need a new paint job.

The arts and crafts sessions will be from 10 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 4 p.m. on both Saturday, Aug. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 11, inside the Fun Factory in Franklin. These are open sessions, so kids can drop in at any time to create a sea creature craft adn visit the “Art the Whale” display.

“We want them to develop an appreciation for the arts, but this promotion also teaches them about the environment, marine life and even has a recycling component,” said Stephen Clark, MCAA marketing director.  

In addition to helping to put the finishing touches on the whale itself, children who participate also get to recycle empty milk jugs, plastic bottles and more, into craft sea creatures. Clark developed about five different craft creatures including various fish made from recycled bottles, a milk jug whale, and even a crab made out of pasta and pipe cleaners.

Registration is encouraged. All kids who register in advance or on site will be eligible to win prizes. All participants will receive a coupon for a free $5 Fun Card plus a pass to see the Shark Tales movie Friday, Sept. 24, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.

“We want the kids and parents to bring their own empty plastic milk jugs and bottles to decorate,” said Clark. “But we’ll have plenty of extras on hand if someone forgets.” The MCAA will provide instructors to assist the children at each session, and the Fun Factory is providing all paint and craft supplies.

Many of the craft sea creatures take only about 15 minutes to create. When complete, children can place their sea creatures on display with Art the Whale for future pickup, or they are welcome to leave with their finished crafts.

Registration forms are available inside the Fun Factory, at www.funfactoryfranklin.com or at the Macon County Arts Association/Uptown Gallery on Main Street.

mcaauptowngallery.org or 828.349.4607.

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