MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is offering a “Holiday Warm-up” in November to kick off the holiday season. Programs and activities include two documentary film screenings, a meet-and-greet reception with artist Eric Dye, making greeting cards with artists Cheryl Childers and Patty Neis, and completing a tree picture at the museum’s Discovery Table. All activities are free and open to the public.
Several activities will take place on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Eric Dye, the November Featured Artist of the Month, will host a meet-and-greet reception at his exhibit of 18 plein air pastel paintings accompanied by a metal sculpture made of pipe organ pipes and wire titled “The Piper.” The paintings depict landscapes completed outdoors, occasionally braving on-coming storms and freezing temperatures. Dye is a member of Artworks Around Town, the Pittsburgh Pastel Artists League, and the Tamarack Foundation for the Arts of West Virginia. He lives in Bethlehem, W.Va., where he also has a studio.
On the same afternoon, visitors can make their own art with Cheryl Childers and Patty Neis, who recently participated in a group exhibit and taught a watercolor class together at the Grave Creek. A simple printing method using cookie cutters, art foam, and acrylic paint will be used to create hand-made greeting cards. This activity is scheduled from 12:30 to 4 p.m. and is suitable for all ages.
Nov. 12 is also the day for screening the Second Saturday film. Struggle to Survive is the first episode in a four-part documentary titled “America’s Untold Stories” which is part of the PBS Secrets of the Dead series. The documentary tells the story of the earliest settlements in North America. It focuses on St. Augustine, Florida, which was settled by a melting pot of Spanish, Africans, Italians, Germans, Irish and converted Jewish community. The first episode focuses on the struggle between Spain and France as the two nations fought to control the North American continent. The film is one hour long and will be shown at 1 and 3 p.m.
A film titled “The Lost Ones: The Long Journey Home” will be shown at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17. This is the story of two Lipan Apache children who were captured along the Texas-Mexican border in 1877 after the 4th U.S. Cavalry massacred 19 mostly women and children in their camp. Kasetta and her brother, Jack, lived with a military family for several years before being sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, which housed over 10,500 children from 1879 to 1918. After their stay at the school, Kasetta and Jack were placed with different families. Kasetta bore a son, Richard, who was sent to the Carlisle school at the age of three upon her death at age 39. Kasetta and Jack were never forgotten by their families, who kept an empty plate for them each year for over a century. Finally, in 2009, Lipan Apache descendants learned the fate of their three relatives and traveled to their graves to offer their blessings and send their Lost Ones home. This documentary film by Susan Rose and Manuel Saralegui was produced by the Community Studies Center at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa. The story of the three Lipan Apache children was chosen for Native American Heritage Month (held in November) to help promote awareness of the harm caused to indigenous people by programs of assimilation exemplified by boarding schools such as the one at Carlisle and to show how performing the prescribed rituals for them provided a measure of comfort and closure.
Operated by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features one of the largest conical burial mounds built by the Adena people between 250 – 150 B.C. and ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. Exhibits and displays in the Delf Norona Museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The complex also houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Collections Management Facility.
Admission to Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is free. The Delf Norona Museum, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue, is open 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Access to the Mound and other outdoor areas closes at 4:30 pm.
For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound and www.twitter.com/gravecreekmound.