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SILVER CITY: Silver City Museum announces Hands-On Fun for ClayFest to take place Saturday, July 21st from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm at the museum's Education Room located at 312 Broadway. Activities for the entire family are free admission; a donation of $5 is suggested to help support the museum.
 
The Silver City Museum invites families and youth to make their own one-of-a-kind Mimbres style clay plate as souvenir of the 2018 ClayFest. This event is part of the annual celebration of regional ceramic traditions and contemporary artistic expressions in clay. Participants will roll, shape and decorate a clay vessel. Guided by museum staff, children and their families will learn about hand building techniques and graphic design used by the prehistoric inhabitants of southwest New Mexico.

The Silver City region is known worldwide as the home of a very distinctive culture of Native Americans referred to as the Mimbres. At their artistic peak about 1,000 years ago, Mimbres pot makers painted black or red-brown figures on white surfaces. Rediscovered more than 100 years ago this form of pot has been highly valued by American archeologists, collectors and art lovers ever since. The designs on this very refined form of pottery are somewhat abstract and stylized but also suggestive of natural elements such as mountains, clouds, lighting, rain, local animals, humans and spiritual beings.
 
Families will explore the great depth and variety of Mimbres representation and leave the program with their very own recreation of Mimbres pottery. Using Crayola Air-Dry clay and sample Mimbres designs and markers children will choose their favorite image and shape and decorate their pot. The program is completely free to all. A suggested $5 donation will help to support the museum's education programs, collection care and schedule of changing exhibitions.
 
In addition to the family focused activities the museum is also hosting master ceramic artist, Oralia Lopez from the renowned pottery center Mata Ortiz. Lopez will be on hand to demonstrate and offer pottery for sale. John Bezy, geologist and author will present an illustrated talk at 11 am and 1 pm on the prehistoric roots of modern Mata Ortiz ceramics. Both these events will take place at the Museum Annex located at 302 West Broadway.

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