Jude Binder dances wearing one of her many mask creations

Heartwood in the Hills is making plans for two great Calhoun County Wood Festival shows in June! And we are looking for folks of all ages to join us for this great community event.

Performers will be the students of our Spring 2020 program of classes. Enrollment is now open. Classes begin the week of March 9, 2020 and end with the Wood Festival. The shows include a community event at Heartwood on Thursday, June 4, followed by participation in the annual Wood Festival parade on Saturday, June 6, with the Parade Art float "Here Comes The Sun" and a street performance in front of the courthouse immediately following the parade.

The float will be a creation of the Parade Art class under the instruction of Gina Burns and will feature artwork made by students. Inspiration for the float comes from "The Sunbird" a puppet created by guest faculty Julie Peppito at a Heartwood workshop in 2003. "The Sunbird" appeared at the Wood Festival that year. Julie Peppito is a professional artist living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work is shown in many galleries.

Julie Peppito at work on "The Sunbird" at a 2003 workshop

Peppito's work is currently on exhibit at
Long Island Children's Museum in New York.

Gina Burns is returning to the faculty for this exciting class. Gina has studied and taught art, dance, theatre and mask making at Heartwood for many years. She has performed and created masks for many events and for many organizations, including Heartwood and The Academy of the Arts at January’s in Charleston, WV.

This class will meet once a week for 12 weeks on Mondays and is open to kids, 10, and up, teens, adults and seniors. Teams of adults working on parade art with their children, or grandchildren is encouraged. Students will keep their artwork following the parade.

Children 10 and up and teens who would like to join the theatre team and perform will attend two classes per week along with two weekend rehearsals per month. Students will be split in two groups of classes – beginning (Mondays and Wednesdays) and advanced classes for returning theatre/dance students.

Young children 6 and up who enroll in the Friday Creative Arts For Children class will also make artwork and be invited to be in the Wood Festival show.

The theatre program classes and Creative Arts will be taught by Jude Binder. As a master woodcarver, mask maker, painter, graphic artist, dancer, actor and co-founder and Artistic Director of Calhoun County’s own school for the arts Heartwood in the Hills, Binder exemplifies the compelling and multidimensional paths professional artists build to formalize their careers. In 2017- 2018 Jude was awarded a Tamarack Fellowship.

Heartwood's class fees are for the 12-weeks of classes and are based on donations. There is a suggested donation, but we gladly accept whatever your family can manage. We also offer financial assistance to cover some or all class fees. For more information, or for a class schedule, please call Heartwood, 304-354-7874, and we will mail one to you.