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Artpark features weekend events for the family this summer

Family Weekends are back at Artpark this month -- with the concept art of famed Bulgarian artist Christo featured this weekend.

The weekend offerings join the free concerts on Tuesday and a newly reworked Wednesday concert series, which also began this week.

During July, free family art activities will be offered from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, today through July 29. Featured are more than a dozen creative workshops, including face painting, still-life with oil, self portraits, pottery and dress-up. For children ages 2 to 5 the "Tot Spot" features art activities made simple.

The opening workshop, "Altered Art," will introduce families to Christo's environmental art and his method of wrapping everyday objects in fabric to make them unique. Art activities this weekend feature the creation of artist trading cards and artistic endeavor with bolts, spangles and mosaics.

Families also are being asked to work with local artists to paint picnic tables, converting them into objects of art, to be strategically placed throughout Artpark as original pieces of art.

Upcoming Family Weekends are: Art in the Dark, next Saturday and July 15, which will create works that can be seen without light; Airborne Art on July 21 and 22, which features kites -- art that flies; and Exotic Art on July 28 and 29, which will focus on designing a hat or mask that can be worn and taken home.

Hands-on art for children also is offered during each of Artpark's free Tuesday and Wednesday concerts, which begin at 6:30 p.m.

This year, Artpark also introduced a new free concert series, Wednesdays on the Gorge. This Wednesday's feature is folk-rock legend Richie Havens. The opening act is Buffalo singer-songwriter Noa Bursie.

Other Wednesday headliners are: Lucinda Williams, July 18; Pure Prairie League, July 25; blues artist Kelley Hunt, Aug. 1; Cajun Festival, featuring C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band and Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas, Aug. 8; Celtic Festival featuring the Saw Doctors, Aug. 15; and Switch, Aug. 22.

Artpark's Family Weekends are sponsored by the Fatta Foundation and the Niagara County Legislature, and Wednesdays in the Gorge are sponsored by Certo Brothers Distributing, Modern Corp., Tim Hortons, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Preservation and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.


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