The holiday season is a time for fellowship and feasting, giving and receiving, charity and goodwill, caring and community.
At Oglebay Institute, the holiday season is all of the above "wrapped in creativity," Misty Klug, director of marketing, said.
"Oglebay Institute is pleased to offer creative holiday programs that are sure to put audiences in the holiday spirit and bring the community together to celebrate this festive season," she said.
Klug said a wide range of activities is being offered including the decorating extravaganza "Holidays at the Mansion"; the Holiday Art Show and Sale, featuring one-of-a-kind, handcrafted gifts by area artisans and crafters; performances of the holiday classic, "The Nutcracker"; carol singing and art workshops for young people to make personalized gifts for the holidays.
"Whatever you enjoy most about the holidays - the traditions, decorating, shopping, music, spending time with family - OI presents events to help you engage in those activities while experiencing the camaraderie of other Ohio Valley residents and supporting the local artistic community," she said.
Holidays at the Mansion
Each holiday season since 1973, area designers have donated their time and talent to transform Oglebay Institute's Mansion Museum, which was the summer home of industrialist and philanthropist Earl W. Oglebay, into a celebration of the season. The mansion's 13 period rooms are trimmed for the holidays with decor ranging from simple elegance to the extravagant. Visitors will see the stunning results and find decorating inspiration to take back to their own homes.
Sponsored by WesBanco, this year's holiday decorating extravaganza is titled "Home for the Holidays." Featured rooms and decorators include: reception room, Michelle Gorby, Custom Painting By Shell; dining room, Dawn Kozusnik, Bethani's Bouquets; halls and stairways, Scott Klinkoski and Dick Taylor; kitchen, Don and Rebecca Niess; Victorian parlor, Brian P. Feldmeier, Occasions Florist & Gifts; Mr. Oglebay's office, Snookie Isaly and Patti Kota; game room, Chris Hudson and Maren Presutti, Design Studio/Tile Creation; oval sitting room, Crafts 2000; Victorian bedroom, Mary Kay Laughlin, Linda Reed, Chris Ritcher; Federal bedroom, Yvonne Jacobs, Elm Grove Flowers; sewing room, Heather McClure; Empire bedroom, Sissy D'Cagna, Jean Dougherty, Barb Jarrett, Sissy's Country Corner; child's bedroom, Rachel B.Pavilack, Pavilack Design LLC; library, Mary D. Washington Questers; Empire sitting room, Jeanie Battistelli, Ashley Ryan, Jacqueline Fry and Joni Scarnechia, T.J. Maxx.
"'Holidays at the Mansion' is an Ohio Valley favorite, attracting nearly 16,000 visitors annually," Klug said.
Located in Oglebay Park, the Mansion and Glass museums are open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m Friday and Saturday. Guests should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to closing to allow time to tour. The museums will close at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve and are closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Holiday Art Show and Sale
Oglebay Institute's Holiday Art Show and Sale features nearly 30 vendors and hundreds of handcrafted items in a variety of styles and price ranges. Items include everything from paintings, pottery, stained glass and photography to jewelry, purses, scarves and gourmet goodies. Items are on display at Schrader Environmental Education Center in Oglebay Park. Additional items are available in Stifel Fine Arts Center's holiday gift shop, 1330 National Road, Wheeling.
"The selection is terrific," Klug said, "and so is the atmosphere. The holiday art show gives shoppers a break from traditional mall-type shopping and is a great way to support local artisans, buy American-made products and keep holiday shopping dollars in our local economy."
Sponsored by United Bank of West Virginia, the Holiday Art Show and Sale and the Stifel holiday gift shop continue through Saturday, Dec. 31. Admission to the shows is free. Items can be purchased and taken home the same day.
Schrader Center is open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. daily. Stifel Center is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and select evenings dependent upon classes and special events. For evening hours, call 304-242-7700. Both facilities are closed Christmas Day.
Oglebay Institute's School of Dance contributes to the holiday festivities by staging several productions of beloved holiday classic "The Nutcracker" at two Wheeling venues.
Performances take place at the Mansion Museum in Oglebay Park at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4; Sunday, Dec. 11 and Sunday, Dec. 18. Each show includes tea and photos with the cast; guests have an opportunity to tour the holiday decorating exhibit, "Home for the Holidays."
"The Nutcracker" will be performed at Towngate Theatre, 2118 Market St., Wheeling, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26.
"The Towngate shows are very popular," Klug said, "We strongly encourage people to reserve seats in advance."
Holiday Art Camps
"Holiday art camps allow children to express their creativity by producing holiday art projects that they can display in their homes or give away as gifts," Klug said. "Our art instructors guide them through fun, hands-on, age-appropriate projects that inspire creativity and capture the spirit of the season."
Camps take place at Stifel Fine Arts Center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, and Friday, Dec. 23, and are available for children in grades 1-4 and 5-8. Children can attend one or two days. Different projects will be created each day. Reservations are required by calling 304-242-7700.
"The camps are a lot of fun for the kids and a great help to busy parents who are working or busy with last-minute holiday errands," she said.
Caroling at the Mansion
A festive evening filled with old-fashioned holiday cheer takes place at the community carol sing outside the Mansion Museum from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16.
Carolers will gather on the front porch of the lavishly decorated Mansion Museum and sing a lively mix of traditional holiday tunes as well as some modern-day favorites. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served around a fire burning in an ice-carved chimney, which will help ward off the winter chill. It's free and open to people of all ages.
"Albert Einstein once said, 'Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.' That is our mission at Oglebay Institute, and we do that all year long," Klug commented. "Many people find the holiday season particularly inspiring so we strive to present a variety of programs this time of year that enrich the spirit, ignite creativity and inspire the imagination."
Klug said a complete listing of "holiday happenings at Oglebay Institute" is available on the organization's website at www.OIonline.com, and customer service representatives can be reached by calling 304-242-7700.