Pop Artist Brings Free Workshops to Valley

During upcoming workshops with collage artist Michael Albert, kids will learn it’s not just the Rice Krispies that pop, but artwork made from the cereal box can pop, too.

Albert will bring his 2015 Pop Enrichment Tour to 44 venues in 10 states this summer, including several stops in Ohio and Marshall counties.

The White Plains, N.Y., collage-pop artist is making a return trip to the Ohio Valley the week of June 15. He will bring cardboard boxes from various brands of cereal, granola bars, frozen pizza, soda (or should we say “pop”?), cookies and crackers for children to craft into collage artwork. He will have many examples of his colorful creations on hand as well, and each participant at his workshops will receive a signed poster that depicts a compilation of his work.

On Monday, June 15, Albert will be at the New Martinsville Public Library from 10 a.m. to noon. Advanced registration is required; call 304-455-4545.

Also Monday, June 15, Albert will conduct workshops at two Wheeling locations. From 2-5 p.m., he will be at the Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley, 1000 Main St. And at 6 p.m., he will pop over to the Ohio County Public Library, 52 16th St.

The Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library, the Benwood-McMechen Public Library and the Cameron Public Library will host Albert on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 16-17. On June 16, the Cameron Library program will be from 2-4 p.m., and the Benwood-McMechen program will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. On June 17, the Moundsville program will be from 10 a.m.-noon.

All the programs are free and will begin with a short presentation by the artist/author followed by a hands-on cereal box collage workshop. The Moundsville library also will have an exhibition of Albert’s work.

Copies of Albert’s book, “An Artist’s America” (Henry Holt, 2008) also will be available for purchase at each venue.

The Marshall County events are sponsored by the Evan G. Roberts Trust through BB&T Bank.

Albert’s cereal odyssey began in 1996 when instead of throwing away an empty Frosted Flakes cereal box, he turned it into original art. Albert is also the founder of Sir Real, a brand of organic all-natural fruit juices with packaging that features his artwork.

Merging the pop culture of consumer packaging with art, and merging art with natural foods, was a “green” accident waiting to happen, since the business school graduate sought to give his natural creativity an outlet that was also good for the environment and the consumer.

Albert makes frequent appearances at libraries, schools and other venues, offering presentations and workshops to share his enthusiasm for art, learning, imaginative recycling and creativity with a conscience.

As a father and businessman, he is especially committed to helping children and “all-work-no-play” adults release their inner artist while inspiring them to treat each other and the planet kindly. According to Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library officials, his programs are, above all, just plain fun.