The Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia is a unique community center that presents visual arts and science exhibitions, as well as performing arts and is home to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. The 240,000 square foot Center features the Maier Foundation Performance Hall, the Walker Theater, and the state-of-the-art Avampato Discovery Museum, which is home to the Juliet Museum of Art, the Digital Dome, and two floors of interactive science exhibits.

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1.Background

Background  

The Maier Foundation Performance Hall is a 1,883 seat theater with outstanding acoustics and views, and the Walker Theater is a modern ‘black-box theater' that can seat more than 180 people. The state-of-the-art Avampato Discovery Museum is a large complex that features the Juliet Museum of Art, the Digital Dome, the Douglas V. Reynolds Intermezzo Café, and two floors of interactive science exhibits.

The Juliet Museum of Art is a contemporary museum that features a renowned permanent collection and temporary exhibitions, while the Digital Dome boasts state-of-the-art technology used to feature large format films and spectacular planetarium shows on a giant IMAX-style screen. The Douglas V. Reynolds Intermezzo Café is a casual café in the center that serves hot and cold snacks and beverages throughout the day.

The mission of the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia is to inspire creativity and wonder and promote education and learning through a range of innovative experiences in the Arts and Sciences.

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2.Avampato Discovery Museum

Avampato Discovery Museum  


The Clay Center's Avampato Discovery Museum is home to a permanent collection of art that contains over 800 pieces of art, primarily of works on paper by American artists from the 19th and 20th centuries, outstanding examples of outdoor sculptures, and other mediums. Famous works include Phil II (Handmade paper, 1982) by Chuck Close (b.1940), Masseur Tom (Oil on canvas, 1933) by Joseph Hirsch (1910 - 1981), and Portrait of Henry Gibbs (oil on canvas, 1670) by an unknown artist. The Avampato Discovery Museum also features 12,000 square feet of exhibition space across two floors.

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3.Digital Dome

Digital Dome  

The Clay Center's newly renovated Digital Dome features a planetarium that uses state-of-the-art technology to present shows about the cosmos, the night sky and the science of the stars. Milton Gardner's ‘Earth City' explores earth science in a unique way by traveling through a vintage roadside attraction. Mylan Exploratory is a versatile space that presents a wealth of immersive science exhibits throughout the year, Health Royale offers a different take on health science where visitors can guess x-rays, stretch intestines, and mimic unusual body noises. Kidspace is a dynamic space designed for children under the ages of five to promote cognitive growth through free play. STEAMworks is a new gallery that explores the fields of art, engineering, mathematics, science, and technology through award-winning displays and traveling exhibits.

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4.Educational Programs

Educational Programs  


The Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia offers a variety of educational programs, workshops, and classes for adults and children. Free family Art Workshops are held every Saturday from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm and focus on making pieces of art related to something on display in the Juliet Art Museum using a variety of mediums. Fun-filled family days throughout the year offer a range of family entertainment with themed science and art activities, while weekly ‘Wee Wednesdays' offer story time and related activities for preschoolers. The Clay Center Garden is an education garden and growing gallery that features many interactive activities, including a pollinator garden, a soup kitchen garden, and insect observation.

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5.Plan Your Trip

Plan Your Trip  


The Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia is located at One Clay Square in Charleston and is open Monday through Sunday (Museum closed on Mondays) at various hours. Parking is conveniently located on Washington Street, and handicap parking is available in the Clay Center parking lot in front of the building.

The Clay Center is available for hire for special functions and events from weddings and receptions to class reunions, conventions, and other celebrations. The Center offers a range of venues from the 1,883-seat Maier Foundation Performance Hall for large functions to the John McClaugherty Performer's Lounge for smaller and more intimate gatherings. Catering and beverages are provided exclusively by an on-site caterer with a variety of menu options to cater for every taste.

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One Clay Square, Charleston, West Virginia 25301, Phone: 304-561-3570

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Things to Do in Charleston, WV: Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences