Cemetery Conservation workshop to offer gravestone cleaning tips

On July 7, 2018, at 10:00am, those interested in learning how to conserve and restore gravestones! The workshop is part of West Virginia Association of Museums’ 2018 Educational Workshop Series and is in partnership with Adventures in Elegance.

Workshop leaders Rebekah Karelis, project manager at Wheeling Heritage, and Sarel Venter, Adventures in Elegance, LLC., will present their knowledge and experiences based on five years of work managing the Mt. Wood Cemetery Restoration project in Wheeling, WV, through a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation. Rebekah will focus specific attention reviewing the basic skills, tools, and techniques used in cemetery preservation and restoration as well as fundraising to cleaning; resetting monuments to surveying; grant opportunities and finding volunteers – she will cover it all!

We will then proceed to the cemetery where we will practice hands-on skills. The most positive aspect of learning to conserve gravestones at your local cemetery is that during the workshop, gravestones or small monuments will be stabilized and cleaned. We will pay special attention to gravestone cleaning techniques, discussing the proper tools and methods to use while keeping the gravestones condition in mind.

The safe cleaning techniques will be demonstrated on a gravestone which will benefit from the cleaning treatment and the workshop participants will be able to practice cleaning after the demonstration.

All attendees will learn how to perform the basic re-setting of a gravestone, which may be in a fallen, badly leaning, and or sunken condition. I will demonstrate methods of picking up and resetting monuments using a wooden tripod, lifting straps, and hoist.

The West Virginia Association of Museums was founded in 1990. The mission of the organization has been to serve, educate, advocate for, and enhance communications within the museum community. WVAM carries out this mission by listening to its members and serving their interests and by keeping the members abreast of current standards and activities on a national scale.

Cost to attend this workshop, which includes lunch, is $10 for WVAM members and $20 for non-members! Registration is required; please call or email Rebekah Karelis to register by July 5 or search Eventbrite or Facebook for the event. Contact: Rebekah Karelis, museumsofwv@gmail.com or 304-830-3485

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