The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, 800 Front St. will host “Honoring Elvin Shields: Twisted Wire Sculpture” Saturday, Oct. 16 from 2-3:30 p.m.
Dr. Shane Rasmussen will interview Elvin Shields about his experiences as a traditional twisted wire toy maker in the Cane River region. The event will include a ceremony, in which Shields will be honored as a Louisiana tradition bearer.
Shields is a twisted wire toy maker from the Cane River plantations. As a child of sharecroppers, he started making toys at the age of 5. He left the plantation in 1967 after high school graduation and joined the Army for a four-year tour of duty. He returned to Natchitoches after retiring as a mechanical engineer with 32 years of experience.
He then became a volunteer for the U.S. Park Service at Oakland Plantation where he teaches young people the art of toy making. He also speaks to Park visitors about growing up as a child of sharecroppers. In 2012 he restored his childhood 1860 slave cabin at Oakland Plantation as a sharecropper’s museum. Since 2013, he has participated in the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival and the Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival.
This program is free and open to the public. State regulations regarding masks and physical distancing will be followed.
Visit www.louisianastatemuseum.org or call (318) 357-2492 for more information.