Art can be messy, beautiful, fun, and relaxing, but the best part is, there are no rules.
This is what keeps Oliver Lanam, 10, of Seymour, interested.
“You can do and do whatever you want,” he said as he painted a picture outside on the last day of the 8-10-year-old summer art camp Wednesday at the Southern Indiana Center. for the Arts at Seymour.
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Each week saw a different age group so kids aged 5 to 12 could attend.
Last week Lanam and 20 other children spent three days immersed in learning and creating art.
From drawing and painting to making crafts and even playing instruments, over 60 youth from the community attended the arts camp this year.
For many, it is a tradition.
“I’ve been coming to the art camp for probably three or four years now,” Lanam said.
Her favorite activities are drawing and painting.
“It doesn’t matter what you do,” he said. “You can’t really mess it up and you have to be creative. “
Lanam also enjoys making art at home.
“It’s just something I’m good at, and I really like it,” he said.
During the camps, students walked through the rotating stations and learned different artistic techniques, such as weaving, tie-dyeing with markers, and modeling with clay.
The camps are part of the educational outreach services of the center and are a way to interest and involve more young people in the arts.
Many favorite activity was Imagination Station, where supplies like Model Magic clay, pipe cleaners, Popsicle sticks, and googly eyes were provided and kids could let their imaginations run wild.
Max Vanderberghe, 7, and Chloe Jablonski, 8, both of Seymour, were eager to get their hands on clay.
“I can’t decide if I want to do something in 2D or 3D,” Vanderberghe said.
He then explained to the other children the difference between the two.
“2D is when something is flat,” he said. “3D is when it has sides. “
Jablonski said making art is one of his favorite things to do.
“It’s so much fun because you can do anything,” she said.
Music has also been a big part of the art camp experience this year. Campers worked with volunteer Leah Schneider on sight music reading and had the opportunity to play dulcimers, portable percussion instruments and choir chimes.
Hiro Suzuki, 9, of Seymour, said dulcimers were the most difficult instrument to learn.
“It was difficult,” he said, “I messed up every time.”
But he liked to play percussion instruments like the maracas and the triangle.
“I think I got pretty good at the end,” he said.
This year saw the return of the Camps at the Arts Center on North Ewing Street. Last year, volunteers took the camps out on the road, settling in area parks and other locations in the city and county.
The mobile art camps were a way for the center to cut costs and continue to offer arts education in the summer without having a paid director. Last month, the arts center hired Sean Hildreth from Seymour to fill the position.
The camps would not be possible without the members, donors and volunteers of the arts center and the many local businesses that sponsor them.
Each session was taught by community volunteers like Caroline Lucas, a student at Belmont University in Tennessee. She was back home in Seymour this summer and decided to help out at the camps.
Her aunt, Georgiann Coons, is a member of the SICA board of directors and also volunteers at the arts camp.
“I remember coming to art camp when I was a kid,” she said. “It’s great that our community is offering this because the kids can’t do a lot of crafts anymore. “
She encouraged all the students to have fun and not to worry if their plans were not like someone else’s.
“That’s the whole point of art, to express yourself as an individual,” she said. “It’s so much a matter of experience, and every time one of them says ‘I can’t do this’ I tell them ‘I know you can.'”