Milligan College opens the world of art to children
Children from all around the region had the opportunity to explore different art forms during the annual Summer Arts Camp at Milligan College this week.
The camp, which has been held for more than 20 years and is the original art summer day camp for East Tennessee, offered lessons in art, drama, music, creative movement and creative writing during the week-long event for children age 7-13.
Camp Director Keith Hertzog explained the students attend six classes each day. The theme for the summer arts camp this year was “Art Games.”
“The teachers are given a broad interpretation of the theme,” Hertzog said. “They could choose to incorporate the theme however they wanted to. They could choose to introduce art through games or fun or talk about how art is used in games.”
The camp employs certified teachers who work in arts in local schools or through independent academies. Classes this year were general art by Joanne Pasqua for older children and Cathy Walsh for younger children; Art Games with David Nutter; music with Carlene Eastridge; Acting Up with Marcia Ross; and Word Games with Janet Hertzog.
“The camp provides children with a chance for creative exploration,” Hertzog said. “It is a one-week introduction to the major art areas; drama, art, music and literature. It gives them that introduction in a fun way.”
On Wednesday in the general art class for younger students, the children made transparent plastic sculptures and abstract clay sculptures. The students painted the sculptures after they were finished to give them their own creative flair.
In the Word Art class, students worked on completing word game projects. Students were working to build 3D block letters, a Scrabble-style game board with their name and adjectives describing them and story cubes.
Student Eli Simpson explained how the group made the story cubes. Each student was given several small wooden blocks, which they then sanded and painted. The students placed a different stamp on each side of the cube. When dried, the students will roll the cubes and come up with a story based on what they see.
Eleven-year-old Preston Trent was already using his story cubes and coming up with his own stories.
“I just like rolling the cubes and seeing what comes up,” Trent said. “Each time is different and it is fun to see what I can come up with.”
In the general art for older children class, Pasqua was leading the children in making clay “pinch pots” and a yarn God’s Eye; an ancient symbol made by the Huichol Indians. The students would also be making wire sculptures and Duct tape wallets or purses, with the Duck Tape donated by Can-Tech.
Pasqua said she enjoyed watching the students get excited and develop a pride in their artwork.
“Some of the students are so proud of what they do,” she said. “The younger students get so excited when they are working on a project and they watch it transform.
This year, about 125 students signed up to be a part of the art camp. Most were from around the region, but one came from Ohio and another was from Nashville.
Hertzog pointed out that many of the students returned each year after attending for the first time.
“In our younger classes, two have been here before and the rest are new students,” he said. “In the older classes, only one student is new. The rest are repeaters.”
Emma Wallen is one of those repeaters: she has been coming to the camp for the past four years.
“I like it here,” she said. “I have friends that come to camp and the programs are great. My favorite was when we played Family Feud as the Tortoise and the Hare in Acting Up. I love game shows and I love Aesop’s Fables so to get them both in one game was really fun.”
The camp ended Friday with a closing program in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium in Milligan’s Seeger Memorial Chapel.
Later this summer, Milligan will host the annual Fine Arts Summer Academy, which is in its fifth year, for high school students from July 13-18. Spaces are still available in that arts academy.
This week-long residential camp is an opportunity for high school students to cultivate their talents on campus while earning dual enrollment college credit.
The Fine Arts Academy welcomes students from all over the country, and participants choose from three concentrations including music, theater and digital media, including digital photography, videography and graphic design.
To learn more about Milligan’s upcoming Fine Arts Academy, visit www.milligan.edu/artsacademy or call 800-262-8337.