Art camp inspires children

Young artists have the opportunity this week to express themselves at a local art camp.

The Riverside Art Center, in Wapakoneta, is hosting an art camp at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ this week where the students can work with clay, paints and oils.

“The whole focus is to give them inspiration and to let them use their own imagination,” Riverside Art Center Gallery Director and art camp co-instructor Anna Fisher said. “We want them to make it their own piece.”

The theme for the fifth annual art camp is “Find Your Artist Eye” and Fisher and co-instructor Maia Fisher have the students working on may pieces that focus on expressing their own personality.    

Among painting clay masks, oil pastel portraits and clay figurines, the students have been exposed to a wide variety of color and objects to use to display their talents.

“I want them to look at something and make it their own project,” Fisher said.

The camp, which has students ranging from 7 to 12 years of age, shows the students how to be creative and use their own personality in each piece they make.

Nine-year-old Stephanie Sorensen said she enjoyed working on a project that involved taking random, everyday objects, gluing them together and painting it one solid color.

“I like picking up random things and putting them together,” Sorensen said, “and making different creations.”

This type of artwork was similar to art that artist Louise Nevelson used in do in the 1960s. She would find random objects outside, on the streets and in her home and incorporate all of the pieces together, like a “lost and found” type of art.

Sorensen said that the class had a giant bag of items to choose from to create their artwork.

But Sorensen said her favorite artwork to create this week was the clay mask.

“You decorate it and you can either wear it or hang it up on the wall,” Sorensen said.

She used strawberries, flowers and a “W” for Wapakoneta to decorate her mask. She said that these items help to describe her personality.

Eight-year-old Delaney Jordan also enjoyed making the masks.

“I liked painting the masks because it was just really fun,” Jordan said, “and I like doing stuff with clay.”

This is Jordan’s first time participating in the art camp, and she said she is having fun.

“Art is my favorite thing to do,” Jordan said.

Madison Saam said she loves to play with clay.

“It’s fun to sculpt,” Saam said. “I learned a lot this week.”

The 7-year-old said the class decorated a Wapakoneta Daily News newspaper box, which will be placed in Wapakoneta to dispense newspapers.

The class had the opportunity to either use a hand print or paint brush to help decorate the box with numerous colors of paint.

“I just did a hand print, and now I’ll take a brush and paint,” Saam said.

The newspaper box, which says “Riverside Art Center-Art Camp 2012” will soon be displayed in the area.

Ten-year-old Quinn Mathieson said there is much to love at art camp.

“I’ve loved everything here,” Mathieson said. “This is one of my favorite camps in my whole life.”

Mathieson has always had a passion for art, ever since she was 4.

“My mom bought me paint sets and she would call me her little ‘Picasso,’” Mathieson said.

After art camp, Mathieson plans to go to the store and buy art supplies, and she said she is going to make figurines out of clay and paint an old bookshelf at her house.

Fisher said the students are excited about each project and she hopes they can bring these ideas home with them and create new art projects.

“These are things they could find around the house and do on their own,” Fisher said.