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Summer Art Camp for Kids

Janeen Vick shows Carly Gage how to use salt to create a sparkly effect. The Pilot/Bill Schlichting
The Summer Art Camp for Kids may have come to a close, but it is only the beginning for many of the fledgling artists.

The students, ages 7 to 14, have been learning about painting for three days a week at the Masonic Lodge since the course began June 21.

Local artist Janeen Vick, with the help of high school students Brianne Dodgen and Elisa Jory, began by teaching the children  about the parts of a paint brush and palette and how to take care of them. Then they tried their hand at painting with watercolor paints using the basic primary colors of red, yellow and blue. Next the campers made new colors by mixing those primary colors to make orange, green and purple.  

Children said that art camp is fun because they get to draw their own pictures. Vick also helps them choose new things to paint out of an “idea box.”

By the end of the camp on Wednesday, as many as 25 children who took part in the camp were painting pictures, with little help from Vick, using the various techniques she has shown them over the past weeks.

Some of the children did not want the camp to end, Vick said. However, she informed them that they are welcome to take part in the after-school camp beginning in October at the Manley Arts Center.

In addition to the paintings on paper, the children also had the opportunity to put their graffiti on a railroad boxcar.

Tony Parrish of the Stout Mountain Railway invited the class to paint a G-scale model railroad boxcar representing the Second Saturday Art Walk and the Summer Art Camp for Kids.

“The kids were so excited to be a part of this fun project that they couldn’t be held back,” Vick said. “I let them paint whatever they wanted, so the car is full of great designs and colorful work.” 

Painting the boxcar presented a challenge because the students were taught to use watercolor, but acrylic paint had to be used on the model. “But the kids stepped up their talent and painted an amazing car for your viewing.”

Although the camp is over, the children will learn more about art – how to display it. Their work will be on display at the Manley Art Center, 433 Oak St., during the month of August. The public is welcome to view the art when the center is open – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

People may also view the art during Second Saturday Art Walk from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Manley Art Center and Gallery. The boxcar will be on display at the nearby Stout Mountain railroad park.

“Some of the kids have volunteered to be your docents and will be happy to tell you all about the art pieces,” Vick said.

Vick began the Summer Art Camp for Kids five years ago and, she said, has been teaching it with continued success.

The challenge this year was the large number of children who wanted to attend, but came from families who didn’t have the money.

“I told them all to just come anyway and we would find a way to pay,” Vick said.

Finding a way happened, thanks to people who walked up and handed her money.

“Without people like you, this year would not have been so successful,” Vick said.

She added that the camp would not have been possible without grants, donations and scholarships received from the Wild Rivers Summer Grant Program, Festival of the Arts, Glenn Dobrusky Scholarship, Pelican Bay Arts Association, Masonic Temple Shriners and several private donations.


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