Art Camp spawns ideas

Published 1:10 am Saturday, June 18, 2011

Students skip to music before assuming yoga poses during the Beaufort County Arts Council’s Art Camp on Friday at the Washington Civic Center. (WDN Photo/Jonathan Clayborne)

Around 80 children danced, crafted masks, played musical instruments and created with relative abandon this week at the Washington Civic Center and the N.C. Estuarium.
The Beaufort County Arts Council’s 2011 Art Camp brought together these children and a paid staff of 15, including six professional arts instructors.
The instructors used their class time to teach the children, of ages ranging from prekindergarten to sixth grade, the arts fundamentals and more.
“It’s a program that gives a little more detailed instruction in various art forms,” said Joey Toler, executive director of the arts council.
This year, the annual event extended from Gladden Street’s Civic Center, where most of the classes were held on a rotating basis, to the waterfront’s Estuarium, where pupils worked with Linda Boyer on cobbling together environmental art a stone’s throw from the Pamlico River.
The other disciplines in Art Camp’s scope were music, creative dramatics, creative movement and visual art.
Friday was the final day of Art Camp, which began Monday.
Upstairs, on the Civic Center’s mezzanine, instructor Boo Whichard taught the camp’s 4- and 5-year-old participants with the help of a special guest – her pet chameleon, Carlos.
“The kids love him,” Whichard said.
Under the watchful eyes of Whichard, and the color-changing Carlos, these youngest campers made snakes out of old neckties and fashioned paper crowns, all preparatory to a show for their parents or guardians.
Downstairs, Vail Rumley, chairwoman of the arts council board and a yoga instructor, led a handful of young dancers in creative movement.
In a conference room, East Carolina University theater-education student Bethany Bondurant took her charges on a journey through a storybook, and then assisted them in making masks to represent the characters in the story.
In another conference room, artist Carolyn Sleeper guided her group through the final touches on some homemade picture frames.
And, on the stage in the auditorium, music teacher Neva Cashion conducted a team of tiny musicians on xylophone-like instruments.
Registration for the weeklong Art Camp costs $80 apiece for members of the arts council, or $90 for nonmembers. This cost covers tuition, supplies, a daily snack and an Art Camp T-shirt.
“It’s a program that, every year, I consider changing up and doing something different,” Toler said. “The kids love it. It’s new to them every year. So, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”