Messy Fun: Students enjoy learning about art at camp


A series of camps this summer is helping children explore the arts in a fun and entertaining way without any of the stress related to traditional classroom learning.

Nev Cockerham, 10, of Seymour, attended Southern Indiana Center’s art camp last week and took that message to heart.

Her favorite part was “getting (her) hands messy with the paint or clay,” she said while she enjoyed all of the activities.

The experience also gave her the opportunity to explore her own creativity.

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“You can paint whatever you want and it doesn’t matter if it’s good or not,” Cockerham said.

She and 14 others students in grades 4 through 6 worked their way through three art stations last Tuesday morning at the center on Seymour’s far north side.

The center has been the site for four camps for different age groups this summer with one more planned in mid July. Each camp featured a series of age-appropriate projects for attendees.

“We did both two-dimensional and three-dimensional art,” teen volunteer May Huff said. “We had them do various things like make word art or emoji art.”

Tommy Anderson, 12, another student in the class, worked in the pottery barn to make a box out of clay.

“Well, at first I wasn’t very artistic, so I hope I’ll be better by the time we leave,” he said.

Anderson said he enjoyed making pottery the most of the camp’s offerings.

Brynn Burton, 9, agreed, but said her favorite project of the week was making emoji artwork. Emojis are symbols used in texting.

Huff said the children all seem to have fun at the camps.

“… and that’s the important part,” she said.

The first camp, conducted June 5 to 9, had 33 students in preschool and kindergarten. The following week, 27 children in first through third grades participated in a camp and 15 more children attended camp the third week.

The decreasing number of students was a double-edged sword in the opinion of Kay Fox, a resident artist at the center and one of the teachers for the art camps.

“I like getting to work with smaller classes and spending more individual time with the students, but we also don’t want to have too few students,” she said. “The more we can help, the better.”

Huff agreed with Fox and said the center could always use more volunteers to help as well.

Volunteers are kept busy and really help make the camps worthwhile, they said.

“There’s so much to do, but we do it all,” volunteer Amanda Neal said. “We had so many kids the first weeks that it was hard to get around.”

Huff, who works at the center on weekends, said she did a lot of the preparation for the camps each morning.

“I come in at 8:30 a.m. and check people in and make sure they’re all accounted for, get them ID badges, and we all work to keep an eye on them and help them from station to station,” she said.

The art center also has its first full-day camp scheduled for July 10-11 for students in fourth grade and up.

The camps will feature stations with six different instructors teaching a variety of projects ranging from graffiti art, print making, basket weaving and other 2D and 3D mediums.

For information about the center and its programs, call 812-522-2278 or e-mail [email protected].

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