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Port Orange Observer Wednesday, Jul. 12, 2017 3 years ago

Summer art camp for youth promotes learning, creativity

Almost 20 years later, the ArtHaus art camp is still going strong.
by: Nichole Osinski Community Editor

It may still be summer, but that hasn't stopped some students from participating in seven weeks of art-related learning.

The students are getting art lessons, as well as a little bit of art history during the ArtHaus Summer Camp, which is for children ages four to 14 years old. Each year the camp has a different theme and each week the theme changes as well. This year is "The Magical Land of Art," while the week's theme is "Go Native." 

To go along with the theme, Art Teacher Marla Basli has been teaching the students how to make Milagros—folk charms usually used for religious purposes. 

"They chose something that is important to them or something that has influenced them in their life," Basli said. "They're making two—one for themselves and one to give to someone special."

The charms, made out of clay, are tied into the "Go Native" theme. Basli said for her it's about the origin of different cultures and that the Milagros have been important for people throughout the world for a long time. She added that the students are using information they've learned to depict their creations in a way they want. 

This week's session has 10 students in the morning and four in the afternoon. According to ArtHaus Executive Director Laurie Gomon Ring, the summer camps, which began in the last 90's, bring in 100 to 165 students each year. The first camps were held in the art department at Spruce Creek High School where Gomon Ring taught and where the concept of ArtHaus was also born and developed.

On Thursday, August 3, after the camp is completed at the end of July, the ArtHaus gallery will be opened and the students' art will be shown during a reception. 

ArtHaus Office Manager Lori Kunsman said the camp is a way to help children with expression. She noted many children can be found "working things out through their artwork." As for the classes themselves, Kunsman said it's about each student's experience. 

"A lot of attention is drawn to things other than art, and what this does, and the classes do, is they take it from learning about art to creating it," Kunsman said. "It gives them the whole experience from beginning to end what it would be like to be an artist."


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