Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pop Art

messy stuff
Last week EM attended Kids' College at Susquehanna University for his third year. JT thought last summer was his last opportunity because he had reached the age limit. But then, <Hooray!>, they added a teen camp week and he was allowed to attend again this summer. JT's week of camp was the last week of June. As this was the first year for the teen camp, it was only half a day long. EM went for the full day version. Both of the boys love the Kids' College environment. The instructors are excellent teachers who do their best to make learning fun and sometimes that means things get messy.

Every year the camp is broken up into two parts, the morning sessions and the optional afternoon session. This year's morning sessions were Pop Rules!, Into the West, and Imagineering. The afternoon session is a more in depth focus on one topic. This year EM chose the Pop Tools! art class over the Curtain Up! acting class. This session was an extension of the morning class Pop Rules! that explored the culture of the United States during the decades of the1950s to the 1990s. The afternoon class specifically looked at the art of the decade of the day. Monday was action painting, explored through the work of Jackson Pollock. As a parent, I was a bit irritated by the state of EM's clothes when I picked him up, but as a parent, I was also thrilled by the excitement he expressed over what he had learned in that class.

No surprise there!
Once I saw the theme, I had fun guessing what kind of art they would be doing the following day. I hit it right on the nose with Andy Warhol for Tuesday. EM made a cool print of Coke cans. Unfortunately, I can't share because he worked his name into the image. But, I can show you the signs the teacher made for the art show the students held for the parents on Friday.

crafty work
On Wednesday they worked on crafts of the 1970s and EM tried his hand at macrame. He also insisted that he wear his 1960s beads and bracelets that he made Tuesday. I drew the line at the headband. I may have a budding hippie in my home!

Thursday they focused on graffiti art. Each child was given a piece of plywood and cans of spray paint. They worked outside and wore eye protection. EM told me he only did a little painting because he didn't like the fumes. I'm surprised he did it at all considering his sensitivities to smells.

I'm a wall artist!
The final day was his favorite. The theme was futurism. EM made a robot from wood scraps using a glue gun. When I arrived for the art show, he proudly told me, "I got to use a hot glue gun and I burned myself two times! It was great!"

It's sometimes hard for me to find things that really excite EM. He's probably the most observant, yet quietest child out of my three. But this week it was obvious that art, especially art involving things like dangerous hot glue guns, was right up his alley. His recent success in a pottery class also points to his ability with the arts.

one-eyed robot
I will be looking into further opportunities for him this school year. I can handle some art instruction, but I think it may be time to outsource to help him develop his talent in this area.

As always, the end of Kids' College week was a let-down for the boys. I'm so thankful to have such a terrific program available in our area. Can't wait for next summer so they can get messy again!

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