By TRAVIS MORSE email@example.com
---- — MT. VERNON – As the oldest of six children, 13-year-old Katelyn Ashby of Mt. Vernon is used to having to share.
But participating in the annual Cedarhurst Summer Art Camp has given Ashby the chance to create artwork that is just for her and she has gained much from the experience.
“I think the best part about it for me is getting to create something new that is entirely my own,” said Ashby, who will start her fourth year at the camp this July. “It's been one of the best times of my life, honestly.”
Registration is still open for the camp, which teaches children about painting, drawing, clay work, paper-mache and other types of art.
There will be three themes this year that correspond to different weeks of the camp. They include Dinosaur Week, Outer Space Creatures and Time Travel through Art.
Children ages 7 to 12 can attend any of the classes in the first three weeks. Also during that time, there will be a class for children ages 1 ½ to 3 and a class for ages 4 to 6. Week 1 begins July 9.
Week 4, which runs from July 30 to Aug. 1, is for ages 13 to 18.
“Since this is a summer program and we see the students for a short amount of time, we want the camp to be fun,” said Carrie Gibbs, director of the Shrode Art Center. “The main thing is fun and then educational experience.”
Camp organizers hope to foster a love of art in the children who attend. Participants learn how to use art materials, different ways of mixing colors, applying paint to the canvas, how to use oil pastels and more.
“We try to use art materials that are unique that they may not be exposed to,” Gibbs said.
Nancy Karch is the grandmother of Katelyn Ashby and her younger sister, Ellyn Ashby, 10. Both Katelyn and Ellyn will attend this year's camp. Like Katelyn, this is Ellyn's fourth year at the camp as well.
“They love art,” Karch said of her granddaughters. “It's given them a lot more understanding of the types of art. They've learned a lot about abstracts, pottery. … We appreciate Cedarhurst doing the programs.”
Ellyn said she looks forward to “getting to make new things” and “learning more about art” at this year's camp.
The program typically draws 75 to 100 children each year. The average cost to attend is $40 per class, but there are scholarship opportunities for those who can't afford the fee, Gibbs said.
To qualify for a scholarship, you must submit a letter to Cedarhurst Center for the Arts explaining why you wish to receive financial help.
Interested parties are encouraged to call and register soon as class sizes are limited. To do so, contact Cedarhurst at 242-1236, ext. 248.