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[art and craft with paper]Ohio Craft Museum: Summer art camps’ return to in-person format is like ‘A Day at the Beach’

  Mackenzie Malloy, 7, makes a coral reef during

  The youngsters couldn’t contain their enthusiasm as they shared their?creations.

  While they were participating in the Ohio Craft Museum’s “A Day at the Beach” art camp?–?creating coral reefs using such materials as pipe cleaners, scraps of paper and string to create the habitats on their reefs?– it got to be a little noisy.

  ”They get so excited,” instructor McKenzie Johnston-Green said to a visitor?before telling the students they needed to settle down a bit.

  ”But that’s what makes this so much fun,” she said. “It’s their energy and excitement about being able to create something using their own imagination and creativity.”

  And it’s wonderful to have the students back in the museum, Ohio Craft Museum education coordinator Phyllis Walla-Catania said.

  The summer art camps for elementary-age students and teens again are being held in-person at the craft museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave. in Columbus. Last year’s camps were canceled because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

  Reagan Kopp, 10, of Upper Arlington works on her seashell mosaic during

  ”We really missed having the students here,” Walla-Catania said. “It’s so great hearing their voices and seeing their faces again.”

  In 2020, the craft museum provided a total of five summer art boxes that youngsters and their families could purchase. Each box contained four theme-related arts-and-crafts projects they could work on at home.

  Each craft box was earmarked for a particular week, which would begin with a Zoom check-in session held by an instructor and end on a Friday with youngsters showing via Zoom the projects they had created during the week.

  ”Last year we had more participants than usual, actually. We sold about 180 boxes,” Walla-Catania said. “The pandemic had something to do with that, I think. There were so many camps and activities that were canceled, people were looking for things their children could do at home.”

  This year’s in-person sessions are nearly normal, with some modifications, she said.

  Many youngsters are continuing to wear masks during the weeklong camps, and the number of participants for each session has been limited to 16, Walla-Catania said. No daylong camps are being held this year. Students attend either a morning or afternoon session.

  Maddy Thompson, 9, works on her seashell mosaic during

  In normal years, parents are invited to attend an art show displaying students’ work on Fridays as the camp would wrap up.

  Those exhibitions are not being held this year, but funds from the Columbus Foundation are paying for an instructor who puts together a slideshow of students’ work from each camp for parents to view online, Walla-Catania said.

  Take-home art boxes also are available this summer for families who might not yet feel comfortable about having their children attend an in-person program, she said.

  The art camps offer youngsters an opportunity to “exercise their creative muscles,” Walla-Catania said. “Art gives them a chance to think and create something on their own, using their own ideas and imagination.”

  The program could serve as a complement to the art instruction they receive at school?or provide access to art education if their school does not offer art classes, she said.

  The return to in-person camps gives students an opportunity to interact with other youngsters who share their enthusiasm about art, Walla-Catania said.

  Pictured is a coral reef made by participants of

  During the week of July 12, youngsters in grades 1-6 participated in “A Day at the Beach,” a camp where they created beach-inspired art using the elements of sun, sand and water.

  Roger Purkey, 9, was attending his first art camp.

  ”I was curious about the kind of things we’d get to create,” he said.?

  He likes doing art projects because he gets to use his imagination, said Roger, who?particularly enjoyed the coral-reef project.?

  It was fun using simple objects like pipe cleaners to create the reefs, he said.

  Maddie Gluvna, 7, said she likes creating art because there’s no wrong way to go.

  ”It’s just being able to do what you want to do,” she said.

  Another fun thing about art is that the artist doesn’t always know how it will turn out, said Maddie, who began cutting up a toilet-paper roll, thinking she would be creating a whale, she said.

  ”But then I thought it looked better as a big wave,” Maddie said.?

  Although no more openings for the morning session of the next art camp, “Crafty Critters” (July 26-30) are available, openings remain for the final art camp of the summer, “Recyclart,” which will be held Aug. 2-6 at the museum.

  More information about the summer art camps and registration is available at ohiocraft.org/education/summer-camps-2021.Information about purchasing art-camp boxes to go also is?on the website. Each box costs $50.

  afroman@thisweeknews.com

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