July 5, 2013 9:44:15 AM
The Columbus Arts Council is kicking off its series of July art camps next week.
On Monday, a variety of classes will be offered at the Rosenzweig Arts Center, ranging from ceramics to dance to drawing. The camp is open to children ages 5-10.
With so many classes to choose from, camp director Maria Andrews said the children get an opportunity to find out what speaks to them.
"They get to dabble in each and find out what they really like," Andrews said. "We try to include performing arts as well as visual arts."
Andrews said that with schools decreasing their art program, the summer camps are a unique experience.
"For the most part, a lot of the schools now are not offering visual arts. Even if they do, it's with so many other kids that the teachers don't really get to interact one-on-one. With ours, we try to limit the number of students and we also have assistants who are always interacting with the children. We just want the kids to experience art in many forms," she said.
Arts Council director Tina Sweetin agreed: "I think it just gives the children a chance to experience different things," she said.
Andrews said the attitude the children have toward art changes dramatically during the week.
"With drawing, a lot of kids come in thinking that they can't do it, so our teachers work hard to give them confidence. By the end, they're not professional but they're comfortable with it, knowing that that is something they could do instead of that scary thing out there that (they) don't want to try."
Sweetin added that the art camps have become a tradition for many local children.
"We have lots of kids that have been coming here since they were 5 years old and some of those are now 16 years old and are our teachers. We have a lot of kids that come back every year," she said.
Sweetin noted that art camps were also offered to middle school-aged children during the month of June.
"Maybe they learned a lot about photography at school, but this gives them a whole day to focus on photography so they get a more in-depth education," she said. "I think that it's really good for the kids because they're not getting that anywhere else. It gives them an idea of what they want to focus on as they move into junior high and high school."
For information of the arts camp, contact the Columbus Arts Council at (662) 327-2787.
Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @FowlerSarah
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