Children’s Art Camp: ‘Art Camp is Torture, this is Fun!’

Marianne Hilke, a long-time art enthusiast and instructor, is teaching the four-day-long children’s art camp at Daysprings which started Monday.

The camp is from 10-11:45a.m. with a snack break intermission. Each day the children watch a short video about a famous artist which is followed by art projects done with graphite, pastel, crayon and colored pencil.

Today, the students, aged 7-9, learned about critically acclaimed artists Pierre Renoir and Walt Disney – then used colored pencil to recreate a Renoir painting and graphite to sketch Mickey or Minnie Mouse.

“The children get to do fun and creative things while simultaneously learning about art and socializing with others with the same interests,” Hilke stated.

Yesterday the students learned about Leonardo Da Vinci and took a photo of the Mona Lisa and “remodeled” her to look modern – some of the children added accessories like headphones and hats to the picture while some added makeup to give her a modern appearance.

The students also partake in word games to incite creativity; today the theme was animal combinations. Hilke asked the students to draw what they believe two animals put together would look like, one of the examples was a mouse and snake.

One of the students said the combination animals “look wacky!”

Hilke said she is surprised by the turn out. “I didn’t really know what to expect since this is the first time we’ve done this – the students are having a great time, and I really couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

When it was time to pack up Hilke said something regarding the art camp – which another student replied “art camps are torture – this is fun!”

Hilke hopes that because of the positive response, the camps will become a regular thing ran throughout the school year two Saturdays a month.

“Schools don’t teach art enough – and when they do it’s hardly enough time for the students to learn anything. At least this way the students are doing at least two projects a day.”

Tomorrow the students will “graduate” from the camp and will take home a portfolio full of their art created during the past four days.

Photos by Cassandra Douglas/

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