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Camp offers variety, encouragement

Budding artists of varying ages are honing their skills — or discovering them — this week through the Selma Ceramic Art Program’s 2009 Art Camp.

“We want to foster a program where children in Selma can be a exposed to a variety of areas of art,” said Selma Ceramic Art Program Director Candi Duncan.

The camp offers courses in glazed ceramic bowls and stained ceramic holiday items, pottery, macramé’, weaving, watercolor painting and drawing, oil painting, gyotaku (image of a fish) and batik (wax-resist dyeing technique on textile), printmaking, marbleizing, calligraphy, scrap booking, wire art, gift bag construction, card making, photo tinting and sewing.

“It’s hard and fun,” said Mallory Freine, a fifth-grader at Meadowview Christian. “I like the accomplishment.”

Duncan said the best part about the program is that its list of offerings is enticing to artists of all skill levels and niches. There are participants that have never taken part in a project that may discover a talent as well as those who make an annual return to hone their craft.

““They can’t do anything wrong here. They have a good time. There’s a place for everybody here,” said Duncan. “Amazingly, a lot of times when they come to camp . . . they’ll keep coming until they learn how to drive a car.”

Jordan Smith is a prime candidate for that category. She entered the program three years ago, but her family moved to Birmingham the following year. Now, visits to her grandparents, Karl and Rebecca Smith, are scheduled around art camp.

“You get to have a lot of fun,” said Smith. “Some people that aren’t really that interested in art often have a good time here because there are so many different kinds, you’re going to find something you like.”

The hottest debate topic among the students does not involve colors or weaving patterns. It deals with a camp project that follows the pattern Of Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas’ art. Lucas is best known for creating his pieces from scraps and a number of items that are often cast out.

The debate is over the type of animal under construction — horse or dinosaur.

“I think I see them growing in a way that they cannot only appreciate shiny thing, but things that have been cast off and thrown away,” said Lucas. “That’ s a beautiful thing. It’s just so good that they can see so much in the heads of themselves. “

This week’s camp, which ends Friday, is the first of two that the Selma Ceramic Art Program will conduct this summer. The second camp will take place July 13-17. Contact 874-2143 for more information.