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First session of art camp begins

By Mary Stewart | The Selma Times-Journal

The Dallas Academy building was bursting with activity this week with the first session of Selma’s Ceramics Arts Program.

The children attending the camp worked on all sorts of fun activities including origami, painting and drawing. Others spent time with Charlie Lucas “Tin Man” to create original toys.

“When you look around here, you will see that each one is original because the kids are making their own things,” Lucas said.

Lucas has been helping with art camp since 2004, and he loves seeing the kids’ creativity every year.

“I come to see the new minds of kids,” Lucas said. “Teaching them how to make their own toys is a reward for me. It’s just great to come into this program to help a kid through something that is so easy to do because we are making it from scrap.”

Many of the kids said their favorite project was the toys they made with “Mr. Charlie.”

Rebecca Stewart, who is attending art camp for the second year, said she was having so much fun and doing a lot of projects.

“I love art because it’s something unique, and you don’t have to stress about,” Stewart said.

Preshiya McReynolds, another art camp attendee, said she also loves art because it is creative.

“You get to express your feelings by painting,” McReynolds said.

Candi Duncan, the director of art camp, has enjoyed seeing the first group of campers learn more about different types of art.

“Well, it’s great thing for Selma to have,” Duncan said. “It’s a wonderful thing for our community to have this many different instructors, and that the children will be exposed to so many different areas of arts and crafts.”

Duncan said they still have spots open in the next camp in July.

“We would love to get some more kids in our next camp because we have lots of wonderful projects for them to do,” Duncan said.

Liz Brown, an instructor at the camp, echoed Duncan’s enthusiasm to filling their next camp.

Brown has been volunteering at art camp for 10 years — or about half her life.

“When I started helping out here at 11, the person that I was helping with really encouraged art with me,” Brown said. “It’s always been very helpful and changed a lot in my life, not just on the professional level but also working with kids. Personally, it helped with getting through some of those hard times.”

Brown talked about how much she enjoys art camp and working with the kids each year.

“It’s always the best. I love it. The kids are incredibly creative and inspiring,” Brown said.

“There are times where they will start working on a project, and they have this brilliant idea to try something that we never even thought of.”

Brown is passionate about art and has plans to open an arts and crafts studio in Selma.

“I just want to be able to inspire people and encourage people with their art so that they can find the joy that I’ve found in it,” she said.

Brown is thankful for art camp because the teachers there encouraged her to explore art.

“It’s a great place to meet people, make friends and a perfect opportunity to jump start something that can change the rest of your life and make it even more beautiful than it already is,” Brown said.

Camp two will run from July 10-14.

The camps cost $125 each, but scholarships may become available.

For more information, call 412-8550, 874-2143 or 875-2193.