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Art Camp kicks off on Monday

Art Camp has officially started and this year it has a new home. Due to the construction of the Dallas Academy building, the camp has been moved to world renown artist Charlie “Tin Man” Lucas’s studio located at 9 Lauderdale Street.

“I volunteered my building to keep it going,” Lucas said.

The change of space was thought to have a drastic effect on the number of sign-ups for the program. However, to Lucas and other instructors’ surprise, a lot of students still signed up.

“We actually got more than we thought we would get,” he said. “That’s what shocked me.”

Lucas said this project is one that should be cherished in the community, and he couldn’t see it not continue to happen this year due to not having a space.

“When you can find a young mind that will come in and work with whatever you lay in front of them, then that’s the beauty of doing something.” Lucas said.

The camp teaches the students serval different kinds of art and Lucas said it teaches them life lessons as well.

“We teach them how to share with each other,” he said. “If one of them runs into problems another child will run over and help them.”

Lucas has been a part of the camp for 13 years and he said it is one of the most beautiful things that he is trying to do with his life.

There are students that travel from all over the country to attend the art camp, and according to Lucas they are excited to learn more about art and Selma while at camp.

“I only have two rules in my classroom, that you make something while you’re there and you survive the class,” Lucas said.

He said he has even learned things while teaching the class. The “Trojan Horse” piece that sits in the front of his studio was a collaborative effort of his classes during the camp. He said the students told him the story of how the Greeks snuck into Troy hidden in a wooden horse during the Trojan War.

“One kid asked me, because his dad works in air conditioning, ‘how did the soldiers breathe while in the horse’, so we put vent holes in the piece,” Lucas said.

He said by listening and adding those small details to the artwork, it allowed the students to have a voice and be able to express themselves while working with others.

“I want them to grow inside of what they are thinking,” Lucas said.

Art Camp left such an impression on Lucas’ former student Liz Brown, that she is now one of his fellow instructors. 

Brown said she has loved seeing the change over the years with the camp, and hopes it continues for many more years to come. The camp has two parts. Camp one is July 11-15 and camp two is June 9-13. Both camps are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. until noon. For more information on the camps call (334) 412-8550.