It’s summer, but they seemed perfectly happy to be back at school.
Six artistic children from Humboldt have been taking summer art classes at St. Augustine School, taught by two local artists, Annah Gullacher and Taylor Crozon.
The children, who range in age from eight to 12, have been exploring different ways of making art during these summer camp art sessions. They’ve been drawing and sculpting, doing some stop motion animation, and will be trying out sun painting before the summer is over.
On August 2, when the Journal stopped by, the kids were wrist-deep in charcoal, experimenting with both drawing and painting with that medium.
Gullacher showed off the clay sculptures the kids had made of different body parts — some hands, and even some heads — and the molds they made with clay and silicon to pour plaster in, as she talked about what they’ve been doing this summer.
“A huge variety of things,” she grinned.
By the end of the summer, they will have held six classes in total, each three hours in length.
That’s quite a lot of time for these youngsters to devote to art, she noted.
Not all of their sessions have been held at the school, either. For one, they took the kids out to Gullacher’s farm, where they had a lesson in landscape installation. They found things at the farm that they later put together into different sculptures.
They will also be doing sun painting, Gullacher said, where you use light sensitive paint, fabric and objects, and place them out in the sun.
The fabric bleaches out where you place the object, she explained, so you get a portrait of what’s on top.
In their final class, the students will be working on their free project.
“They get to choose what they do,” Gullacher said.
Both Gullacher and Crozon are visual artists who are working on degrees. Gullacher has her visual art degree in sculpture and is currently obtaining her education degree, while Crozon is two years into her arts degree in new media.
During the summer, both work as lifeguards at the local pool. That’s where they met the six children attending the camp: Olivia Monz, Keira Magus, Isaac Leicht, Kiana Leicht, Jorden Marianchuk and Rylan Marianchuk.
“We knew how artistic they were,” Gullacher said of these kids. “We wanted a chance to see what they could do.”
So they decided to put on this summer camp, and called the parents of each child to see if they were interested in sending their children.
Their different artistic interests balance the camp sessions, Gullacher feels.
The different media each focuses on has certainly introduced the children to a wider variety of art than they would have with two teachers both interested in just drawing or painting.
The promise the two instructors saw in the kids has been fulfilled, if the enthusiasm Gullacher and Crozon feel about the children’s work is any indication.
“They love art... and they are doing so good,” Gullacher said. “It’s really amazing to see what they come up with.”
Crozon had never taught art before this summer.
“It’s interesting. I really enjoy it,” she said, adding that it’s very different going from how she sees things to how the kids see things.
“We don’t want to force our viewpoint on them,” Gullacher put in. “We encourage them to look closely.”
The kids themselves gave the camp good reviews, looking up just long enough from their charcoal projects to agree that it’s fun, and that some of the things they’ve done at the camp, they had never attempted before.
Crozon and Gullacher hope to host another summer art school next year, if they both end up in Humboldt again, Gullacher said.
To wrap up this year, the children will be selecting pieces to be included in a show at the Humboldt and District Museum and Gallery from August 21-31.
Gullacher was excited about getting the kids ready for the show.
“They have to work on selecting what goes into the show, and come up with titles — all the things artists have to do,” she said.