Creative kids dabble with art at college

Aug. 10, 2014 @ 06:05 AM

Ten-year-old Michael Hawkins pummeled a piece of gray clay until it bended to his will. The clay molded into a curve under his fingers. On the rainy Friday, the activity was the perfect way for Michael to release his creative energy.

Michael joined several kids of elementary-school age at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute for Art Expo camp from Monday to Friday last week. The camp is part of CCC&TI’s Extreme Super Summer Camp program that started in June and lasts until Aug. 15. Each week is a different camp, with topics ranging from baking to acting to fitness.

Michael said that when he signed up for the class, he did not know what to expect.

“First, I was real unsure that this was going to be good because I’ve never been here before,” Michael said. “I thought it would be really fun to get out of the house and do something.”

Michael and his classmates learned about pottery, tie-dying T-shirts, finger-painting, homemade bouncy balls, sand art, foam construction and more.

“We’ve done just a little bit of everything over here,” instructor Rebecca Baker said. “I don’t let it be too strict because it’s their stuff.”

Brady Stewart, 9, decided to try his hand at making portraits of his friends.

“I was just walking around, and I said, ‘Huh, I’ve never tried to do a portrait before.' So, I grabbed my friend,” Brady said.

Brady carefully sketched Troy Melton’s face with a yellow crayon. He had already colored in Troy’s mop of brown hair with a washable marker.

Brady said that he has tried to do portraits before but was never able to complete them. The camp at CCC&TI gave him the confidence to keep trying, he said.

“I’m trying to do my best because I’m here,” Brady said. “Art’s always been my favorite thing.”