Kids enjoy an artistic summer

Attendants of Montevallo Elementary School’s first ever summer Art Boot Camp during the creation of their plaster casters. (Contributed)

Attendants of Montevallo Elementary School’s first ever summer Art Boot Camp during the creation of their plaster casters. (Contributed)

By Michelle Adams / Community Columnist

Montevallo Elementary students who wanted to continue their studies in art were given the opportunity this summer during a weeklong Art Boot Camp in June.
MES art teacher Kymberlee Lewis sees this as a creative outlet for students during the summer. Since the school year only affords students the opportunity to create in art class for 30-minute intervals, they were able to enhance their artistic endeavors through these two-hour sessions.

“I have offered After School Art the past four years, but this is the first year I have offered the summer Art Boot Camp,” Lewis said. “I believe Montevallo is a fine arts community, and additional opportunities in art learning and exploration is really valued by our students.”

During the week, students participated in printmaking activities, collage creations and plaster casting, among other projects.

“The main focus for the camp is creative thinking and problem solving through art,” Lewis said. “Art Boot Camp is not as structured as a normal art classroom, so students are engaged in a more unrestrained environment than during the school year. They are asked to think for themselves as well as use and build upon their own creative ideas.”

The camp was open to elementary age students.

“I offered the camp to a variety of ages because I have found that older students enjoy peer teaching the younger ones, and the younger students love the attention from older kids,” Lewis said. “It is amazing to see how well the different age groups work together to create similar projects, and art projects can be modified for any age group. That’s what’s wonderful about art: Anyone can do it.”

Lewis’s fervor for her subject is reflected in her work with students during the camp. She assisted them in their creative pursuits and encouraged them to not view an artistic effort as a mistake, but an opportunity to create something different.

“I feel that art is just as important as any other subject, and I can easily integrate math, reading, science and geography into my art lessons, so students can make connections between the art we create and their core subjects,” Lewis said.