Large canvases are hung on the wall with brightly colored splashes and spirals of color.  Three 10-year-olds and one 9-year-old sit around a small table discussing their last art project created by throwing water balloons filled with paint and water from a second story landing onto a large canvas lying on the ground.  

School may be out for summer, but four east Texas kids spent this week learning about Jackson Pollock, abstract expressionism, water colors, spiral painting, marbling and color field painting at the annual Tyler Museum of Art Summer Art Camp. 

The focus of this week's camp is on two-dimensional artwork and artists. The campers created projects using hanging buckets of paint, water balloons filled with paint, shaving cream and many other creative ways to keep the kids physically and mentally active.  

Kelsey Bailey, education coordinator at the Tyler Museum of Art, described this week's camp - Action! Through Art - for 9- to 12-year-olds, as a way to get kids moving while making art.  

"We're not just making crafts," Miss Bailey said.  "We want to take the kids to a level of fine art and teach that art isn't just sitting down and painting a picture." 

Nine-year-old Rita Rivera said she enjoyed splatter painting the most in her first three days of camp.

"I came to art camp because I wanted to give it a try.  I liked learning about splatter painting and Jackson Pollock. We even learned how tall he is," Rita said as she pointed over to a measuring stick placed on the wall with an arrow showing him being six feet tall.    

A ruler on the wall that reaches from the floor to the ceiling allows the campers to size themselve up to some world-famous artists.  This encourages the campers to interact, stay active and learn interesting facts about various artists including Picaso and Leonardo da Vinci.

The four campers who enrolled in this week's session weren't the only students getting a closer look at the art world. Diego Loya, a University of Texas at Tyler fine arts major, is spending his summer learning about the art industry as an intern at the museum focused on assisting Miss Baily with the summer art camp, working with the campers and encouraging their creative talents.  

"I really enjoy the outcome of the art they create. Seeing the outcome is rewarding," Loya said.  


Just as the campers finished their latest project that involved piping drops of watercolor paint and oil onto watercolor paper, Miss Bailey was busy setting up another project involving piping watercolor paint onto a plate of shaving cream and covering it with paper to create a marbling effect.  

Wednesday was the third day of the camp, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The three hours are packed with creative ways to create art while encouraging movement. The various projects the students created throughout the week will be displayed in the classroon until the last day of camp.  

"We don't send any finished work home with the kids," Miss Baily said.  "On Friday, their parents will come at 11:30 and we will show them all the things we made throught the week, and the kids will take it home with them on Friday."  

Kathleen Maloney brought her oldest daughter to summer art camp 10 years ago. She wanted her youngest daughter to have the same experience since her older sister liked it so much.  

"Marley told me on the way here this morning she couldn't wait to see what they were doing today," Mrs. Maloney said.  

There is still time to participate in the other upcoming camps scheduled at the museum this summer.  

"I encourage people to contact us at least a week in advance," Miss Bailey said.  "It's a lot of fun and affordable.  The kids will get messy, but they will have a lot of fun."  


Tyler Museum of Art Summer Camp Schedule

Kinetic Art That Moves You:  Encourages kids to work in a three-dimensional manner along with creating movement in the art by using materials such as cardboard, wood, twine, natural materials and other interesting objects.  

• Ages 6 to 8, 9 a.m.-noon June 27-July 1

• Ages 9 to 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. July 11-15

Let's go LEGO:  Offers the opportunity to work with LEGO bricks. 

• Ages 6 to 8, 9 a.m.-noon July 18-22

• Ages 9 to 12, 9 a.m.-noon July 25-29

Designer's Challenge: Using a "mystery material," campers will engineer and build things.

• Ages 13 and up, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 1-5

For more information on these events, contact the Tyler Museum of Art at 903-595-1001.






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I started working at the Tyler Morning Telegraph in June 2016. I am a retired U.S. Air Force Sr. Master Sergeant. After a 21-year military career, in Security Forces, the military police of the Air Force, I went back to college and studied journalism.