What’s New in Studios for Young Artists

You can’t help but smile when you hear the chitter-chatter of our youth arts students working hard on their paintings, ceramics, or sculptures. This summer we are offering art classes for 3 ½ to 17 year olds, which spark every imagination under the sun. From color mixing to cartooning and even hand-built ceramics, our students are learning valuable art techniques by highly skilled art educators from around the Midwest. Even the woods surrounding the School offer a magical haven for the students. There, they tromp through the woods to find inspiration for their work and an appreciation for the Door County beauty around them.

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Here are some of the highlights of just a few of the classes that have happened already this summer:

In mid-June, our Studios for Young Artists kicked off with a week of drawing classes. To draw items realistically, Donna Brown had her students “trace” items that were underneath glass. By drawing on a transparent sheet of paper, the students tried to draw the exact lines that they saw in front of them. They then exchanged the piece of glass with a mirror to “trace” their face and try their hand at a realistic self-portrait.

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In another studio, Pat Williams had our older students study the nature that surrounds our daily lives. They studied the growth direction of feathers, textures found in grasses and leaves, and the shapes of bird bodies to complete realistic drawings. By the end of the week, the students had multiple drawings they were proud to show their parents during a mini-art exhibit.

Our ceramic studio classes are always a favorite for our young artists. There is no way of describing the excitement in the studio of when a teacher brings out clay for the students to put their hands in. Younger students become acquainted and “shake hands” with the clay by making pinch and coil pots. As they become more advanced, they later can enroll in classes, where they are taught how to throw pottery on a wheel.  Paula Wendland took her students around the world and explored the different ways other cultures make pottery. Using African fabrics as inspiration, the students made decorative trays that can beautifully display their Japanese ceremonial teacups. With the bright underglazes used on the hand-built pottery, the pieces sparkled and shined when they came out of the kiln. There are still spots available for our ceramic studio courses in August, so don’t forget to sign up your young artists!

Saturday cartoons can only get better if you are the one designing them. This past week our students became the creators of their own comic books and discovered various drawing and inking techniques that change their stories from ordinary to extraordinary. Tom Wallestad encouraged his students to think of entertaining characters that would leave their audience laughing. Starting with basic sketches, the students took their drawings from paper and pencil to inked works of art. With multiple brainstorming sessions, the students also came up with characters like a puffer fish named James who was a secret spy and a pepperoni pizza slice named Morocco. Laughter filled the studios as the students made up their own stories of how James “Puff” saved the day.  By the end of the week, the students took home a complete comic book, which included all of the individual stories of James and Morocco.

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Spreading our wings in art and letting our imagination soar are things that are highly encouraged in our classes throughout the summer. To show off our excitement for this year’s classes, we once again entered in the Baileys Harbor 4th of July Parade. Setting our sights to the skies, we took flight as a flock of birds adorned with glitter, feathers, and a very large nest! The students researched their favorite bird before carefully designing their costumes. Two macaws, a black swan, an indigo bunting, and a yellow warbler were some of the birds that graced us with their presence in the parade. The students livened up the crowd with their soaring moves, throwing of candy, and grooves like “Rockin’ Robin.” Thank you to those who participated in the parade, the parents who walked with us in the hot sun, and the entertaining crowd who showed their support for the Peninsula School of Art with loud cheers!

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Here at the Peninsula School of Art, we are proud of the latest outcomes of all of our youth art classes. The students have left with a greater knowledge of art theories and techniques, as well as new friendships and confidence in their artwork.  We hope to see many of you this summer in our studios, whether it is in a three to four day class or during our Friday Relate and Create classes, which encourages family members to work together on a single art project.

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