Acadiana Arts Center camp teaches kids to transform doodles
Kids explored different art techniques and tools as they “turn their doodles” into larger-than-life stickers, bookmarks, placemats and replicas at the Acadiana Arts Center this week.
AcA kicked off their summer camp sessions with “Transform Your Doodles” for campers ages 6 to 12. While learning to bring their drawings to life, they also worked on critical thinking, collaboration, and problem solving.
The group started on Monday with a blank page, drawing circles and turning them into donuts, faces and whatever they wanted. After the brainstorming doodle session, they took a photo of the drawing with an iPad and used a free digital art program called Fresco to color it in with their fingers. On Friday, they had turned their drawing into a sticker.
“Some were really different from what they started out with,” said Bree Sargent, director of education at AcA.
It exemplified a lesson Sargent and the camp leaders taught throughout the week – that art is a process.
“The kids are always moving on,” Sargent said. “We urge them to think deeper and think more critically. In their sketchbooks, they are asked to constantly come back to their design. It forces them into this deeper process.”
Artist teacher Hannah Gumbo led the class in an exercise in which they drew their five favorite objects in an enlarged style and then layered them. This gave their final product, a painting on cardboard, a distorted effect, reminding young artists that art doesn’t have to be perfect.
“People think if these artists wake up and are good at drawing,” she said. “I want them not to be afraid of doing something new or weird. I’m trying to get them out of the box.”
They also had the chance to experiment with different materials, from sculpting clay to tie-dye and glue, and technologies like iPads and a laminating machine.
The children also formed new relationships while they were working, as many of them did not know each other before the camp. A group of three boys – Briggs, Oliver and Logan – bonded this week out of love for the comics and decided to start several.
Together they made up stories and made their mark by fighting zombies, compiling the pages into several books using staples. They did everything a little bit each day after completing their camp projects.
Transform Your Doodles was the first of 10 camps ACA will be hosting for eight weeks this summer. Each week has its theme and its subject, from the history of art to theatrical scenography.
Some are more exploratory, like this first one, and others go deeper into a specific technique, like drawing or marbling on paper. Most are visual arts camps, but one in July will explore the creative movement.
“I didn’t have an art class until high school,” said Gumbo, now a full-time artist based in Eunice. “For me, to do something like this is to give them the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild and give them the tools they might not have at home.”
Learn more about upcoming art camps at https://acadianacenterforthearts.org/summer-camps.