Visual art camps spark creativity

By Alia Boyd -

The Stokes County Arts Council has once again enlisted Amanda Gordon to teach the visual art camp for ages 6 through 13 at Mount Olive Elementary School from July 18 to 22.

Gordon herself is no stranger to programing provided by the arts council, having received a scholarship from the organization when she graduated from North Stokes High School, in addition to doing volunteer work and holding exhibits with the council.

“It feels like I’ve come full circle,” Gordon said of the fact that she’s now instructing students through the same arts council that she was heavily involved in as a student herself.

With her scholarship in tow, Gordon graduated from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro with a bachelor of fine arts in studio art education.

Following her post-secondary education, Gordon started teaching at a magnate school in Forsyth County and has been there for the past 13 years.

Gordon explained that the school she teaches at follows a performing arts theme, meaning that even core curriculum is taught from an arts based perspective.

Gordon noted that the students who attended the visual art camp aren’t coming in with the benefit of attending an arts based magnet school, adding that the only way that they can receive an arts infused education would be if the teachers take it upon themselves to teach the core curriculum through an arts lens.

“The fact that it’s a mixture of arts and game activities is what makes it fun and engaging. I have kids that have very little art exposure and seeing the kids discover their own art styles and what they discover is what the camp is about,” Gordon said.

One of the most exciting aspects of teaching the camp, Gordon said, is getting to see students who are arts inclined take a project that she has assigned and take it in a totally new and innovative direction.

“I’m trying to expose them to a wide variety of arts methods-it’s all about exploring the curriculum and finding what they like best,” Gordon said of the wide scope of artistic methods and materials that she teaches as part of the camp.

Gordon said that at the end of the week, the student’s parents attended a pizza lunch where the kids showcased a skit that explained what they had learned throughout the week.

“I’m enjoying the opportunity to give back to the community and council, they’ve played a major part in my life as both a student and teacher,” Gordon said of her involvement with the camp for the past seven years.

Gordon also serves on the board of directors for the arts council as the secretary and as the co-chair of the visual arts committee.

Some of the items that the campers created throughout the course of the camp include paper fans and clay owls.

“It just proves that programs like this camp make a huge impact on the children’s lives,” Gordon said of the fact that she, like many others, end up volunteering for the arts council once they get older after partaking in some of the programs as students.

The camp cost $75 per student and ran from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

By Alia Boyd

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