EDWARDSVILLE - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Art and Design West building is bustling with activity this summer as children grades K-8 are expressing themselves creatively through exciting art lessons in innovative media during Summer Arts camp

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Three Monday-Friday sessions of Summer Arts camp ran June 17-21, June 24-28, and are continuing July 8-12 with themes of 2-D Exploration, 3-D Exploration and Arts and Crafts. The camp is hosting its largest group to date this year, with 62 participants on campus for one of the week’s sessions alone.

“My mom saw this camp, and I thought I might like it, so she signed me up. She was right!” exclaimed Lyvleigh Burgess, of Winter Garden, Fla. “I like that I get to be messy. Working with clay has definitely been my favorite.”

“The most fun has been making alien stuffed animals and puppets,” said third grader Madilyn Cameron, of Maryville. “We used felt. Mine was white, and it had four googly eyes.”

“People often think about art as just the idea of making or producing something, but really it’s honing in on critical thinking skills, which are crucial,” noted Summer Arts Coordinator Annie Darlin. “Artists are essentially taking nothing and making something from it. Those skills can be used in any kind of career, including engineering, math, science and other fields.”

SIUE’s Art and Design West building provides campers with access to state-of-the-art studios, supplies and classrooms.

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“It’s cool to come to campus,” said eighth grader Lia Kampwerth, of Edwardsville. “There’s a ton to do here. I like coming to camp, because it’s fun to be with friends.”

Instructors for the three levels, divided as K-2, 3-5 and 6-8, are all licensed education teachers and graduates of SIUE’s School of Education, Health and Human Behavior.

“Miss Lizzie is amazing,” said fourth grader Emerson Hyten, of Edwardsville. “My favorite has been creating with clay, because it’s easy to mold, and I’ve never worked with it before. I’ve also liked painting, because you get to express your feelings.”

“I came last year and had a really good time, and I like being with Miss Casey,” added sixth grader Emma Cowan, of Edwardsville. “You can really do anything with art. If you’re not good with one thing, like drawing for me, you can work with clay or paint instead.”

A cumulative art show, “Parent’s Day,” caps off each week, where students showcase their creations. Project examples include outdoor and still-life paintings, large-scale charcoal drawings, handmade pottery, plaster molds, woven baskets and more.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.


Photo: Henry Samet, of Edwardsville, (left) and Caleb Peksa, of Troy, examine each other’s animal mask creations during the drying process.

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