Young art lovers go to class

sgilman@newsobserver.comJanuary 27, 2014 

Parents of children who love art have claimed nearly ever slot in the six-week after-school art program at the Clayton Community Center.

The latest session began last week over three days: children ages 5-7 on Tuesday, ages 8-10 on Wednesday and ages 11-13 on Thursday. Two of the three classes enrolled the maximum number of children.

Six children ages 5-7 attended Tuesday’s class, where they learned to make “snow scenes” by cutting out paper snowflakes and pasting them on large sheets of colorful construction paper.

Art instructor Lisa Bailey read to the children from the book “I Am Snow” by Jean Marzollo: “From afar, all snowflakes look the same. But if you get up close to them, each one looks different.”

The two boys and four girls paid close attention. Five-year-old Harrison Schmidt asked, “Do any look like a car?”

The children adorned paper with trees, houses or people. Then they got to cut out snowflakes and glue them on. As they opened their folded snowflakes, the children expressed delight.

“Oh, beautiful!” said Harrison.

“Did it turn out good?” Bailey asked.

“Yeah, it’s pretty,” he said.

As they finished, Bailey went to each child, held up their completed artwork and asked what they liked best about it. Then she hung all of the snow scenes on a wire by the window.

Suzanne Morris, mother of 7-year-old Emily Morris, said her daughter was excited about the class. “She loves art, and I just wanted to find something she was interested in,” Morris said.

For parents like James Keith, the art class plays a key role in educating their child.

“We started homeschooling this year,” the Wilson’s Mills resident said. “It’s our first year to do it, so we were looking for opportunites to get them out in the community. My wife and I are neither one artsy.”

His daughter, Leah, and son, Jacob, both take the class.

Abby Rosendahl, mother of 7-year-old Jacob Rosendahl, said she signed her son up for the class because he loves to draw.

“He would rather be drawing something than out playing soccer,” she said. “And when we signed him up for this class, he said, ‘I hope I find some friends that love art.’”

Art classes have been a Clayton Community Center offering for years, and organizers are looking to expand the already-popular program. To register for a class, go to townofclayton.org and click “For Residents.” The class listing is under the Parks and Recreation section. The cost is lower for Clayton residents than for nonresidents.

For more information, or to request an art class, call Matt Lorion, program coordinator, at 919-553-1521.

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