The Art Alliance of Central Pennsylvania is well-known for providing short-term art classes for all ages throughout the year. Now they’ve added a new program for their younger students that the organization hopes will foster even more creativity and make learning more fun.
While the art center has, in the past, offered programs such as workshops and summer camps for kids, starting in October, they will offer a year-round art class, something they’ve never done before.
According to the office, “What makes this program different is the continuity in having an ongoing, once-a-week instructional program. The idea is to foster the interests of children, as well as supplement their in-school art class with some more individualized, technique-based but fun lessons.”
The alliance sees the benefit of the weekly lessons as being able to explore each topic more in depth as well as build on each skill and technique learned.
This particular program was developed based on personal experience and the best ways to encourage creativity in children.
“The kind of art program I have developed has its origin based on my own experiences with art lessons as a child,” said Ana Peters, instructor and creator of the program. “I always liked drawing and painting, and my mother used to take me to art classes that, although I enjoyed, sometimes became kind of boring. It was too much of the same thing.”
Peters said that she’s combined what she learned in college as an early childhood education major with input from some of her art teachers to tailor art education to the needs of children of all ages and has had great success with this particular type of program at other schools.
“Since the very early stages I put this program into practice, I had very rewarding experiences and amazing results, always above my expectations,” Peters said. “With this program, children learn art in a fun and relaxing way: through games, songs, music, videos, books, stories and pictures. Throughout the program, children learn color theory, how to obtain colors, what they can do with different shapes, and the effect of light and shadow in nature and on specific objects.”
The curriculum also includes an historical component that focuses on studying famous artists and their styles so the children get a more complete art education.
The classes will be small — eight or 10 maximum depending on age group — and will meet once a week from 4-5:30 p.m. throughout the year, with each age group meeting on a different day. Classes are open to children from age 5 to 12 and will include traditional mediums such as acrylic, watercolor and charcoal, among others. For the youngest students, those traditional mediums will be combined with unlikely tools and techniques, such as using detergent, toothpaste and sand, in order to help capture their attention and make it more fun.
An informational meeting on the Art Alliance's upcoming year-round art school for kids will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 at the center, 818 Pike St., Lemont. Visit www.artalliancepa.org or call 234-2740 for more information.