Inside Out: A Summer Arts Camp Like No Other!

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Jennifer Koney poses with her map for the summer arts camp.

By Syd Bastos

The Vicksburg Cultural Arts Center (VCAC) has partnered with Jennifer Koney, retired recreation supervisor of the wildly successful Hayward Area Recreation and Park District in California, to create a unique multidimensional summer arts camp program starting July 10.

Jennifer is an accomplished visual artist herself, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Fine Arts degree from San Francisco State University as well as exhibiting her works around the country for the last 35 years. But what really struck the VCAC staff was her passion for children and her commitment to support the Center in creating the 2017 Inside Out Summer Arts Camp experience.

Koney helped the center’s staff design the camp based on the highly regarded Oakland Fine Arts Summer School that she helped create and implement in Oakland, Calif. Participants will work with four artist instructors in small groups. The instructors will mentor students as they explore a wide range of ways to express themselves creatively. Students will be inspired to create works in spoken word and improvisation, book arts, found object sculptures and portraits, painting and drawing.

The selection of instructors for the camp was critical. The center staff wanted artists who could go beyond teaching techniques and become mentors to guide children in their own personal exploration of creative expression. They also wanted instructors who could work collaboratively with each other. Susan Meekhof from Grand Rapids, Mark Holbert from Florida, and Ellen Vandermyde and Lisa Olivarez, both from Kalamazoo, have all accepted the challenge and are engaged in developing an extraordinary arts immersion experience.

The camp runs Monday through Friday, July 10-14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community Center, 101 S Main St. in downtown Vicksburg. Participants will be celebrating their creative successes with a special performance and exhibit Friday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center. Everyone is invited to attend.
The camp is $175; advanced registration is required. It still has room for a few more students. Call (269) 501-1347 to reserve a spot for your son, daughter or grandchild.

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