Exploring creativity

Kids explore several mediums in The Grand’s summer creativity camp

Dylan Nelson (left) works on their wooden Minnesota project while Zoe Swenson (right) cleans up her station.

NEW ULM – Throughout the first week of June, youths in grades K-7 have had the chance to explore several different ways to create in The Grand’s summer creativity camp.

The camp is split up into two different sections, with grades K-3 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4-7 from 1 to 4 p.m. Each section gets unique projects to complete, which change every year. In years past the camp ran Monday through Thursday, but on feedback from parents they have extended it to Friday as well.

Program Director Tamara Furth said the added day has been good for the parents and their kids’ routine.

“It’s been a benefit,” she said, “For a lot of parents to have a routine, where every day you’re dropping your child off and picking them up. It gives them that full week schedule and allows that extra day [for the kids] to be introduced to even more art.”

Furth said there was a mix of new and returning kids this year, as the event can be attended more than once. On Monday they got to experience making shapes out of epoxy to be used as crystals and paperweight. Tuesday was printmaking day, kids got to do projects centered around print materials and art forms.

Dylan Nelson shows off their wooden recreation of Minnesota.

On Wednesday they created Minnesota-shaped artwork by gluing pieces of 100-year-old barn wood on a wood backing. Teacher Ed Fornberg said the ideas he gets for camp projects often depend on the materials he has.

“Somebody said ‘I’ve done a ton of barn wood, anything you can do with it?” He said. “I come up with things on my own. Makes it challenging and fun at the same time.”

Fornberg said the biggest challenge when it comes to teaching students in the camp is keeping everyone on the right track.

“You’ve got so many kids on different levels and you try to keep all of them interested at the same time,” he said. “It’s also rewarding because you encourage them with everybody’s is gonna look different. We don’t want everybody’s to look just like mine.”

Remilee Rieke is in the K-3 section. She said they made bracelets by putting three strings on a board, wrapping one around the other, putting it through the loop, and pulling all the strings together to make a knot.

Ed Fornberg starts Quinn Brunn’s drawing as he does everyone’s before he leads the class in a demonstration.

Rieke said they also got to make hearts out of braided clay. She said while it was hard at the beginning, it got easier toward the end. Her favorite part was getting to spend time with people while working on art.

On Thursday and Friday, the students will watercolor paint on stool tops and make lath wooden boxes. After this camp is over, there will be a second in August. For more information, visit https://thegrandnewulm.org/arts-education/.


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