Greece: Parthenon, pottery and pan pipes

Creative Clay's "Art Around the World" inclusive summer camp just ended its fifth week with round two of Greece. Each summer, campers choose from one to four countries for art camp themes, depending on how many weeks they attend. Weeks one through four took campers on artistic and cultural journeys through Greece, Japan, Ireland and Tanzania. Weeks five through eight repeat these countries, but include new art projects and themes for campers.

Last week's campers learned about the art and culture of ancient Greece. Activities included creating a Greek sculpture mural by tracing each other's bodies in poses on large sheets of black paper and decorating them within the lines.

Campers worked with clay to create a classic Greek column, as well as a pottery paper plate craft. Travelers to Greece will undoubtedly visit the Parthenon. Our campers created their own with toilet paper rolls.

Students also learned about the medium of mixed media when the created a piece in the style of Greek artist Yannis Gaitis, born in Athens in 1923 and famous for his anonymous men depicting the uniformity and sterility of mass living. His work was introduced in the United States in 1964 at the Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh. Gaitis worked out of his Paris studio for the last 26 years of his career, and died in 1984.

Throughout the week, Greek culture was shared through storytelling of myths, watercolor painting of favorite scenes,, such as hillside villages, from the country and the wearing of Olympic crowns fashioned from paper leaves and twigs. Musically, campers created pan pipes with straws and tape, then adorned them with beads.

Each camper had the opportunity to have one of their pieces, painted on wood block, exhibited for one week at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

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Into Africa via Tanzania

Creative Clay's Art Around the World summer camp brought students ages 6 to 12 to a faraway place many may have never heard of, much less ventured to: Tanzania. This country in Eastern Africa, populated by more than 51-million residents, is situated within the African Great Lakes region, and is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and by the Indian Ocean to the east. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.

Campers were treated for a first-hand account from special guest Adam, a friend of Creative Clay's Community Arts Program Manager Emily Turnage. Adam talked with the kids about the time he spent in African studying anthropology, which netted many native pieces that he brought to share.

Artmaking throughout the week included making Maasai-style necklaces using paper plates; creating masks using modeling clay that resembled those worn by the Makonde Tribe; painting images of Mt. Kilimanjaro, drawing African animals, creating safari sunsets, and making rain sticks by putting beans into decorated paper towel rolls and painting the sides.

Campers also learned about Tanzanian life by watching videos shared by guest Adam, and painted Florida wild life in the Tinga Tinga style, to be exhibited at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

Campers journey to the Emerald Isle via Art Around the World

Week three of Creative Clay's "Art Around the World" camp gave participants a glimpse into the art and culture of Ireland. Limericks, Celtic knots crafted from clay, cellophane and construction paper tissue paper stained glass windows, and acting out folk tales were just some of the activities that guided campers on a colorful, musical and tour of Ireland.

Students learned about highland cattle, and painted scenes from that area of the country, and learned about the prominence of the fiddle in Irish music when they traced and outlined instruments of their own.

Castles are prevalent in many parts of Ireland, and the kids drew pictures and maps of their own castles, and decorated large cardboard boxes that resembled larger Irish castles.

To connect the country with the home state of Florida, campers painted scenes that resembled the area with stained glass and Celtic knot border. Those pieces are exhibited at the St. Petersburg Museum of History for one week, thanks to a sponsorship from the Museum.

Friday's parents and special friends reception was highlighted with a performance of traditional Irish Step Dancing by dancers from the Scariff School of Irish Dance in Tampa.

Campers journey further in week two - to Japan!

Week two of Creative Clay's "Art Around the World" Summer Camp introduced students ages 6-12 to the art and culture of Japan. Lead camp instructor Patsy Lieberman, along with assistants, taught campers how to create Japanese letters and spell "Japan" and "Tokyo.

Throughout the week, they also participated in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony and created Japanese tea bowls, as well as flower arrangements for Japanese tea ceremonies.

To bring it home, Lieberman shared with students the connection Japanese art has to Florida. Students were challenged to paint birds or fish native to Florida in the Japanese style. A highlight of the week was creating Koinobori Carp Streamers, which are akin to windsocks or carp banners. Students learned how the streamers are created to decorate the landscape of Japan from April through early May, in honor of Children's Day (originally Boys' festival) on May 5. In Japanese culture, the carp symbolizes courage and strength because of its ability to swim up a waterfall. The Boys' Festival was an event, expressing hope that each boy in the family will grow up healthy and strong like wild carps. During this festival, people set up a warrior doll or a yoroi armor set in the house, and Koinobori, huge carp-shaped windsocks, outside the house.

Also included in the art-making were sushi collages, paper plate fans, origami, fish crames and samurai hats, as well as Hokusai's Great Wave, 

Capping off the week was the parent/friends reception, where campers proudly showed guests what they did in camp. Then, a piece of art from each student was selected for display for one week at the St. Petersburg Museum of History. 

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Creative Clay's 9th annual inclusive summer camp, "Art Around the World" welcomed new campers June 12 in their new space at 1846 First Ave. S, in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg. 

"Art Around the World" is for children ages six through 12 of all abilities. This summer, campers will study the countries of Japan, Ireland, Greece, and Tanzania. Class size is limited to 12 students, professional teaching artist Patsy Lieberman and her assistants are able to offer personalized instruction in a classroom setting. 

Lieberman, who will teach all eight weeks of camp, currently teaches in the Community Arts Program at Creative Clay. She graduated from Eckerd College with a Bachelor's Degree in Art and Human Development. Her artwork has been displayed in a variety of local businesses around St. Petersburg. Patsy previously worked at Lakeview Fundamental Elementary School, supervising and facilitating fun and educational activities for a group of children ages K-3rd grade. 

The first week of camp brought the campers on a journey to Greece to learn about the country's art and culture. Campers began the week by viewing Greek sculptures and creating self portrait greek sculpture murals. They also created Greek pottery paper plate crafts, painted a Greek god somewhere in Florida or St Petersburg, created classic column designs with clay, made Olympic crowns and torches with cardboard paper and tissue paper

The week also challenged the kids to create a mixed media piece in the style of Greek artist, Yannis Gaitis, as well as Parthenons using toilet paper rolls.

Each week ends with a parent/friends reception at Creative Clay, when the campers get to proudly show what they created. One piece of art is then chosen to be exhibited for one week at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.