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TAM to host annual Art Smart kids’ camp

Clear the sales sections off the kitchen table and wash the kids’ “playing outside” clothes.

The Texas Artists Museum is setting up for its annual Art Smart summer program — a two-week camp for budding artists, chronic crafters and mini chefs — geared toward students ages 6 to 12.

Dot Chauvin, Texas Artists Museum volunteer, said the annual camp gives young students home for the summer a separate space to let their creativity shine — without worrying about protecting home furniture from paint specks and clearing away craft materials before company comes over.

“Art Smart is two weeks of busy fun,” Chauvin said. “We’ll pair five kids with an adult to lead two to three projects a day — tailored to match the theme of the week — and to supervise our ‘down time’ over at the art tables, our ‘free range’ space where the kids and take a break by painting, drawing, journaling whatever they want.”

Chauvin said each week of Art Smart will have projects that let the children experiment with freeform concrete, paper mache, porcelain clay, ceramics and paint, but the different themes will mean children who come to both weeks bring home something different every day.

Children registered in Week 2 of the Texas Artists Museum's annual Art Smart camp in Port Arthur will craft beaded masterpieces, porcelain clay pendants, face masks, freeform concrete artwork and paper mache maracas.

Children registered in Week 2 of the Texas Artists Museum’s annual Art Smart camp in Port Arthur will craft beaded masterpieces, porcelain clay pendants, face masks, freeform concrete artwork and paper mache maracas.

“The first week, ‘It’s a Shore Thing,’ is all about the beach. We’re going to talk about the two lighthouses in our area, how we can protect our beaches and why it’s so important for us to care about our coast,” Chauvin said. “They’ll do concrete projects — all freeform and hand-molded using gloves. They can make crosses, seahorses and stepping stones. We’ll make paper mache animals and masks, and we’ll make porcelain clay sea creatures and pendants.

“The second week is ‘Carnival of Fun,’ so of course we’re going to talk about Mardi Gras and have beads everywhere. We do a lot of the same projects — the concrete, the paper mache, the porcelain clay — but the new theme will change what we prepare for the kids to do. We’ll ask the kids to bring in a hat so we can decorate it for Mardi Gras, and we’re going to show them how to make animals out of the necklaces they get at the parades.”

Chauvin said the first project each week will be for every child to make a chef hat and apron for the Art Smart “Kids in the Kitchen” program.

“Every day, the kids will prepare their own snacks,” she said. “We’re giving them recipes they can do in the microwave here and at home. On the menu, we have one-minute muffins, a hot dog octopus to go with our beach theme, mini pizzas, baked cinnamon apples and baked cinnamon crisps. While we’re in the kitchen, we’ll be sharing kitchen tips and emphasizing kitchen safety and cleanliness.”

In addition to experimenting with porcelain clay, paper mache, freeform concrete and painting, children registered in the Texas Artists Museum's annual Art Smart camp in Port Arthur will create their own aprons and chef hats to wear while they make their own snacks.

In addition to experimenting with porcelain clay, paper mache, freeform concrete and painting, children registered in the Texas Artists Museum’s annual Art Smart camp in Port Arthur will create their own aprons and chef hats to wear while they make their own snacks.

Chauvin said each week of Art Smart has 40 slots available for children ages 6 to 12.

“It’s a Shore Thing” classes will run from 9 a.m. to noon, July 13 through July 17. “Carnival of Fun” classes will run from 9 a.m. to noon, July 20 through July 24. Families and friends are invited to watch their budding artists present their creations from 11 a.m. to noon each Friday.

Registration for one week is $30 per student. Registration for both weeks is $30 for the first week and $25 for the second. Additional family members can register for $25 both weeks.

Applications are available at the Texas Artists Museum.

The Texas Artists Museum is located at 3501 Cultural Center Drive in Port Arthur.

For more information, call (409) 983-4881.

Twitter: @crhenderson90