Building a better world in a memory box

Published 12:01 pm Friday, July 28, 2017

Glue, knick-knacks and a box.

These were just some of the materials needed for a children’s art class held Wednesday at the Marion & Ed Hughes Public Library in Nederland. The event was free and open to any child wanting to express themselves through arts and crafts.

“We’re making a memory box. Today’s theme is To Build a Better World,” Andy Gardner, curator of education/outreach at Art Museum of Southeast Texas and teacher of that day’s Art To Go class, said.

Children choose their materials for their art box. (Lorenzo Salinas/The News)

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“And so we’re exploring building, choice, spatial manners and identifying the balance between space and selection.”

Gardner said the subject of choice was introduced by giving the children five pieces of crafts — and only five pieces of crafts — to make their memory box with.

And there was a specific reason why he and his assistant did not bring any examples of other memory boxes with them to the class.

“We gave no example because we want the kids to make their own memories and not feel beholden to what someone else made,” Gardner said.

He went on to say that each child could add their own meaning to each object they use in their art projects.

Casie Arceneaux brought her two sons, Cameron and Nolan, to exercise their art abilities.

Art assistant Stephen Taylor helps a child glue a piece of art to the child’s memory box during Art To Go class at the library Wednesday.

“We just came because his big brother saw this and wanted to,” she said, indicating Cameron waiting in line for art materials.

Arceneaux said this was her first time coming out to a public class hosted at the library and that it was a good opportunity for her oldest son to be creative.

“He can come up with anything he wants to,” she said.

Christina Campbell brought her daughter, Mikayla, to the event and it was anything but their first time at a library-sponsored event.

“We come regularly at different events held each week. We look forward to it,” she said.

In speaking about the value of such events, Campbell said, “It keeps the young children busy with some really good activities and prepares them for interacting with other kids when they go to school.”

Campbell said she likes making art as well, particularly paper and crafts like scrapbooking.