• Laurel Contributor

Budding Local Artists

By zach Claxton


In 2007, as a gift to area children, the Highlands-Cashiers Art League formed what was known at the time as the Children’s Task Force.

It began sponsoring a Children’s Art Camp, partnering with the Recreation Park, which provided the space for the park’s summer campers. Meeting on Thursdays from noon until 3:00 P.M.. for eight weeks during the summer, League members took turns teaching.

Two years later, the newly-formed Bascom became a co-sponsor of the camp, and in 2012 took a leading role, providing a paid instructor, with the Art League providing volunteers to assist. The Bascom’s involvement enhanced the quality of the camp with professional instruction.

Beginning this year, the Art League once again became the sole sponsor and maintained the high standards of past years.

The Art League is fortunate to count among its members Bonnie Abbott, who agreed to be the instructor for the 2019 camp. Bonnie has her Masters in Art Education from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science Degree from James Madison University.  During her 40-year career, she’s taught ages four to 90.

The theme of this year’s program was “Creativity and Artfun Using Lines, Shapes, Colors, Textures and Space.”

Bonnie developed an ambitious plan that included drawing stuffed animals and painting in watercolor, abstract acrylic painting on canvas or Bristol board, modeling and glazing clay owls, gold spraying a Picasso metal sculpture, three-dimensional paper sculpture, printmaking and creating a tissue paper dragonfly. The only project not completed was the acrylic painting due to rainy weather, substituting a rubbing and crayon resist.

In addition to the individual projects the children take home each week, the art camp participants traditionally complete a group project presented to the Recreation Park at camp’s end. You’ll see those created over the years adorning the walls of the Civic Center lobby. This year’s installation represents hands of cards.

The Art League wishes to thank the Rec Park staff, Bonnie Abbott, and volunteers Susan Bauknight, Zach Claxton, Jan DeJong, Missy McIver and Lisa Richards, who together made the 2019 Children’s Art Camp another success.

For more information about the Art League and its activities, visit artleagueofhighlands-cashiers.com.

The Laurel Magazine

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