Local children will have a new opportunity to learn, create, interact and have fun this summer as City Art Works and Minden Main Street present the first Summer Art Camp for children ages 6-12.
The art camp will be taught by local artists and held at City Art Works. There will be seven one-week sessions and each session will have a different theme.
The artists that have joined to teach the sessions are Susan Matamoros, Rebecca Tyree, Bill Cook, Jessica Daigle, McKenzie Leopold and Kristen Hulse.
“Minden Main Street is excited and delighted to sponsor the first Summer Art Camp at the City Art Works downtown,” said Pattie Odom, director of Minden Main Street/Downtown Development.
City Art Works was opened as the Cultural Recreation Facility for the City of Minden in the Fall of 2010. Offering art recreation programs for adults and children is the primary purpose for the program.
“The art camp will reach out to many children and offer an alternative and/or addition to sports recreation traditionally offered in the summer,” said Mayor Bill Robertson, “The city is enthusiastic about this new addition to our city recreation program.”
Before entering the field of education as a paraeducator in 2005, Susan Matamoros was involved in public relations for several arts organizations in the city of Olympia, Washington. She has written for various publications, including The Olympian Newspaper’s ParentWise Magazine and the Incredible Edible Munch, a dining guide published in Los Angeles.
Matamoros has a BA in Business Administration from the University of Texas. In addition to creative writing, her involvement in the arts includes acting and singing. Since relocating to her home state of Louisiana last summer she has been a substitute teacher in Webster Parish schools and is currently a member of the Minden Community Chorus and the Webster Humane Association.
“We live in a vibrant community where the arts are alive, and it’s our goal to nurture the next generation of talented individuals by bringing them together with some of our area’s finest artists,” said Matamoros, who will be the Director of the Arts Camp. “City Art Works is the perfect space to create in, and we’re fortunate to be able to conduct our classes there.”
A unique artist, playing far outside the box, re-inventing artistic expression through a multitude of materials and best known for her chemically treated metal pieces that bounce light and have a chameleon-like effect, Rebecca Tyree is looking forward to sharing her art and enthusiasm with area children.
After spending 28 years as a well known Las Vegas artist and designer, where she has performed as a personal artist for many interesting people including celebrities and casino owners, she met her now, new husband and gave up Las Vegas for a new home in Louisiana.
Since arriving here, she has become involved in everything from interior design to unrivaled faux painting. Her artwork can be found in many places across the USA.
Wanting to be in the limelight since the age of 6, Bill Cook has lived the kind of life books are written about. In fact, Cook has written books about his life.
Cook pursued his dream of becoming a dancer at the age of 19 when he took off for New York, a state he had some knowledge of thanks to visits there to see his older sister. He had scholarships, attended schools and danced in stock productions.
He later danced in Broadway and off-Broadway productions and began his trek across the nation and the world.
He wrote and published “Honeysuckle, Creosote, and Train Smoke” and “The Watermelon Man.” He formed friendships with actresses, directors and other famous and interesting people. He participated in arts of all kinds and enjoyed notoriety all over the world. Then, he came home to Minden and will now embark on his next journey: teaching local children the art of song and dance.
Minden native Jessica Daigle has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. When she was just a teen she enjoyed perfecting her technique of drawing human faces by sketching portraits of actresses and singers from magazine covers.
Now, her approach to art has leaned from the traditional techniques to embrace the non-traditional and she wants to teach that aspect to children.
Daigle is a Minden High School graduate, a Louisiana Tech graduate and a Kindergarten teacher at Central Elementary.
McKenzie Leopold (Becky), a native of Minden, has studied and taught art classes all over the country from New York City to San Francisco. Her experiences range from residential building contractor to jewelry designer, and now she’ll be adding art teacher to her many accolades as she joins the Summer Art Camp team.
Kristen Hulse lives in Little Rock, Arkansas where she graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has been an elementary art specialist with the Little Rock School District for the last six years.
During her second year with LRSD, she worked on the committee to develop a curriculum guide that is now used by all elementary art teachers in the district.
She also served as a lead teacher for Professional Development of Arts Educators Grant – a federal grant which allowed for all district elementary arts educators to have appropriate professional development for teaching the arts.
Hulse currently serves on the LRSD committee for “Artistry in the Rock,” a district-wide all-grade-level art show to be held at the Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center.
Hulse’s parents are from Minden. She feels blessed to have spent most of her summers in Minden and is looking forward to returning this year and is excited to teach this summer.
Students will create works of art and writing that reflect this year’s theme of Community. Each week students will explore a different aspect of that theme.
Below are the dates of the session, the theme of that week and the teacher who will teach the class.
Session 1 (June 6-10): Why I Love my Family - taught by Jessica Daigle and Susan Matamoros
Session 2 (June 13-17): Why I Love Louisiana – taught by Rebecca Conway and Susan Matamoros
Session 3 (June 27-July 1): Why I Love the USA - taught by Rebecca Conway and Susan Matamoros
Session 4 (July 5-8): The Person I Admire Most – taught by McKenzie Leopold and Susan Matamoros
Session 5 (July 11-15): Why I love Minden – taught by Kristen Hulse and Susan Matamoros
Session 6 (July 18-22): Telling my Story Through an Animal – taught by Kristen Hulse and Susan Matamoros
Session 7 (July 25-29): Learning German Dances and Making Costumes for Minden Fasching Karneval – taught by Bill Cook and McKenzie Leopold
Cost per session is $100, except the week of July 5-8, which will be $80. Assistance is available to a limited number of students.
There will be a meeting at City Art Works, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. to give a program overview. Interested parties are encouraged to attend.
The Minden Press-Herald will partner with the Arts Camp to publish the children’s work each week.
“By publishing children’s writing in the Press-Herald and showing their finished pieces at City Art Works we’re teaching our students that what they create is valued and that it matters,” Matamoros said.
For further information, contact Susan Matamoros at 540-2205.