Summertime fun doing art

Jeanne OMeara

Looking for ways to encourage young artists and giving other children the opportunity to develop their creative skills, SaddleBrooke Fine Arts Guild explored a new outreach project this spring for young people in our area. Sadly, many schools have discontinued arts and music programs and a summertime program is all they might have.

Most people look back on their childhood and recall the excitement one had as summertime approached. Dreaming about camping, hiking, swimming and playing with friends. One special activity was working on arts and craft projects, but that required having the right tools to create something like a drawing.

In comes Joanna Voisine and Gail Kolenda, Guild members who are dedicated to looking for special projects for kids. “Over the last several years our Guild artists have created a coloring book for children in local hospitals and Kid’s Closet. I wanted something for the children in the summertime,” Voisine explained. Joanna contacted Coronado School to identify needs. After a few calls, she found a project that could serve many kids during the summer break—drawing supplies. Joanna contacted an art teacher at Coronado, Ms. Pike. Together they agreed drawing supplies would be a perfect fit.

Seventy students were selected to receive the kits. Many children do not have pencils, let alone a sketchbook. Paper to draw on is scarce at home. But the kit needed to include all the tools an artist will need. After shopping carefully, Joanna, Gail and others packed up artist bags for each of the students. A sketchbook, drawing pencil, eraser and pencil sharpener were packed; younger children received crayons, while older students received a set of colored pencils. The Guild coloring book was included as a bonus.

The summer art kit was ready to go. Delivery was made to Coronado Elementary School just south of SaddleBrooke.

Gail Kolenda mused that perhaps in future years we will be viewing artwork in a gallery created by one or more of these students. Now on to the next outreach project.