Art League offers summer art days

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, July 12, 2018

Children were playing in the sand at the Suffolk Art Gallery Thursday morning.

The Suffolk Art League’s Summer Art Days are in full swing, and the children had the opportunity to build sandcastles out of air dry clay.

Cindy Quesenberry was walking the children through the steps to create a sandcastle, and Quesenberry also teaches all the Summer Art Days classes.


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By the end of the session, all 11 children were able to leave with sandcastles decorated with real sand and seashells.

The Art League holds two sessions every Thursday throughout June and July — one session for ages 5 to 8 and the second session for ages 9 to 14.

“We feel that art is a teaching tool for all things,” said Suffolk Art League Executive Director Linda Bunch. “Through the arts, we can teach all things.”

They used air dry clay this week, but they have had a plethora of different activities.

Other programs have included printmaking, collages and painting. The afternoon session, for older children, tends to have more intensive projects, while the younger kids take on simpler projects.

“We want them to have a fun experience as well as get comfortable with art galleries at a young age,” Bunch said.

While the children come to have fun, they are also taught how to act in an art gallery.

Before letting the children start their crafts, Bunch reminds them of the two rules while they are there: don’t run, and don’t touch the artwork.

“We are also trying to educate them about art gallery etiquette,” Bunch said. “We want them to come to art galleries and remember it as a positive experience.”

Bunch knows that the programs can be impactful on those that participate, and that was evident, because most of the volunteers also participated in the programs every summer.

“We have good kids, and those kids become student volunteers,” Bunch said. “We want art to be a positive part of their life. A lot of what we do are things they might be able to repeat at home. They can go home and recreate what they do here.”

The programs cost only $1 per child to attend so that everyone can participate, Bunch said, and they don’t normally turn away people when they don’t have $1 to give. They are able to fund the programs through partnerships with the Suffolk Fine Arts Commission and the Community Action Coalition of Virginia.