Local students express themselves at county art enrichment camp
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 12:30
 by Bill Gates

    Malinah Jerscheid’s sculpture isn’t just a static piece of artwork.
     Called “A Night in the City,” it includes a working elevator with a bird inside of it.
    Okay, so it’s a picture of a bird. Give her  break; she’s entering the fifth grade at Sandy Plains Elemenary.
    Malinah, along with her younger sister Lily, is one of several local students who attended the Baltimore County Art Enrichment Camp at Perry Hall High.
    The co-chair of the Art Camp is Lori Fawkes, an art teacher at Sandy Plains who has also coached girls basketball and girls lacrosse at Sparrows Point High.
    On Thursday, the students — ranging from elementary school to high school — displayed what they had created during the camp at a showcase for their families and friends.
    Lily also had a sculpture, called “Fort Lily’s Birdground.” The two sisters also created several paintings.
    “I really like sculpture, it’s my favorite kind of art,” Malinah said. “I like working with papier-maché.”
    The two sisters enjoyed the art camp and look forward to one day joining the Fine Arts program at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts.
    “I like the teachers here at the camp,” said Lily, who is entering the fourth grade at Sandy Plains. “They’re really like my friends.”
    As expected, several of the students at the Art Enrichment Camp do not aspire to be accepted into the Patapsco Fine Arts magnet program; they are already in it.
    Nine Patapsco students participated in the camp.
Autumn Smith-Hayes, who will be entering her junior year at Patapsco, prefers to paint self-portraits.
    “I try to do my face realistically,” she said. “But when it comes to colors, I try to add more bright colors, vibrant colors.”
    Self-portraits seemed to be a theme among the Patapsco students.
    William Fortune, who will be entering his freshman year at the school, along with rising juniors Tyler Bryan and Kyra Cygan, also displayed several self-portraits at the showcase.
    “I focus on people,” Cygan said. “I like drawing all kinds of people; they’re so different.
    “At camp, I mostly studied my face.”
    Cygan also wants to capture interaction in her art, creating a narrative through facial expressions and gestures.
    For high school students, the Art Enrichment camp emphasized oil painting.
    “I’ve dabbled in oil painting, but I prefer working with charcoal,” Cygan said. “It’s easier to manipulate the values.”
    Cygan and Bryan were both sponsored at the camp by the Patapsco Art Boosters Club, which paid their registration fee.
    (Students must apply to participate in the camp, but Fawkes said no one is turned away.)
    Bryan attended the camp last year and encouraged Cygan to apply this summer.
    “It’s a good camp, helped me out a lot and got things rolling [with my art],” Bryan said.
    In his portraits, Bryan said he focused  more on the figure, bringing out color and “getting a little emotion.”
    Fortune is looking to try new and different ways of making art.
    “I really accomplished different facial expressions in my drawings, and that’s what I was trying to do,” he said.
    Fortune said he already knew some of the basics of working with oil painting and was now interested in working more with them.
    While the elementary school children worked on sculptures, paintings and drawings with the theme “Bugs, Birds and Beasts,” and the high school students did oil paintings and some worked with acrylics, the middle school students worked on sculptures, paintings and digital art.
    That involved creating animated shorts for television, designing creatures on a computer and telling stories through stop-motion animation using flipbooks.
    They also created stop-motion animation using Legos.
    Haley Flores, who will be entering the fifth grade at Sandy Plains, created a sculpture she called “Castle Resort.”
    “I wanted a place where people could go for vacation,” she said.
    Haley likes to make sculptures, but also expresses herself through drawing.
    “She likes to create art at home,” said Haley’s mother Maria. “She draws people, toys, flowers, whatever comes to her mind.”
    The Art Enrichment Camp is held every summer. It moves around, but has been hosted at Perry Hall High the last few years.
    Eileen Fitzgerald, an art teacher at Glenmar Elementary, co-chairs the camp with Fawkes.
    Several art teachers from around Baltimore County staff the camp, including Caitlin Wilson, a visual arts teacher at General John Stricker Middle School, and Teresa Lenahan of Dundalk Middle School.
    “The camp allows the students to sharpen their skills and is a good opportunity for them to do art all day, instead of during just one period a day,” Fawkes said. “They can work on art more in-depth than they can during a 45-minute regular class.”
    The camp ran from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.
    On the first Friday of the camp, students went on field trips to the Walters Art Gallery (elementary and middle school) and to Hamptom Mansion (high school).
    This is the sixth year Fawkes has been involved with the art camp.
    She majored in Fine Art Education at Goucher (where she also played for the women’s basketball team) and received her master’s degree in art education from Towson University.
    “I’ve loved art since I was little,” she said. “It’s odd to be involved in both athletics and art, but I’ve tried to juggle them both.”
    The four Patapsco students all would like to likewise begin a career based on art.
    Fortune would like to get a master’s degree in art and become an art teacher, while Smith-Hayes and Cygan are interested in art therapy.
    “You help people channel their emotions through art, rather than through other harmful ways,” Smith-Hayes said.
    Cygan would also like to help people through art therapy, in addition to other potential careers.
    “It’s pretty broad, but I’ve also considered illustrating children’s books,” she said. In her statement accompanying her work at the showcase, Cygan had written:
    “I want viewers to feel when they observe my work. I want them to wonder and personally connect to my art as individuals. Everyone has their own outlook on humanity, and I’ve chosen to express mine through art.”