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Students from near and far exercise creativity

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Despite enrollment limits due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual summer Art in the Park program led by Sarah Davis and Jodi Steinbach was a popular attraction again.

The program, held at Southside Park shelterhouse, drew 16 second- and third-graders and 33 fourth- through sixth-graders in two sessions Monday through Thursday, July 6-9. Twenty-three kindergartners and 29 first-graders attended Monday through Thursday, July 13-16.

Students came not only from the immediate area — Carroll, Arcadia, Breda, Coon Rapids, Glidden, Lake City, Lidderdale, Manning, Templeton and Vail — but also from as far as Lytton, Odebolt, Missouri Valley, Des Moines and Omaha. Some of the students from farther away were staying with grandparents for the week.

“It was fun having such a variety of students from different towns and backgrounds,” said Davis, Kuemper K-8 art teacher, and Steinbach, Kuemper High School art teacher, in an email to the Times Herald.

They said they’ve hosted the camp for second through sixth grades approximately eight years and the K-1 camp about five years.

“Art in the Park is such a fun time for us as teachers and parents because we truly believe our unique Art in the Park camp offers not only educational and creative opportunities, but is fun, challenging, and makes us all stretch our brains in different ways as we work with a variety of media and subject matter,” they commented. “Students really enjoy the format and love the chance to get a little messy! We encourage our students to be themselves, enjoy the processes, and always put their own personalities and touches into each art piece they create.”

They thanked parents and caregivers who made Art in the Park a priority this year.

“We understand it takes much sacrifice to send your child to a camp, and with these uncertain times, we knew a normal ‘camp’ took on many new meanings,” they said. “Although lots of sanitizer, hand washing, and masks were worn, we can honestly say it felt great to be with these students again and be creating!”

Second- through sixth-graders each completed the following projects: bound sketchbook with abstract animals drawn and also decorated with different lines and patterns, a multi-media string art piece focusing on radial design and sewn details, a commemorative Art in the Park cutting board with individual paint-pour design, and southwestern plant painting on canvas.

Kindergartners and first-graders each completed the following projects: bound sketchbook with oil pastel drawn butterflies and insects and a watercolor painted background, a multi-media ceramic clay monster with added textures and painted details, a commemorative Art in the Park cutting board with individual paint-pour design, and a brightly colored fishbowl painting on canvas.

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