The young artists started each day at the Wooster Mennonite Church around 10 a.m. with a welcome and introduction. Each morning quickly led into working on an art project, such as group painting canvas artworks to be auctioned off to help raise funds to rebuild the Secrest Arboretum. There was a lunch served each day, then an afternoon physical activity such as the Hula-Hoop races. Ending the day with music and a good behavior prize bag made for a full week of summer fun.
Melody Kirby and her husband, Blaine Budd, started the Mosaic Connection several years ago to connect art and fellowship for local adults. Mosaic Kids Connection spun off the original mission of connecting faith and art.
“The main focus of Mosaic Connection is to help adults and kids realize their artistic self,” Kirby said.
“We do several events throughout the year, including chalk art street drawings, Wooster Jam with music, dance and video, and a Santa’s Workshop in December with music and kids can create artworks to give as gifts. Santa’s Workshop sees about 100 kids participate every year,” she said.
A few of the art projects included in this year’s art camp included making sand candles and toad houses, making circle journals, constructing a ceremonial drum, creating 2-D artworks, making recycled fish mobiles and black light chalk art story telling. There were individual projects as well as group projects where the kids were working together in age groups.
“Attending the weeklong art camp helps build character, makes art available to many children that may not have access to supplies, it provides fellowship, opens the door to many new friendships and helps build confidence,” Kirby said.
There are many volunteers that help with the art camp. Volunteers teach art, prepare lunches and a number of other vital activities. Barb Higgins, a retired Triway High School teacher, has been volunteering with Mosaic Connection for over a year.
“This is a great opportunity and one of the few like it in the area where kids get involved with different art forms,” Higgins said.
“Kids get the chance to explore their potential through music and art. The children get to express themselves and find something inside themselves they can’t find working with numbers or chemistry,” she said.
Having just retired from teaching two years ago, Higgins said she got involved with the Mosaic Connection because it is a faith-based group and the founders are not afraid to share their faith with others.
In addition to the weeklong annual art camp, Mosaic Kids Connection offers a fall and winter program that meets every Monday evening that includes a meal, music and an art project. For more information, visit the website at www.mosaicconnection.org.
Published: July 18, 2012