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August 19, 2010

Young artists to parade heady summer creations

News and Information

As a sculptor, Bryan Schoneman likes to work vertically, creating headwear that teeters a couple or even a dozen feet above the wearer. Turns out, he works that way teaching young students in summer art camp, too.

That’s why Room 301 of the Art Building has been filled with elementary school students making — and cheerily wobbling around underneath — cardboard headresses of outlandishly fun design. And that’s why they’ll parade those finished headdresses at 2:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 20, from just outside the Art Building down into the Quad.

Call it a small summer art parade, and consider yourself invited.

Schoneman graduated from the UW just this spring with an MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture, and his own art was on display at the Henry Art Gallery (see UWeek‘s story here.) While the young artists are creating their headdresses, he said, they’re also learning about materials usage, “and understanding that we don’t need specific art materials to create something unique and individual, and that we can use what’s available around us to put together projects that have meaning and embody a creative impulse.”

But rest assured, to the 7- and 8-year-olds in the third of Schoneman’s four classes of summer artists in Room 301, it’s mostly about making fun stuff and then wearing it on your head (while holding onto convenient handles to keep both art and artist from tottering over).

UW Educational Outreach offers summer art programs for students at the elementary, middle school and high school level. This year the total registration is about 860 children, said Leslie Rome-Nagata, program manager. The classes include art, writing, drama, science and more.

“All my instructors are wonderful,” said Rome-Nagata, who strives every year to bring in the highest-caliber people she can, some of whom are teachers and others working artists and actors. “It’s a nice mix of people and I think that’s kind of refreshing.” She added, “And I’m just thrilled with what the kids are doing.”

Schoneman said he’s been impressed with the interest on the part of his young artists. “I’ve never seen such full engagement — like, every single day,” he said.