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Video+Story: Camp at Art Museum Introduces EPISD Students to El Paso’s Art Scene

The El Paso Museum of Art opened its doors and welcomed more than 100 EPISD students this summer for a fun-filled and art-inspired enrichment camp.

The camp was available to elementary- and middle-school students interested in learning about art. Students were introduced to different works from around the world, including art pieces from well-known El Paso artists.

Students learned more than just art, however.

news_2485_mDuring each weekly session students rolled up their sleeves and created their own masterpieces, including masks, ceramics and paper art.

Canyon Hills Middle School teacher Michael Mata coordinated the camp and served as a go-between the museum and the each of the schools participating.

“These are really in-depth lessons,” Mata said. “The kids get inspired by the artwork in the museum and come up their own amazing ideas. I think they are going to walk away with a better understanding and appreciation for the arts.”

Nixon Elementary and Richardson Middle schools were the last schools to participate in the camp this week. Elementary students created unique art pieces using only their imagination and colorful bits of tissue paper.

“The museum has done a great job of finding age-appropriate art crafts for the students,” Mata said. “They have had a blast.”

Fifth-grade student Kyra Hayes had no trouble finding inspiration for her art project. She sketched out her design with familiar ease. news2_2485_m

“I’m drawing my dog Romeo. He is a police rescue dog,” Kyra said.

Kyra is no stranger to the museum. She visits with her parents every time there is a new exhibit. She was more than happy to participate in the summer camp.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” Kyra said. “I like that we get to draw whatever we want.”

While the elementary students worked on their paper crafts, Nolan Richardson students toured the museum.

Teaching artist David “Grave” Herrera stood next to the bigger-than-life mural by renowned El Paso artist Gaspar Enriquez. Herrera stressed the importance of finding local artists and encourage them to continue their craft.

unnamed (14)“Gaspar meant a lot to me in my life,” Herrera said. “He influenced me as an artist. It is important to find someone like that.”

Herrera also touched on Tom Lea’s legacy before heading into the “Celebrating Picasso” exhibit, which features black and white photos of the famous artist by photographer Douglas Duncan.

Each student was asked to pick a photo that spoke to him or her. Eighth-grader Jillian Kahala chose a photo depicting Picasso’s studio.

“I liked this photo because you can see how Picasso’s paintings express feeling,” Kahala said. “It’s messy, but he is able to create these beautiful paintings.”unnamed (13)

Student Christian Holguin picked a photograph showing the artist’s more comical side. In the portrait Picasso is wearing a cardboard mask, eyes locked on the camera.

“I liked this photo because you can see he is not a typical person,” Holguin said. “You get a glimpse into his mind and how he did things differently.”

The students are going to leave their own legacy behind, as they will create a mandala style mural in one of the museum’s classroom walls. They will use the art collections in the museum as inspiration for the mural.

unnamed (12)Museum School Coordinator David Hernandez hopes camps like this one create lifelong art enthusiasts.

“This camp promotes art enrichment in our community,” Hernandez said. “We want them to be invested in learning about art and be invested in the what the museum has to offer.”

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