Summer arts program fosters kids’ creativity


WILTON – Exploring time and space through creative art forms is the focus of Foothills Summer Arts students this week.

“The 64 students not only get to meet students from other towns,” said Director Anne Geller, “but they also have the opportunity to express their own ideas and discover talents and abilities that they may not have realized they have.”

The program offers five different art forms for students who have completed grades four to six. After trying the dance, writing, music, theater and outdoor art on the first day, students choose to be involved in four of the five mediums each day for the rest of this week, she said.

This day, outdoor art students Lea Machnitzky of Jay and McKenzie Tyler of Strong create a shadow from natural materials such as twigs, leaves and cones. The teepee style form wouldn’t remain standing for the girls but they keep trying, said Machnitzky.

Another student, Lucas Choate of Jay used large twigs of bamboo found near the site to create straight lines of shadow on the tar.

Other projects focused on creating lines, spirals and patterns that have diminished with the weather. While the collages and sculptures are not permanent, several photos are taken and students will have a choice of one to keep.

“The process of creating drama rather than the performance has been the focus of the theater program,” Geller said. “While we have an open house for parents on Friday, the theater students do not prepare a performance during the week. They have more courage to experiment without worrying about a performance.”

Masks created by the students, along with a magical time tunnel, transformed them into spirits, gods and animals Thursday. Each one taking a turn to show their character and voice their own creative dialogues for their peers.

A writing program lets students write an original story then create collages and drawings to illustrate them.

A group of youngsters were moving and twisting their bodies to the rhythm of the music in the creative dance program Thursday. They learn the level, flow and speed of dance, Geller said, as they move to create twisted and then triangular shapes.

The program is annually at Academy Hill School. A second week, July 16-20, is for students who have completed grades 7 to 12.

For students unable to afford the full fee, scholarships are available. A little over half of the students require help to attend the program, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., she said.