BY BRIAN RIGGS
FORT MADISON AREA ARTS ASSOCIATION
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison Area Arts Association always organizes a challenging annual art camp in July that concentrates on guest instructors teaching how to utilize raw materials to create stunning visual outcomes.
The afternoons at the gallery provide a nest for imagination, merging lead instructors with a group of solid volunteers and junior leaders. King’s Daughters of Potowonok Circle have contributed to this annual event for many years.
Veteran Linda Ross of Chestnut Hill Pottery normally begins the action right off the bat on Tuesday July 10th. The pottery pieces must dry out under the sun for the days leading up to firing in the kiln before camp is done on Friday.
This year there was no “theme” for the camp, which had followed the July feature exhibition theme shows. This allowed for much more diversification on the ceramics creations. Next two-hour session featured Kathy Neff with Batik printmaking on paper. Oil pastel was a wax resist to the black acrylic that was painted on the piece prior to the finale. Wednesday was all things puppetry with first the session as a creation of shadow puppets and how to create a story line to make progression towards a performance.
Glassblower Jim Topic flexed his thespian skills while leading the students through creation of said puppets. He encouraged them to pay close attention as Joe Fierce of Keokuk performed “Four Fearsome Felines” for the crew. What a purrfect way to teach life lessons through the mouths of cat intelligencia! Afterwards the students split into groups for their own shadow puppet performances on a created stage for the kids to ply their new trade.
Painter Carlene Atwater began Thursday with fabric painting on silk and on bags that worked as perfect carryall to take home the week’s projects. A hike down Avenue G to Old Fort Madison for a tour finished the day.
Friday finished the camp with powerhouse Kaity Price who lead the students in creation of CD disc jewelry that incorporated paint, glitter, and heat, prior to making into necklaces, pins, or brooches.
The late afternoon hot weather parleyed perfectly for the traditional water fight at the park to end the festivities. Time than to pack a week’s worth of visual treasures in their painted bags and walk into the rest of the summer.