The Kent Historical Society will offer four weeks of Art Enrichment Programs for children this summer. There will be opportunities for young artists from ages 5 to 13 to explore their artistic talents. This year will feature new classes in a variety of mediums and new instructors.
The Historical Society wants to foster arts education for young people in our area to honor the memory of George Laurence Nelson, a pre-eminent 20th Century artist known for his portraits, landscapes and florals, who lived at Seven Hearths for many years and bequeathed his 18th century home to the Kent Historical Society to operate as a museum.
KHS believes that arts education and other forms of cultural enrichment are essential to a young person’s whole and healthy development. The Society offers Summer Arts Enrichment to encourage children’s innate creativity and boost creative thinking and problem solving, while expanding their experience and appreciation of the arts.
Classes take place in the Kent Historical Society’s “Art Barn,” an indoor/outdoor space on the campus of the Historical Society’s Seven Hearths property, facing gardens and a woodland that will be used as extended classroom space. At the culmination of each class there will be an exhibition to allow parents and family to see all of the creations completed through the week.
Registration is not complete until payment is received, either by check or online. Space is limited in each class. Early bird discount is $110 per session per week and $100 for KHS members at the Family membership level and above prior to May 31, after which fees increase to $130 for non-members and $120 for members. Join as a Family member for $35. There is no discount for partial week attendance.
Final registration deadline is June 12. Checks to Kent Historical Society may be mailed to KHS, Art Enrichment Program, PO Box 651, Kent, CT 06757.
Refunds for Summer Art Enrichment will only be made up until 30 days before the child’s class begins, if we are able to fill the space with another applicant, less a $30 deposit/administrative fee. Membership fees are not refundable.
Week 1 Making Comics for ages 8-12, Mornings 9 am to Noon, June 26-30
Artist Samuel Easton Alford will lead this course on creating comics. This course will review several types of comics, the use of pictures and symbols and how to tell an effective story through sequential images. Students will create their own comics, as well as making comics by taking turns to draw a panel at a time, and other similar drawing games. Students will leave at the end of the week with a bound copy of their creations from the week. Mr. Alford majored in Animation from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has recently moved back to Connecticut. He has a variety of teaching experiences, ranging from teaching art classes, as well as math and history, at the Odyssey Community School in Manchester to serving as an arts and crafts instructor at the Deer Lake Camp. He has also been employed by many musicians to design and create album covers.
Week 1 Making Comics for ages 8-12, Afternoons 1-4 pm, June 26-30
This session will also be led by Samuel Easton Alford, when he’ll offer a second session of the Making Comics class.
Week 2 – Drawing Workshop for ages 9-10 (grades 4-5), Mornings 9 am to Noon, July 10-14
Artist and longtime art teacher Albert Coffill will share his talents in drawing with this class. Students will review basic drawing techniques that include drawing exercises, the proper use of materials and hands-on projects. Each student will receive a sketchbook to record the images that will embrace the historical connection associated with artist George Laurence Nelson and his artistic creations. Natural and manmade objects from the property, including the house and gardens will be used in still life, portraiture and landscape drawing. The Historical Society is excited to welcome Mr. Coffill to the summer art program. Coffill taught art for 42 years at Kent Center School, as well as teaching previously part-time at Sharon Center School. Mr. Coffill is a renowned landscape painter and he is known for capturing special places in Northwest Connecticut. When not in his studio, Mr. Coffill can be found in the many gardens of his family home. He has always had a love for nature and has explored many areas of Connecticut where his family has lived for thirteen generations. It is this appreciation of nature that ties both painting and gardening together for Mr. Coffill.
Week 2 – Advanced Drawing Workshop for ages 11-13 (grades 6-7), Afternoons 1-4 pm, July 10-14
This advanced drawing class will incorporate the processes used in the Drawing Workshop at an advanced level. Also taught by Mr. Coffill, he will draw upon his decades of experience instructing young artists. The Seven Hearths historic house museum and gardens will be used in still life, portraiture and landscape drawing. Each student will receive a sketchbook and will be given the chance to refine their drawing skills and challenge their creativity. Individual expression based on the inspiration of the art of George Laurence Nelson will be encouraged.
Week 3 – Drawing – Mornings for ages 8-12, 9 am to Noon, July 17-21
This drawing class will be led by Andy Richards, who is a native of Kent and currently the chairman of the Visual Arts Department at The Gunnery School in Washington. This is Mr. Richards’ third year with our summer art program. He will instruct students in drawing as a way to explore their creativity and use their imagination. Exploring one’s ideas visually with drawing is a wonderful way to communicate and share a vision. The Principles of Design and the Elements of Design will be covered with the idea that knowledge of these concepts will help the student to understand how to take their ideas and put them onto paper. The central idea is for students to have fun and learn that drawing and the visual arts are a positive learning experience. There is no right or wrong way to draw, which can free a student to explore without the worry of making a mistake. Students will work with pencil, markers, charcoal and pastel on paper, learning techniques for each. They will work on an exercise that involves drawing their favorite place – anything from a house, a room or even a treehouse. They will also complete a drawing examining positive and negative space. Pastels will allow students to work with color and see how different colors can affect the mood of the drawing.
Week 3 – Painting – Afternoons for ages 8-12, 1-4, July 17-21
Painting can be a lifelong activity, whether as a professional or as a hobbyist. Learning about color and the wonderful effect it has on people can help guide your painting process. We are so fortunate to see our world in all of it splendor with beautiful yellows, blues, reds, greens, oranges and purples. Your imagination lives in full color and painting allows you to make your imagination into a reality. Andy Richards will lead this program as well, and will cover the Principles of Design and the Elements of Design with the idea that knowledge of these will help the student to understand how to take his or her imagination and put it onto canvas. The central idea is for students to have fun and learn that painting and the visual arts are a positive learning experience. As with drawing, there is not a right and wrong way to paint, which can free a student to explore without the worry of making a mistake. Students will start with watercolors and move on to working with acrylics. One of the projects will be an exercise that involves splattering paint and then looking for creatures that can be developed from the shapes created by the splatters.
Week 4 – Art Exploration – Mornings for ages 5-8, 9 am to Noon, July 24-28
Gabriella Martinez, who is a resident of Kent and currently attending the Hartford Art School, will be bringing her creativity to the Society’s Art Enrichment program this summer. This class with include several art projects, including a pop art self-portrait collage. Photos of the children taken on the first day will be transformed by the kids into personal expressive works of art, utilizing a variety of mediums. They will each have their own sketchbooks, where they will learn how to use their sketchbooks to freely explore their own creative ideas.