Athletic ability not needed
These camps are for kids who thrive on art
Teacher Doug Weller says everyone has different talents -- and he hopes his summer art camps tap into those talents.
"Some kids are blessed being artistic and athletic, but my camp is beneficial because there are kids that just thrive on art," Weller said.
Thriving is his goal. He knows it is unrealistic to think all of his students will grow up to be artists, but he wants his passion for art to transfer to them.
"If kids can see how much fun I have in teaching it, it will make them just as excited to do it," Weller said. "I always tell the kids, 'I'm not interested in you becoming the next Picasso, but I am interested in making sure you understand what art is and how it affects the world around you and having an appreciation for it.'"
As a basketball coach, Weller is the first to say his art camp gives kids who are not into the typical basketball camp or soccer camp something to explore.
"Sometimes, the athletic camps offered in the summer just isn't their thing. So I think what these camps do is benefits those kids," he said.
There are two art camp sessions scheduled this summer.
The first, held June 17-21, just concluded. The morning session for grades 1-4 was called Art Media Mayhem, which gave students a large range of art projects to experiment with.
"So there's a little bit of drawing, a little bit of painting, a little bit of sculpting. I kind of give them a wide range of just different art media," Weller said.
The afternoon session for grades 5-8 was called Pop Art.
"We study the pop art movement from the '60s, '70s, '80s, and we try to emulate the style of some of the pop artists," he said
The second summer camp session is scheduled July 22-26. The morning class again is for grades 1-4 and is called Abstractastic! which allows students to experiment with abstract art. The afternoon class for grades 5-8 is called Creative Cartooning.
"We spend a week developing different characters and cartoons and comic strips and things of that nature. That's kind of my forte," Weller said.
In fact, he said, cartooning is what got him interested in art. His mom brought home comic books from the store one time and he fell in love with them.
"I didn't hear the names Vincent Van Gogh or Picasso until I was in college. Art for me was always comic books and cartoons and comic strips," Weller said.
He recalled trying to copy the pictures in the comic book and grew up loving the medium. After high school, Weller attended art school and for a long time, submitted cartoons to comic-book companies hoping that would be his path in life.
At family gatherings, he would draw for his nieces and nephews, who insisted he teach them how to do it. That's when something clicked.
"So I went back to OSU and got my teaching license and I still do cartooning," Weller said. "I still have my own little comic book I'm hoping to one day get published. But I love working with kids and art in general."
Weller has hosted art camps for 11 years in Marysville. Classes are held at the Houston House, 264 W. Fifth St., home to the Marysville Art League. The cost is $110 per session.
Sessions are limited to 12 students and they have proven to be popular.
"Spots in my camp fill pretty quick. I don't like to turn away people from camp," Weller said.
Sometimes he tries to squeeze in just one more person in hopes of inspiring another student to fall in love with art.
"Art is no longer a painting on a canvas or a sculpture in a park," Weller said "Art nowadays is video games, Internet, advertising -- there are so many different avenues for the art field now, it's just ridiculous.
"I think a lot of art teachers are helping kids understand art is not just the Mona Lisa. I think that's going to be a big draw for kids who are artistic-minded and want to do something in the field of art."