ELLY GRIMM

    • Leader & Times

 

Summer vacation is under way and for parents looking for some activities for their children during the break, Baker Arts Center will have multiple options in the coming weeks, according to Baker Arts Center Director Brittyn Heronemus.

“Summer camps are huge with people in town, and we decided to get in on that fun here at Baker Arts Center. This week, we've been hosting our Wearable Art Camp, and that included tie-dye work and clay work – the focus was on artwork you can wear and/or give as gifts,” Heronemus said. “Then, June 11 and 12, we'll be hosting our photography camp for children 8 years old and older, and the focus will be on photography basics and working with a manual camera, and that will be followed by our Bluey Art Camp June 14, which is for children 4 years old and older, and we'll be making masks and having some other fun celebrating the character. Then, June 18 through 20, we'll have our Dinosaur Art Camp for children 4 years old and older, and we'll have our own little dig, some dinosaur-related games, and we'll have some other really fun activities. Then, to end June, we'll be kicking things over to our kitchen by hosting our Young Chefs: Cupcake Wars for children 8 years old and older, and that will be June 24 and 25, and the children will be learning how to mix, bake and decorate cupcakes, and there will also be a friendly competition among everyone. Like with anything else here at the Baker Arts Center, anyone wanting to participate just needs to call the center at (620) 624-2810, or they can also visit bakerarts.org or come and sign up in person at 624 N. Pershing Ave.”

With everything that will be going on, Heronemus said there is a lot to be excited about.

“Something else I'm excited about outside of the camps is our bigger family events. Saturday will be our first movie night, and we'll have our big screen blown up and our projector running, and the movie will be 'Monsters Inc.,' so it should be a good time for everyone,” Heronemus said. “This first movie night is free, and then our other movie nights will be $2, and we'll also have snacks, just like a regular movie theater. And, along with the camps, we'll also have our regular classes – last summer, we slowed down with those, but for this summer, we're wanting to have those going. Every Thursday will be our painting classes (which can be for families), and every other Tuesday is our Kids Clay classes. We'll also have some adult classes, including our Sip & Paint, which will be June 21, and we'll also have a DIY terrarium class with Claire June 13, and we'll provide the materials for those classes, and they should be really fun for everyone.”

Heronemus added choosing activities and classes for this summer’s fun was actually rather easy in some ways.

“We did a Spring Break camp, which featured a different activity every day, including the tie-dye, and all of our young participants absolutely loved it and had the best time, so I knew we'd have to include that again for this summer, and that also inspired the idea for the Wearable Art Camp we've been doing this week because we knew we would need a little variety,” Heronemus said. “We also asked the children 'What would you like to see this summer?' which led to the Bluey Art Camp idea – everyone seems to absolutely love the 'Bluey' cartoon nowadays, so we thought that would also be really fun. And when you're a kid, you can't really go wrong with dinosaurs, and I saw some really great ways online of how to draw certain dinosaurs using shadow art, so I thought that would also be something everyone would enjoy. And with the Cupcake Wars idea, that was sparked last year by our Make-It Monday in the kitchen, which ended up being a real hit and drew a bunch of children in, and they learned a lot. In that spirit, I thought 'Why not get some older children involved, learn how to bake, and have something they can take home to their families?' And a little friendly competition is always fun, and it's also a great excuse to use our beautiful kitchen space.”

With everything that has been planned, Heronemus said she hopes to see lots of participation.

“I think we'll be really, really busy,” Heronemus said with a chuckle. “I also think we'll all have a really great time. Something I really love about working here, and something I get to witness a lot, is families making memories together, so that's why I pushed for more family events/activities so they can make some of those memories together and look back on. I'm really excited to keep this alive and get more of the community involved and help spread the word about what all we'll be doing this summer. I definitely recommend signing up early, because I hate turning people away, so definitely get signed up in plenty of time. I don't really ever have a set cut-off as far as head count until shortly before the actual event. And again, anyone wanting to participate just needs to call the center at (620) 624-2810, or they can come and sign up in person at 624 N. Pershing Ave. People can also purchase memberships, which can get you discounts on classes – if you purchase a $5 children's monthly membership, you'll save $10 per day on every camp.”

Heronemus said there will also be many lessons the children will learn throughout the summer.

“I love getting to see the children work together, we have a lot of teamwork that happens. I see older children stepping in and helping younger ones with certain parts of their project, and I've also seen younger children sharing some tricks with the older children, so it's really great to see all these children coming in here and playing/learning together,” Heronemus said. “It's a different environment than what they might be used to because it's not as strict as school or home, and it's great for children to get out of the house and meet some new friends and learn a new skill that might serve them well in the future.”

The summer at Baker Arts Center has started off well so far, and Heronemus said she hopes that success will continue. Heronemus also offered encouragement for the communtity follow the center’s social media pages for additional updates and future activities.

“The Wearable Art Camp activities were all pretty full, and everyone had a lot of fun – we did the crafts, we also did some outdoor activities, we played Bingo, and had some other fun. It's great because that way, these children get to take in ALL of Baker Arts Center instead of being confined to just the classroom area,” Heronemus said. “Also, I know a lot of people have noticed our yellow shed in the backyard has gotten an addition, so I can officially announce we are bringing a Splatter Shack to Liberal! People will be able to go in and throw paint on a canvas or t-shirt or whatever medium they like – it's basically a smash room, but with painting. And we'll provide protective gear like the shoe booties and things like that, so people won't need to worry about that. It's something we've kind of been teasing for a little while, but I'm happy to say that will officially be opening later this summer, and I hope a lot of people take advantage of that. And it's a private experience, so you can rent it for yourself or a group of friends, so you won't have to worry about being in there with a group of strangers, and you can sign up for either a 30-minute or 60-minute slot, depending on what you want. We've also got a photo area in the backyard, so people can take pictures with our VW bus or the flower painting or whatever they want. We also have venues for rent, so if you're planning a party or some other get-together, you can rent our park or patio or kitchen. We've had birthday parties, weddings/receptions, a cat's birthday party, all types of different events, so we are available to have whatever type of party you're looking for.”

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