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Art program takes area children 'Around the World'

By Shannon Jenkins

An arts camp in McDonough kicked off Monday for area children interested in sparking their creative juices before school starts in two weeks.

The Henry County Parks & Recreation Department is sponsoring the week-long camp at Wesley Lakes Elementary School, and the arts education organization Abrakadoodle is leading the instruction.

Pamela Rickels, director of the Fayetteville-based Abrakadoodle, said the camp focuses on the themes "Around the World" and "Castles and Dragons." With "Around the World," Rickels said children will paint festival elephants from India and birds from Ecuador and create sun sculptures from Mexico. Using the other theme, students will paint castles, shields and banners.

"They're fun themes for the summer," Rickels said.

Although students are learning about other cultures, Rickels said the camp is designed to introduce them to different art techniques and materials.

"I hope they'll take away a new appreciation for different art techniques and materials," she said, "and also that they have fun."

Keisha Tanner, an art instructor from Abrakadoodle, said the first day went well.

"They're doing good," she said of the students in the camp.

On Monday, Mattson Houghton was hard at work on a sail boat for his shield as part of the "Castles and Dragons" theme. The 9-year-old said he was enjoying the camp so far.

"It's really fun," he said. "You get to do lots of art."

This is the first year the Abrakadoodle art camp is being held in Henry County.

Parks & Recreation Department program coordinator Kathy Hunt said the program was brought to the county to stimulate local youth's creative abilities.

"It's really to get children involved in the arts at a younger age," she said.