BY BARBARA M. TOBIAS –
On the second Saturday of each month, from 1 to 3 in the afternoon, somewhere around a dozen children gather in the classroom at Mena Art Gallery and have a great time, while learning a lot about art.
Niki Dempsey, the volunteer who teaches the class, is a talented artist in her own right, but no less talented in working with children. Sometimes they draw; sometimes they paint; every two or three months they work in three dimensions.
The latest project was Thanksgiving turkeys made starting with Styrofoam pumpkins, which with some feathers, some leaves, and a bit of imagination, became plump turkeys strutting across the table.
They are also working on a bigger project. They have a large canvas marked off into sections, one of which will be painted by each child. This month their “homework” is researching tropical birds, finding pictures, and practicing drawing the one of their choice. When this is done, they will paint their particular bird on one section. The finished painting is to be hung in the gallery.
If you have a child who would like to participate, please call the gallery at 479-394-3880 and make a reservation. We try to keep the class size small enough so that each child can have individual attention. The class is limited to ages 6 through 12; there is a $2 fee per child, per class to cover the cost of materials.
If you are an adult who loves working with children, there’s a place for you also, artist or no. Niki likes to have at least one helper each month making sure each child has the attention needed. Call the gallery to see when you can join the fun.