Area kids get hands-on at local art camp


Local artist Laura Walker held her art camp at The Link of Cullman County this year, where several area kids participated. / Heather Mann

CULLMAN – Some say that encouraging creativity in children can often lead to a better future. Expanded imaginations can come up with new inventions for transportation, renewable energy sources or medical breakthroughs. However, finding ways to inspire creativity can sometimes be challenging for parents. Locally, Cullman has an active artist community, and artist Laura Walker shared her talents this week in her annual art camp, held at The Link of Cullman County.

Walker has been teaching art camps for 10 years, though these past few years have seen only one camp per year due to her wish to spend more time with her own kids. Each camp, which lasts for a week, requires an additional week of preparation prior. Walker has taught kids from ages 5-17, though next year she plans for her camp to focus on older students (8-15 years old).

Walker says her main goal with the camp is to encourage artistic creativity in children, which she does by letting the kids create art through several different mediums: watercolors, pencils, pastels, acrylics, oils, mosaics, and several glass jar projects. In addition to the individual projects they worked on this year, the kids all contributed to a group mural depicting an eagle. The mural was presented to Cold Springs High School at the art show on Friday that concluded the camp.

Said Walker, "My art philosophy, my teaching with the children, is that I don't want to ruin it (art) for them. I think kids naturally are creative and naturally enjoy themselves until some adult tells them they didn't do well enough, or they criticize them enough that they quit. I don't ever ever ever want to be that adult. I talk to adults all the time who say, 'Oh I used to love art until my teacher told me it wasn't any good, so I stopped' or '-until my mom kept correcting me until I quit.' I don't wanna be that person, I just wanna help them enjoy what they're doing."

Anyone who wants to check out Walker's work can find her at Cullman’s 2nd Fridays, on Facebook (Laura's Shop), on Instagram (artwithasoul), or on Etsy shop (cullmanlaurasart).

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