PSU Art Department partnered with Greenbush June 2-3 in host of a Sketchbook Academy, held at Greenbush. The academy was open to all children interested in furthering their knowledge and experience with art.
Emily Roth, camp and enrichment coordinator, led the Sketchbook Academy with help from James Oliver, head of the PSU art department.
“This is the first year that we’ve ever done it, but based on all of the planning that we’ve had with James, and based on all of the students that have signed up for it, I think that this is something that kids are definitely going to be interested in and want to come back to do, so I really hope to work with James and the PSU art department in the future to have more of these camps,” Roth said.
Through the combination of both the off-campus and on-campus groups, a long-awaited camp idea had the opportunity to develop.
“The art department was looking at doing some sort of camp on-campus and we were hesitant because we were a little nervous about the logistics aspect,” Oliver said. “We knew kids would want to do such a thing because we’ve had lots of interest in the past—people calling and asking if we ever do any camps like that—and so when Greenbush approached us we thought that was an opportune time because they do the logistics portion really well and we do the content really well for this kind of thing, so we thought it was a really good partnership.”
Oliver taught sketching classes as part of the academy for fourth and fifth grade students from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday for sixth through eighth grade students.
“Initially with today we started at the very beginning, so the first things we talked about was posture of drawing, how you should sit, how you should organize yourself, how to hold a pen, and then we started drawing just starting from dots to lines to shapes,” he said. “So by the end of the day I hope the kids will be able to take their forms and be able to draw them dimensionally.”
Through attending the Sketchbook Academy, students had the opportunity to learn what sketching really is—making a rough drawing—and how to properly execute such.
“He is not having them use pencils, he is having them use pens so it teaches kids that it’s okay to make mistakes you don’t need to erase,” Roth said. “It doesn’t need to be perfect the first time because when you’re sketching it’s just a rough drawing that will turn into something incredible, so I think that’s something really important; to learn from your mistakes.”
Upon learning the how-to’s of sketching, this skill is an important factor in leading to further drawing abilities.
“The goal is to allow students to take an image or idea that is in their head and put it on paper and to allow them to learn a new form of creativity,” Roth said. “For me, I have a lot of images in my head or pictures or things that I imagine or dream, up but I am not skilled; I haven’t been taught how to put it on a piece of paper, so I think that the goal for Sketchbook Academy is to be able to give students those skills to allow them to take what’s created in their mind and put it on paper.”
For any student interested in taking the extra step with art or similar fields, sketching is essential for moving forward.
“Sketching is a really important skill throughout any kind of job just about so with this academy we’re hoping kids get more into sketching and drawing more than they normally would, giving them some skills that would allow them to take their sketches from there,” Oliver said.
Greenbush, located near Girard, offers various other fun, educational camps for kids interested in subjects from art to science and more.
“Greenbush, our goal essentially is to give students in southeast Kansas or wherever as many opportunities as we can because we realize there’s not a lot to offer in southeast Kansas, not a lot of diversity, not a lot of things to do during the summer that’s going to be educational, so one of our goals in general is to just give students new experiences to see new things, to try new things, to give them opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have if they stay home,” Roth said.