In the party-like atmosphere, instructor Lori Burroughs moved to the music as she squirted the acrylic paints needed for the day’s masterpiece on each camper’s palette. The 16 artists, ages 6-15, came to the Kannapolis Parks and Recreation summer kids’ camp on July 2 to create their own masterpieces.
Lexia Honeycutt, 9, said she was excited because she painted a tree last year and she wanted to create something just as beautiful to hang next to it on a wall in her bedroom.
She wanted to do the painting, “Patriotic Fireworks”: “It is a good time to paint fireworks because the Fourth of July will be here in a couple of days and we get to see the real fireworks tonight,” she said.
“I have always liked to paint, since I was 3 or 4,” Lexia said. “Miss Lori is very nice and she has shown me how to mix colors and which brushes to use.”
A Kannapolis native, Burroughs said she has always had an interest in art. The art teacher from Woodrow Wilson Elementary has been holding the summer art classes at Village Park for more than three years to give students “something to do to expand their creativity over the summer.”
Starting with the background and the “big daddy” brush – the largest of three brushes campers were supplied – Burroughs guided them through making the dark blue and black background they would need for the fireworks.
While the artists waited for the background to dry, Burroughs brought out water toys for them to play with, to burn off any excess energy. During the break she provided snacks and drinks while those who brought a lunch could eat.
Once the campers burned off their excess energy and the canvasses were ready for more paint Burroughs refocused the artists on their creations. “Using the ‘little baby brush’ we are going to start making our fireworks,” said Burroughs.
Starting with white, making arcing semicircles like Burroughs demonstrated, the plumes started to take shape. Some followed her instructions perfectly while others did their own interpretations. “Is it OK if it doesn't look exactly like yours?” was heard more than a few times. Burroughs responded, “Yes, this is your masterpiece, so it should show your own personal style.”
The fireworks came to life as the artists added layers of red, blue and yellow to them. Using the same colors, they completed their masterpieces by adding vertical lines to the black foreground, creating grass that appears to be illuminated by the fireworks in the sky.
Marty Price is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marty? Email him at email@example.com.
Want to go?
The Kannapolis Parks and Recreation summer kids’ camps are offered 3-6 p.m. Mondays and 3-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the camp office in Village Park, 700 W. C St., Kannapolis, through July. In August the classes will be noon-3 p.m. and 11 a.m. -2 p.m. Mondays-Thursday, ending on Aug. 18. Check the program calendar for specific times. The fee for the camp is $25 per day, per child and covers all needed supplies. Details: www.kannapolisnc.gov/city-government/departments/parks-recreation/recreational-programs/
Burroughs also offers children and adult lessons at private parties through her business, Wine Down and Paint. Details: www.winedownpaint.com/home.html.