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July 19, 2013

Oil pastels bring youth creativity to life

DUNCAN — During the last half of this week, students at Arts Explosion have had the opportunity to create a mixed media piece of art.

Oil pastels were the primary media used, along with newspaper and acrylic paint in the class taught by Jana Oakman during the camp, hosted by Chisholm Trail Arts Council. Oakman is a counselor at Waurika High School, and a former Duncan Schools and E.D.G.E. Academy employee.

She also teaches painting to children and adults through her business, Paint & Party. It is her first year at Arts Explosion.

“(CTAC) contacted me and asked if I’d be interested and we chose to do oil pastels,” said Oakman. “I wanted to do something where I could also teach some art history and something that was bright and colorful.”

Each child first created their background, which was a collage of newspaper clippings with chicken recipes. Thursday, the students used the oil pastels to draw a rooster in the colors of their choosing.

“(Friday) they will use acrylic paint to enhance their image,” Oakman said.

For inspiration, Pablo Picasso was the artist of choice for Oakman to teach her students about. She said he was an artist who had used collage, just as they had done for their backgrounds.

With only 50-minute sessions during three days at the camp, Oakman said she had to have something the students could complete within the almost three-hour time period. Having done this project before with younger children, she said she knew it could be done.

“They seem interested and have done really well,” said Oakman. “I’ve been able to keep them on task.”

As for the students, many kept their heads down hard at work on their projects. Even when it came time for a snack break, they didn’t get in a hurry to stop working.

“It’s really fun and I’m having a great time getting to express my creativity,” said Matthew Gallion, a Plato fifth grader. “I get to design whatever kind of rooster I like.”

Arts Explosion wraps up the last day of camp today. There is a reception 5:30-7 p.m. tonight at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center. Parents and the public are encouraged to go out to see the projects the students have completed throughout the week.

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