Jane Timmins, who recently relocated from Warren to Huron, she’ll be the one instructing the little Matisses for five weeks in the Mini Picasso program held Saturdays at the Firelands Symphony Orchestra in Sandusky.
We talked to Timmins about the art classes that cover fun and creative projects involving painting, sculpture and drawing.
In a nutshell, what is the Mini Picasso program?
It’s an art program for children grades 1 to 8 to foster creativity. I’m very excited about it. Right now, I work with middle school and high school kids. I used to teach elementary school and so now I’ll be getting a little taste of the elementary school working with the younger kids. It’s a completely different experience.
Why is it so important for younger kids to get involved in art?
It allows the child to dig deep into their imagination and creativity, which they don’t really do nowadays because everything is videogames and the technology. The kids really don’t have that creative side of their brain that’s been developed. Now with the arts being cut in schools, they’re really taking it away, so this is a chance for the kids to still have it and to build upon it for future use. This is for any kids, advanced or beginner.
Even though some kids will be quite young in the Mini Picasso program, can you see emerging talent at that age?
Absolutely. There are different developmental stages. Most definitely you can see talent as young as preschooler, kindergartener and first grader. And for the ones who have talent like that, it’s a wonderful experience to be in a program like this.
What sort of projects do you have planned?
I’ll introduce acrylic painting to them, sculpture, paper maché and possibly some clay work. We would probably use watercolors and the different techniques. We’ll do some pencil drawings, just a bunch of creative stuff. And you have so much freedom with art that you can change the lessons to make them easier or more challenging, and still build upon the same idea.
Finally, which of the mediums is the easiest and hardest for kids?
I would say the drawing from observation because they can make anything up in their minds and put on the piece of paper but when you’re drawing from observing something, that’s the difficult part. That’s trying to teach your brain not to work and to just draw what you see, not what you think you see. And then painting would be easiest, and sculpture at times. That can be challenging but for the most part I think that would be easy too. The hardest is drawing from observation.
The Mini Picasso art class is for grades 1 through grade 8. Classes are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to noon Saturdays Nov. 2 through Dec. 7 (no class Nov. 30). The cost is $70, which includes supplies. Firelands Symphony Orchestra is located at 334 E. Washington St, Sandusky. For more information, call 419-621-4800.