Let your children find the artist inside

By Clyde Davis: CNJ Columnist

d“Broaden your horizons — spend a summer morning with the Boys with Beards.”

No, that doesn’t mean that ZZ Top is coming to Clovis, though that might not be a bad idea — I’d be first in the ticket line. What’s up is the Main Arteri’s summer arts program for kids. Most of the instructors lined up fit the above description.

Culture — that is what the summer arts program for children, held at Main Arteri, is all about. Not the kind of culture where one sits and listens to chamber music, or the kind where one analyzes and categorizes works of art. This is fine in its place, but that place is not likely for a 6-year-old.

What happens here is that kids learn about cultures and culture, while they are doing art.

Cultures — this year’s program follows a definite theme. Aboriginal work is the binding theme. Most or perhaps all of the works the kids will create are expressions of indigenous peoples — for example, a bison hide story as used by the Plains First Nations of North America; for example, a rain stick as used by the Central and South American indigenous peoples; for example, a carved wooden fishing lure as typical of the Northeast Woodlands First Americans.

Culture — how to create. Years past, and possibly this year as well, have included collages, drawing, painting, clay and ceramic work, and printmaking. New this year — woodcarving and woodworking, drama and possibly dance, and the potential for a mural. Favorite projects of the past have included a Jackson Pollock-style painting, created, obviously, outside.

New faculty have been added, some of whom don’t have beards. For example, Janeice Scarbrough, who teaches drama at ENMU, doesn’t have a beard unless she borrows it from the costume room. I do have a beard, but maybe I won’t by the time summer arts camp starts.

What is the age limit? As with most events at the Arteri, these are guidelines, but the guidelines are 6 to 12. That allows room for your 13-year-old if she wishes to come.

The cost is $85 for the week, meaning a 9 to 12 morning, Monday to Friday. The summer arts camp begins this week, and runs for eight weeks.

Is there a discount? Glad you asked. There is a sibling discount of 10 percent. By the way, cost includes all materials. No hidden fees or what have you.

Let’s run through the project list again. Printmaking, collages, clay, drawing, painting, drama, woodworking, possibly dance … pretty good stuff. Maybe music, too. Music is always there.

Where is the Main Arteri? In its fairly new home of 311 North Main St., Clovis. That part is important. Some folks thought they had closed when they moved. Be it said clearly that they moved, not closed.

Somebody (I think it was John Muir) once said, “All children are artists. Society just takes it away from most of them.” Well, if it wasn’t John Muir, it might have been Rusty Torgeson. If neither of them said it, one of them should have.

So sign up your kid, or a kid you care about, for summer morning fun at the Main Arteri. This quote, from Tom Shoemate, is a definite one, not shaky like the above:

“We will not be discussing ‘The DaVinci Code.’ We will definitely not be doing anything concerning ‘The DaVinci Code.’”

Clyde Davis is pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Portales and an instructor at Eastern New Mexico University. He can be contacted at: