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Art Education Students Go to "Summer Camp"

Posted: July 28, 2011
Pablo Picasso once said, "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child."

In his quote, Picasso alludes to the limitless boundaries of a child’s imagination. A collaboration between the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) and Buffalo State ensures that future art educators learn to celebrate and nourish that creativity.

The Art Day Camp Summer Enrichment Program allows students ages 5-14 to enjoy up to four weeks of classes and programming taught by BPS instructors, Buffalo State students, and BPS high school students.

This free camp concludes with the Young Artists Show, a display of the work from the “camp-goers.” A reception will be held Friday, August 5, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts Art Gallery, 450 Masten Avenue. The exhibition will remain on view through Friday, September 9.

This year, five Buffalo State students are participating in the program: Hanna Gabryszak, Colin Sailor, Julie Walter, Angie Whittman, and Melonie Zakraysek. Candace Masters, assistant professor of art education, is Buffalo State’s liaison for the program. John Siskar, interim director of the Center for Excellence in Urban and Rural Education, is the project manager.

Over the course of four weeks, Buffalo State student teachers interact with more than 300 school-aged children. In addition to guiding classroom activities, Buffalo State students coordinate and supervise field trips. This summer, BPS students have been inspired by visits to such local landmarks as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Darwin Martin House, Erie Basin Marina & Naval Park, and Tifft Nature Preserve.

As fun and informative as the program is for BPS students, it is equally beneficial for its student-instructors. Buffalo State art education majors develop practical experience by working side by side with public school teachers, developing lesson plans, and organizing themed activities.

“There is a terrific benefit to all parties involved," said Michele Agosto, supervisor of curriculum in art for the Buffalo Public Schools. “Our campers get the best of both worlds—art teachers with great knowledge and pre-service art teachers with great enthusiasm. Buffalo State students get the tremendous opportunity to work with a group of students for four weeks, three hours per day, and learn what it is to be a teacher in the Buffalo Public Schools.” 

Established in 1930, Buffalo State’s art education program is the oldest state-sponsored preparatory program for art teachers in the United States.
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