Kids create multicultural art

An Upshur County teacher is spending part of her summer leading children on an art-filled trip around the world.

Virginia Hicks, who teaches at Buckhannon Academy Elemenary School, is helping kids work with different art mediums in a class titled “Creative Cruise through the Continents.” The course is offered through the Randolph County Community Arts Center in Elkins.

“I think this class is helpful for the students because it gives them a look at what’s going on outside of their world,” Hicks said. “It offers them a view into lots of different cultures and opens their eyes to other cultures and traditions. It shows them how other people live, what their traditions are, how they speak, what they wear and what their homes were like.”

Hicks said she is a big advocate for multicultural art.

“On Monday, we studied Africa and painted lions and zebras,” Hicks said. “We made an African fabric collage with traditional prints. We also painted a sunset with an elephant silhouette. On Tuesday, we painted Native American shields and masks. We also made a Navajo weaving. Wednesday, the class theme focused on Asia.”

Mason Powell traveled from Canaan Valley to participate in the classes.

“I have had a great time,” Mason said. “I really like art and my favorite part so far was painting the lions while learning about Africa.”

Hicks said the first project of the week was making a portfolio.

“Students designed and decorated a portfolio to carry their art,” Hicks said. “The students really enjoyed this project, and it is useful.”

Classes also incorporated many different art techniques including paints, pastels, drawing and weaving. Information about other art classes for students, teens and adults is available by calling the Randolph County Community Arts Center at 304-637-2355.