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Bethel summer art academy offers something for everyone

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College is trying something new this summer – “art camp” for people of all ages, in a variety of media, from photography to clay sculpting to book arts.

Adult sessions run late May through late June. They will take place from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, with an hour lunch break, for five days. The fee for any session is $425 plus lab and materials costs, which vary.

Adult and youth workshops are taught by Bethel College art faculty and guest artist instructors. All will take place in Franz Art Center on the Bethel campus.

For more information or to register online, see

The first option is “Sculpting the Figure in Clay,” May 26-30, with Bethel College Professor of Art David Long.

“This workshop is designed as an introduction to figurative sculpting,” he said. Since students will work from a live, nude model, this class is open to people age 18 and older.

Long is also the instructor for “Creating a Dinnerware Set,” June 2-6, in which students will be guided through the fundamentals of using a potter’s wheel to create a four-piece dinnerware set.

The finished pieces can and will be fired at the appropriate time, Long said, so participants should expect to come back to glaze and fire the finished work.

This past January, Rachel Epp Buller, assistant professor of visual arts and design, offered the first-ever book arts class. For the June 16-20 art camp session, she will teach a mini version, “Art in your Pocket: Handmade Books.”

“This course will introduce a wide variety of folded and stitched book forms,” she said, “including accordion fold, triangle fold, flag fold, pamphlet stitch, stab stitch and more.”

There will be concurrent offerings for the final session, June 23-27.

Long will teach “Learning to See: Approaches to Black-and-white Film Photography,” in which participants will return to “old-style” photography using film, and will learn how to use the darkroom and develop their own photos.

Barbara Vogt will offer “Cloisonné Enameling,” an ancient technique of fusing fine silver wires and glass to copper shapes to create small “glass paintings” or jewelry, as participants prefer.

Vogt, who currently works at CityArts in Wichita, previously taught metalsmithing and enameling for more than 30 years in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In addition to these offerings, Brittni Rhodes, a K-8 art educator and owner of Giggle This Studios in Hesston, will teach three different youth sessions in early June. Cost is $100 per session plus materials fees, which vary.

Youth sessions are June 2 and June 9.

The June 2 offering is “Play’n in the Mud,” which Rhodes calls “a creative approach to clay hand building and sculpture.” It is for children in grades 4-8 and will be from 1-3 p.m.

There are two options on June 9, both from 8-9:30 a.m.

“Shutterbugs” is for beginning photographers. Participants must have their own digital camera and be willing to be in a paint fight.

“Project Runway” offers “sewing basics in an exciting way,” said Rhodes. Students will make stuffed creatures with recycled fabrics and will “create a fashion statement piece using creative materials for a runway show.”

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.