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The benefits of art for kids

A Winter Art Camp at The University of Maine's Museum of Art in Bangor focuses on improving fine motor skills, promoting creativity and developing other abilities.

BANGOR, Maine — There is an in-depth art experience at the University of Maine's Art Museum in Bangor just for kids. The week-long art camp focuses on teaching young kids to appreciate and understand art.

Campers are creating art in response to what they see in the museum galleries. Kids here get a chance to work on their creativity, improve literacy and motor skills, and develop other abilities.

"Just brings kids into an awareness of what's going on with contemporary modern art, what we've got going on in the exhibitions, and to just tie into the idea behind the making as they make their own art projects," said Kat Johnson, the Senior Museum Educator and Marketing Manager.

For many of these kids, this winter five-day camp was the chance for them to try new things, have fun, develop skills and make memories.

"It gives them an outlet to work with their creativity and process," Johnson said.

And work on solving problems, improving literacy, and practicing motor skills.

Art event in Bangor, ME by University of Maine Museum of Art on Monday, February 17 2020

"All of the work that we do is based on what we are taking a look at and chatting in the gallery," Johnson said.

Campers have direct access to art in the museums' galleries to inspire them.

"They have patterns on them, they use bright colors and they have lots of texture," 7-year old, Belle Goupee said.

"They all have incredible opinions on each piece, and they are really insightful, they always pick up on all the different formal qualities that the artwork is achieving," Johnson said.

Projects ranging from watercolor painting, printmaking, to wood coloring, and everything art-related.

These kids are developing abilities that can be used to understand school subjects like reading, writing, math and science. 

"We are making animals that are being affected by climate change and pollution and we are going to put it on a poster," 9-year-old Olivia Clark said.

"Makes me feel very happy that I can come here, 10-year-old Ronan Sands said.

The UMaine Museum of Art in Bangor is completely free of charge for its visitors.

The museum also has summer art camp sessions scheduled for this year for kids of all ages.  For an updated list of the winter and summer camp dates and prices, you can go to the University of Maine's Museum of Art page here.

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