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Church connects through Art

Children shared creativity and laughs at Fritz United Methodist Church during the church’s first summer art camp. Twenty-one children ages 5 to 12 spent each night learning different art techniques and practiced their new skills on a variety of projects. After the five-night program, running from July 24 to 28, students gained a better understanding of art, took home art creations of their own and made some new friends.

Each night started off with dinner, followed by some free time outdoors with activities such as relay races, jump rope and chalk drawing. After the outdoor fun, the art lessons began.

Congregation member and professional artist Jane Gaughran spoke to students about the type of art they would be learning about and creating that evening. Gaughran wrote and taught the diverse curriculum with concepts such as landscape art, sculptures, and Friese designs. These topics allowed students to work with mediums like paint, clay and cardboard. The evenings ended with a children’s song about God’s love led by musician Todd Newman.

In addition to the artistic talents of Gaughran and Newman, a multitude of students and other congregation members volunteered their time at the Fritz Art Academy Camp. Students came from schools such as Liberty HS, Lehigh Valley Charter HS for the Arts, Executive Education Academy Charter School and Lehigh University.

Charter Arts senior Ella Lethan spoke about why she volunteers : “It’s rewarding to see how happy the children are.” She also stressed the importance of the arts and encouraging student creativity.

Fritz United Methodist Church offered art classes in the fall of 2016 and plans to do so again this year. The church’s pastor, Barbara Lee, also plans to hold another Art Academy Camp next summer as part of the church’s community outreach efforts.

Pastor Lee spoke about the church’s plans.

“Part of what motivates us is that we believe that God created each person uniquely, and so we are in a sense created to be creative,” she said. “By providing an opportunity for children to learn art techniques and use great materials, we hope that they can tap into that creative part of themselves throughout their lives.”

Art classes are being planned for Saturday mornings in the fall. Call Fritz United Methodist Church at 610-866-1515 for more information.

PRESS PHOTOS BY ALLISON POCZAKMore than 20 children experienced a week of creativity and learning at Fritz United Methodist Church at the Fritz Art Academy Camp.