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Communique: Family Festival @ Cameron Art Museum | Saturday

Cameron Art Museum
Clay at CAM Fest 2016

The Cameron Art Museum throws the Family Festival this Saturday, 4/28. Art activities will be going on all over the CAM facility--clay, painting, printing, doodling, origami, music, yoga-and more. 

The event runs from 11:00am to 2:00pm. In case of rain, all the outdoor activities will be moved indoors. Suggested donation is $5 per child.

But this event is not just for kids. In addition to activities that all ages will enjoy, this is an opportunity to sign up for summer program classes with a 10 percent discount. The class list will be revealed on Saturday morning. All the exhibits will be open for view as well.

Listen to Director of the Museum School, Donna Moore, and Director of Youth and Family Programs, Georgia Mastroieni, above.  See our extended conversation below.

Georgia:  This event is called Family Festival Kids @ CAM and it's a part of our Kids @ CAM series, which is a monthly Saturday event where we invite families from the community to come into the museum, work with guest artists and explore the galleries. And this is one of our biggest versions of that every year. And that's in fact why we changed its name to Family Festival because it has much more of a festival feeling.

Gina:      What can people expect here on Saturday?

Georgia:  We have lots of things lined up for Saturday.  we have music with a Mr. Mark of the Broccoli Brothers. He'll be playing from 1130 to 1:30. The Cam Café will be providing sort of a satellite restaurant that's focused on kids menus. So it'll be kid friendly sandwiches, snacks and beverages that will be easy to order from an outside location. And we're working with many, many talented local artists and organizations that we'll be offering different activities and art projects all around the grounds of the museum. And in the case of inclement weather, we'll move the event inside to our spaces inside the museum.

Gina:      What age range is this appropriate for?

Georgia:  This really is an event for all ages. I would say that,  oftentimes it kids at cam, the children that come are between preschool and elementary age. But since we're going to be offering such a wide array of options for this particular event, I think any age child's,  any age person really would have a great time.

Gina:      Even grown ups?

Georgia:  Absolutely. There's a lot of wonderful Museum School artists who will be offering different workshops and programs.

Gina:      Do you want to tell me, Donna, about the Museum School artists who are going to be there?

Donna:    That's kinda tough because I can read the whole list and it's rather lengthy. We're happy with the number of people participating and I can't really spotlight any cause they're all spotlighted. They're all highlights of the event.  Georgia mentioned. Mr. Mark is our musician, Renato Abbate will be there with his famous clay table with the wheels and hand building table, Todd Carignan. We'll be doing plein air all over the grounds. Painting. Tophor Alexander, who, oh, by the way, is opening here on Friday evening at your MC Erny Gallery, has a printmaking activity for all ages. Catherine Cross, really popular, gotten a lot of attention this year, is doing a community dip and dye with indigo and drawing awareness to our cultural history. And having a good time doing it. Mandy will be bringing yoga, outdoor yoga that is family friendly, all ages by the worldly gig by vollis simpson, whirligig. 

We have a representative named Heather from the Ability Garden. Jan is doing floral crowns, which,  you'll know jan from all of the azalea hats. She has an in-town reputation for the gorgeous handmade and designed hats. Peter known as Peter Draws is going to do a super communal doodle. He did want it state of the art last year, which is great fun. Mitzi Ito is bringing origami. Sharon spencer, Sharon Wazniak Spencer is doing our kid table, which has a variety of activities for all age kids. Get their hands in if everybody else has a line, because we also have face painting and a reading circle with Shaunti who is a local author and has just started working with us.

Georgia: This is probably our biggest family fest events since we started it three years ago. It's a suggested donation of $5 per child, but that will offer all of the various activities we have as well as access to our exhibitions, State of the Art/Art of the State and the North Carolina Arts Council exhibition. 

Gina:      Georgia that you do throughout the rest of the year? We do hear about the big events like this, what's going on through the rest of the year for kids at the Cameron Art Museum

Georgia:  Whenever we offer Kids @ CAM, we often work with different local artists who will kind of bring their specialty to the table. So,  this past year we've worked with Sarah Rushing, who did a wonderful collaging project. We worked with Topher alexander who did a great print making project, will be working in June with HarrIet Hoover, who is an artist from Raleigh who's actually a part of our North Carolina Arts council exhibition so that children will be able to see her work in the galleries and then go into the studio and work with her directly. 

So every month it's something different. We try to make sure that for our regulars who attend every month, they're always getting to get involved in a new kind of an art activity. And then it always includes access to the galleries as well. And because it's a non pre-registered event, you can come for 20 minutes, you can stay for the full three hours, you can kind of make of it what you want.

Gina:      So, and then you have summer programs for young people and for adults for an art enrichment.

Georgia:  Yes. We'll be offering our summer programs this year, June through August for the first time. We're going to be offering full day options as well. So if you look at the website, you can find the up to date schedule, but we'll be rotating half day and full day art programs for children ages five to eight and then also nine to twelve. We're going to have different themes for each week and we'll also be working with a few different artists on that will be the lead teachers at different points during the day.  And that's just our options for the younger children. We also have lots of programs available for older children as well as adults during the summer

Gina:      So tell me about the middle school, high school and adult programs that might be available year round.

Donna:    We have adult programming in addition to youth programming and it's mostly after school 4:30 to six block or on weekends, but in the summer we expand it. We found a successful block of time really for both adults and youth is three hours a day for five days in a row. So you get 15 hours of instruction and you can commit to one week because summer gets a little crazy and we all travel and you don't want to over-commit. So this year we have some of our standard programming,  basic drawing, classical drawing for teens, which sounds really cool with Sharon Wazniak Spencer plus drawing people or drawing animals with Todd. Sharon also has a popular year round program of manga. There's a lot of anime, Manga interest. 

It's Wednesdays 4:30 to 6:00pm, and then she's doing an All Things Manga class. It's popular. I don't to be honest, understand all of the finesse, the, you know, the subtle differences between anime and manga, but it is story and it's creating your own characters and backgrounds and environments and seeing them from all angles. And then Sharon,  she's classIcally trained, she teaches the students to then paint portraits of their characters that they create. So they do large acrylic 18 by 24 portraits of their characters.

And an attractive feature to Saturday is-we do this twice a year. We're rolling out summer programming. So we Are hot on a new brand new catalog, summer catalog, June, July and August programming. And in-person, at-event only on Saturday you get 10 percent off anything you register for and that's adults and youth of all ages. And that's classes, workshops. The only thing excluded is this great deal we have on exhibition artists series, which is already only $25.  But anything, any of the week long classes,  immersions four weight classes are 10 percent off at the event.

Gina:             And are those classes, class schedules up yet?

Donna:           They will be up online Friday night, Saturday morning, and the catalog handed out.

Gina:      I think there's a lot of people who would like to take an art class or an art workshop who are not artists or, you know, I don't know what that means. Who are, uh, what's the word for not professional, you know, what novice, novice artists or, or people who, you know, who really who really want to try,  but they've never tried this or that. I'm a hobbyists. People who want to learn and I think that there's always something that holds them back from doing it for a certain amount of time. Do you know what I mean? And maybe possibly forever. What do you, what do you wish people knew about taking a class?

Donna:    I just ran into a parent of a former kid that I taught years ago and we had a discussion about just this and when I taught after school kids anywhere from five or six through high school, I never, they never came in-and this was my same philosophy with adults-they never came in to a studio classroom with the idea that I'm teaching them to Be an artist. That was not what it was all about. Your experience in a studio is, it's a confidence builder. It's a way to discover what is unique about yourself, how you do things differently than other people, and you learn skills so that if you want to try something, you want to render a bowl of fruit or a landscape, you learn the tools that you it takes to do that at any level and then you run with it. 

              Some people may never pick up a paintbrush again or draw again. Some people may find it it really grounds and centers them and that they feel good after they've done it and the fact they're not going to frame it and sell it has nothing to do with it. It's an experience and it can be extremely uplifting and conflict. I keep thinking of confidence building, you know…to me it's like a relationship with yourself, your, you're bolstering your relationship with yourself. It's a conversation. And there's nothing. We have all levels beginning to people who work in the art field daily and there's nothing to be bashful or ashamed of in any way. We're all different.

Georgia:  Even if you look at our exhibition state of the art that was an open call art exhibition with over 650 participants in, some of the people that displayed their work would consider themselves professional artists.  Most of the people that are involved would not consider themselves professional artists. It was people that either do it as a hobby on the side or maybe it was their first time trying, but that exhibition kind of speaks to just what you're saying. It's a wide array of different people that are putting their work out there and everybody had a great time doing it.

Gina:      And also, you know, it's similar to  with the youth, with youth programming. All the kids who participate in these art programs, most of them are not going to grow up and be a professional artist, but they are enriched by the experience.

Georgia:  And something that we do at the end of each art program in the summer is we have a, an art reception for all of the kids that are involved. And we have the parents and the families come back 30 minutes before the end of their last day. Of the program and we turned the classroom into an art museum and they get to put their artwork on display and they get to make their, their museum signs about not touching and the different titles of their work and they have a blast with it. 

Gina:      During, on this Saturday morning, a people can see all of the exhibits?

Georgia:  The exhibitions will be open. All three of our exhibitions will be open permanent collection: The permanent collection exhibition, State of the Art, North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship award recipients.

Gina:      How many did you say is in the state of the art?

Georgia:  I think the actual number is 656. It's 650 plus. And that's all North Carolina artists.

Donna:    I had one more thing to say about the question you asked does... There is really something to be said for not only creative but creative feeling, allowing yourself to be expressive, you know, and encouraging that and, and you know, art is a language for that. So I would not encourage anybody who's been putting it off. Why wait?