June Baskin Art Camp art exhibition at Taber Museum

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, the artists’ reception for the Dr. June Baskin Art Camp art exhibition will be held at the Thomas Taber Museum, 858 W. Fourth St. A recognition program will be held at 2:30 p.m., and the art will be on display through Sept. 29.

The camp was named in honor of the late June Baskin, who was “considered an icon in the county for her work with teachers and attaining [sic] federal grants for art workshops,” according to Natalie Torrentino’s 2009 article printed only two years after Baskin’s death.

From June 24 through 28, twenty-five students representing each school district in Lycoming County worked with some of the most talented artist-educators in the area. In five days, each student made a 12-inch square mosaic with Kathy Gorg, collages under the direction of Bob Schultz, glass sun-catchers with Deb Parsons, and both assemblage and in-the-round sculptures with Victoria Stetts. The students’ days started at 9 a.m. and continued through to 2:30 p.m. everyday “with small breaks; but most of them [continued] working with such zeal and interest,” said Advisory Board Committee member Linda Holland.

Each spring, letters of invitation are sent to the county’s art educators at the middle and junior-senior high school levels.

“The Advisory Committee encourages teachers to select students who otherwise might not have an opportunity to participate in extra art activities and further their training,” Holland said.

2013’s theme is “Going Green,” something the committee felt would lend itself well to sculpture, assemblage and collage. In the weeks leading up to the camp, committee members collected “containers [of] all sizes material and shape, bottles, broken jewelry, plastic and metal hardware, paper scraps, fabric and trim, beads, sequins, discontinued tiles from stores, throwaways from various vendors, ribbons, wire, magazines, wallpaper, light bulbs,” and more, said Holland, adding, “If we reached [to throw it away], we placed it in a box for art camp.”

Holland said she was excited this year “to touch the lives of twenty-five eager, talented students who look at the world around them and respond with visual art.” The five-day camp was held at the First Church Methodist North Campus at 1157 Market St. As a gift to the church, the students created an assemblage-sculpture made from items donated by the students themselves – as well as staff, and helpers – all themed around friendship. Holland explained that because each contribution had a certain sentimental value to its donor, the collective act of friendship is that much stronger. The piece will be on display at the Thomas Taber Museum alongside the students’ individual works through Sept. 29, after which time it will be given to First Church Methodist.

Beyond the obvious incentive (working with talented students), Holland said, “the committee would like the public to be very aware of this wonderful, educational and professional approach to an art camp so that it becomes a household word in our local art community. The student artworks speak for themselves about the level of artistic talent we have in our county schools.”

For anyone interested in becoming involved with the art camp, Holland said she and the committee “welcome adults to visit and volunteer any time,” adding “we can always use the help.” The Advisory Committee Board is usually comprised of six-to-eight people who are responsible for organizing, planning, and executing all functions associated with the camp, including, Holland said, “public relations, exhibit display, clean-up, [and] set-up.” She added that their small committee is “interested in adding qualifying members.”

The artists’ reception for the Dr. June Baskin Art Camp will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Thomas Taber Museum located at 858 W. Fourth St., with a recognition program at 2:30 p.m.

Anyone interested in supporting the Art Camp in any way may contact Jackie Thomas at jthomas760@aol.com. Find more information about the Thomas Taber Museum online at www.tabermuseum.org, call 326-3326, or email lchsstore@verizon.net for more information.