Christy Calvin didn’t hesitate when it came time to sign up her daughter, Sadie Groene, for Arty Farty.
The 5 ½-year-old took the week-long class last year with her older sister, and both girls loved it.
This year, Sadie’s sister was at another camp during the day, so Sadie had Arty Farty all to herself.
Arty Farty is for kids ages 4 to 7. Offered by the Moab Arts and Recreation Center, the class – which is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for three one-week sessions – uses shapes to teach kids about art.
“The kids had such a good time last year,” said Christy Calvin, Sadie’s mom. “The art they produce is pretty amazing.”
This is the second year for the art class, and it’s grown by leaps and bounds, said Laurie Collins, director of the MARC.
The first week, kids focused on barn animals. They’d look at a cow, for example, and talk about what shapes they could see. Then they’d draw that part of the animal.
On the final day, Friday, June 15, organizers brought in a baby goat and a chicken. The kids sat in a circle around the tiny goat and noticed what shapes they could see.
This week, the focus is water, and the final week, the focus is dinosaurs.
Kids sign up for a one-week session at a time. The final week is full, but Collins said parents who are interested should call anyway in case of a cancellation.
The highlight – for parents and grandparents, at least – is a reception the Arty Farty organizers host on the last day of each session’s class.
All the kids’ artwork from the week is hung professionally, as if in a real gallery. A table adorned with flowers offers fresh fruit and other snacks.
Parents and grandparents get to marvel at the children’s work.
“It’s so sweet to watch the kids point to all the work they’ve done on the wall,” Collins said. “It’s open to the community. We want anybody who’s interested in looking at work that would normally be on your fridge on an art gallery wall.
There’s minimalism here, expressionism, mixed media. If you’re into art history, you can see all the art they’ve been exposed to during the week.”
When Calvin arrived to last week’s reception, she found Sadie and the other kids outside with the baby goat and chicken.
Inside, she was impressed.
“It was awesome,” she said. “(Laurie Collins) had done it up really nice, even though the kids are 4, 5 and 6 years old. It just made it a special occasion. All the kids there were going into all sorts of elaborate detail. It was pretty cool to see it all displayed there together.”
Sadie brought home at least eight pieces of art she’d made at Arty Farty over the course of the week. Pieces included a clay work (Sadie’s favorite project), a T-shirt decorated with fabric markers, a rock painted with acrylics, paintings and drawings.
Arty Farty teaches kids about different art mediums and techniques, Collins said.
“They’re getting introduced to all these art mediums – watercolor, crayon, glitter, all the things kids use anyway,” Collins said. “But we’re also introducing them to acrylics and paintbrushes and which brush to use when and still-life drawings.”
Arty Farty isn’t the only summer art program the MARC has for kids:
— Messy Mondays is for toddlers up to age 5 and their parents, every Monday through mid-August at 10:30 a.m. at the MARC. It lets kids come in and, as the name suggests, get messy. Parents don’t have to worry about the clean-up.
— Science and Art is for 7- to 10-year-olds from 10 a.m. to noon every day this week and next. Openings still remain. In this class, instructors use the different ecosystems of the world to introduce kids to the nitty gritty of art techniques. They use charcoal to start to learn to shade, for example.
Cost for Science and Art and Arty Farty is $65 a week, but scholarships are available.