Last updated: July 17. 2013 1:46PM - 434 Views

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Julia Roberts Goad

Staff Writer

Students at Southside Elementary are using part of their summer vacation to learn about art, thanks to a new pilot program.

The Southside Virtual Arts Camp was held last week, sponsored by the Bevins/Southside Family Resource Center. The camp is an academic enrichment initiative that is launching a virtual arts program at the school. Camp director Sammy Maynard and his assistant Hope Masters introduced the students to art and music as well as helping them create their own works and performances.

“During the mornings, we looked at different artists, Picasso, Van Gogh,” Maynard said. “Then in the afternoon, the students would create their own works.”

He said that by looking at the examples of famous artists, the students learned about style.

“They saw different works, and the style of different pieces,” Maynard said. “But then they learned how to create their own personal style.”

In addition to a virtual museum for their pieces, the students also learned about music. Maynard recorded video of the students singing, alone and with each other, that he edited together using and iPad to create a virtual choir.

Jill Maynard, principal at Southside, wanted to create a virtual arts program at the school after she saw a virtual arts program showcase by Floyd County schools. Mrs. Maynard worked with Vanessia Gillespie, to secure funding for the project, which required an Apple computer and additional software.

As part of Kentucky’s new assessment format, one section of the Arts and Humanities review encompasses visual art, drama, dance and music. Since Pike County students are in a rural area, they have limited exposure to the arts. By implementing the Virtual Arts Camp, Southside hopes to give students the opportunity to develop their talents in the arts.

Maynard said there has been a song written for Southside Elementary, and he hopes to bring the student body together during the next school term to perform the song, using the technology he is using in Virtual Arts Camp.

“We have had a lot of fun,” Maynard said. “And we are learning as well.”

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