News Column

Youth learn to mix media at design camp

July 15, 2014

By Sidney Van Wyk, Tahlequah Daily Press, Okla.

July 15--TAHLEQUAH -- Students are learning about art, computers and their local city as part of Northeastern State University's Poster Design summer camp.

Ellie Vega, who is teaching the camp, told the seven participants they would be taking pictures around the Cherokee Art Center to manipulate then combine with words and graphics.

"If you like to draw, try combining graphics; use your drawings with pictures," Vega told the class. "The great thing about the computer is that there is really no limit of what you can do with your drawings."

The attendees, all between first and fifth grade, were given paper folded to mimic the dimensions of the posters they would make by the end of the week. Vega encouraged them to use the entire paper to try a few different ideas.

"Just visualize a poster and what you think you want it to look like," Vega said as she passed out the papers. She encouraged them to not just think about pictures, but to also think about what words they want on the poster as well as the placement and design of the words.

"I have two that I possibly want to do," said Kenzie Harlen. One of her pictures showed a bird's-eye view of the river. Later, she brought her ideas for articles, as she described them, into one poster devoted to Tahlequah's scenery and culture.

Ava Jones, another member of the group, was also bursting with ideas and quickly filled her paper, one called "creek of the week," and the other titled "nature news."

Kennedy Neal's pre-design featured "Tahlequah and nature."

The camp only has two computers, so students who decide on their poster earlier will begin first while the others finalize their plans.

Vega said many would likely have more ideas after they took their pictures during their walk around Tahlequah.

"I just want to go around and take cool pictures," said Ava Rhoads. She and a few of the other students brought their own cameras' freeing up the two provided for the class.

Hannah Shaw also brought her own camera, though her planning paper was covered with detailed close-up drawings of flowers. She is not sure what her final poster will be about, though Harlen said she would help Shaw find a pink flower to photograph near the Cherokee Art Center where the class is held.

Brody Young was also unsure about his poster design, but he told Vega he likes the affect of black and white, as well as drawing with ball point pens.

"Sometimes, with ideas, they kind of have to evolve," Vega told her students.

Vega showed the class some of her designs using ball point pen drawings, paintings, photographs and images originally made on the computer. She is about to begin her first year as an art teacher at Tahlequah High School and she has done poster design camps before in Muskogee, "but we didn't get to take our own picture."

She is not worried about her students understanding the computer programing either.

"I'll use language they understand, but kids pick up things very quickly," said Vega. "It's just repetition so once they get it, they'll take off."


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Source: Tahlequah Daily Press (OK)

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