Spencer art camp will spruce up new town hall

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 27, 2021

SPENCER — The town of Spencer’s new administration complex might win awards for the best-decorated municipal complex around thanks to the help of some enterprising young artists.

Last week included a one-off summer camp that brought together the brushes of some of the North Rowan area’s brightest art students to collaborate and ultimately produce some work that will turn into pieces for the new town hall.

The students on Friday displayed all their work in the classroom area at Mary Mae’s for locals to visit.

Sherry Mason Brown, a design consultant and one of the camp’s organizers, said the camp is connected to Fresh Artists. The Philadelphia-based organization has worked with local schools on art projects before and Mason Brown introduced it to the area. Recently the district, via North Rowan High School, created an exhibition of pet portraits as a way to welcome Chewy to the area. All the students at the camp are North middle or high school students.

“We invited 25 kids and we ended up with 15 who were able to come,” Mason Brown said. “They were the students who had shown the most artistic potential. Since we were going to use this artwork for the new town hall we wanted the best of the art students to come.”

Mason Brown said the camp was meant to be made up of North area kids only because of the contributions to the new complex.

One of the large-scale pieces the students worked on was a “silly city” project made up of caricatures of local buildings which will be made into street scapes in the new town hall. The students also worked on chip art portraits of the town’s Board of Aldermen that will be compiled and displayed as well.

Kimberly Lentz, another organizer and a retired educator, said she did not know what to expect, but the kids amazed her. She said an hour was blocked out for lunch every day, but the kids only made it 20 minutes before wanting to get back to their projects.

Lentz said the camp is a one-time affair only because there is no additional funding. It was made possible by the generosity of the community and she credited Mary Mae’s for letting the camp use its space.

North Middle seventh grader Lucy Jones said the week gave her the chance to learn more about the town and try new styles of painting. Her favorite part of the camp was meeting and painting with other kids. She made friends she wouldn’t know otherwise.

North High 10th grader Sara Portscheller the camp has made her interested in actually visiting the town hall at some point so she can see all the work on display.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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