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Art teacher wants to teach kindness

Pleasant Home School alumna Cameron Hamby said that the main thing she wants to portray to children this summer is that art is freedom.

Hamby is the newest art teacher for children at the Lower Alabama Arts Coalition,

“All of the summer classes are going to be centered around kindness,” Hamby said. “We will do different things like go to the nursing homes and send some things to the hospital. One thing that I think is really important that I want to portray to the children is that art is freedom. You don’t have to follow any certain rules with art. There are certain techniques that I can teach to them like mixing colors and things like that, but the main thing I want to teach them to have hope and having empathy towards others, because I think that is where kindness grows. When you are able to freely express your emotions you are more capable to help others and understand how others are feeling.”

Ever since Hamby can remember, she has taken art classes.

“My mom put me in art classes whenever I was a kid,” Hamby said. “I had taken private lessons with one lady where I learned some painting and some simple drawing basics. When I was a little bit older I remember taking a class with another lady, but it was strictly painting.”

Hamby said that her mother really nurtured her art.

“She really loved my art,” Hamby said. “I remember I would come home from school every single day and draw a picture about how my day went. She saved all of them. She always told me that art helps you believe that things are limitless. You can imagine anything and when you can draw it, make a sound or do anything to express how you feel, it gives you this almost invincible feeling like you’re a superhero.”

Although she will be the teacher, Hamby said that she is looking forward to learning from her students.

“Really they are going to be teaching me more than I am going to be teaching them,” Hamby said. “I feel like being an artist, you are always trying to simplify things down so I am excited to be able to learn from them and see the world through the eyes of a child again. I’m excited to help them express those feelings that they feel and turn it into something so much bigger. Another thing I’m excited about is the kindness theme. I believe kindness is so important, especially for these children.”

Hamby said that the three biggest inspirations for her work are Vincent Van Gogh, Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss.

“Both Van Gogh and Tim Burton had a really hard life,” Hamby said. “But they were able, through art, to see the silver lining and imagine the world that they wanted and live in it until it finally materialized. I love Dr. Seuss because he can take a wacky and funny spin on anything. He talked about real issues and made it laughable and made it to where even children can understand it.”

When it comes to art education, Hamby believes that it is essential for children.

“I think a big part of learning is seeing things,” Hamby said. “Especially emotional intelligence and I think that art really nurtures that side of learning. Art brings out being social and being kind. Art brings out kindness in people and that will follow them well into their adult life.”

The LAAC Summer Children’s Art Classes are every Saturday in June, from 9 a.m., until 10:30 a.m. They cost $15 for the month.

For more information about registration, call the LAAC at 334-222-3205, or contact them on Facebook at Lower Alabama Arts Coalition.