Fine Arts Come to Life at Trinity Camp

Fine Arts Come to Life at Trinity Camp

by Marianne Uhl, Member,  Trinity Episcopal Church, Sonoma

Unique, Week-Long Classes Expose Sonoma Youngsters to Classic Arts and Artists

Classic, fine art and European artists who are recognized as giants of Western Culture, were brought to life for five-to eleven year old students, during a week-long series of arts classes held at Trinity Episcopal Church in Sonoma this June. The curricula blended historical instruction with hands-on, kid-friendly projects inspired by the master artists. It featured daily “visits” to European countries and with the artists, as well as opportunities to emulate their styles and works. The visits included: Monday to Italy, with Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci; Tuesday and Wednesday to France, with Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Edgar Degas; Thursday to Spain, with Pablo Picasso and El Greco; and Friday student's learned about the masters' cross-culture influence on American artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. “It was a marvelous experience,” said Trinity Sunday School Coordinator, Sally Thomas.“We had the opportunity to expose kids from our parish, and their friends, to the ‘Old Masters,’ and in the process maybe produce a generation of our own, home-grown ‘New Masters’!”

The program was led by Lori Holmann, who is a Tampa, Florida based retired pre-kindergarten teacher with a BA in Arts Education from Wright State University and GATE graduate studies at the University of South Florida. Ms. Holmann coordinated a similar program during the summer of 2014 for her own grandchildren and their friends in Florida. Ms. Holmann was assisted by her daughter, Mindy Thomas. Ms. Thomas described the curricula to Trinity’s vestry earlier this year, and suggested they consider hosting a trial undertaking in Sonoma. The vestry enthusiastically agreed to the proposal. Mindy Thomas is the daughter-in-law of Trinity, Sonoma Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Canon Jim Thomas. She is also the host of the morning “Absolutely Mindy” children’s program, on SiriusXM satellite radio.

The Rev. Canon Thomas, himself, got into the mood by playing the role in canonical vestments, of Pope Julius-II (1443-1513), who was the Vatican art patron that commissioned the rebuilding of St. Peter’s Basilica, and Michelangelo’s decoration of the Sistine Chapel. “The Church played a formative role in the art of the Renaissance,” noted the Rev. Canon Thomas. “And we thought it was important for the children to understand that.” Assisted by eight Trinity parishioners, the youngsters had the unique opportunity to replicate painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by painting while lying on their backs, underneath pews in the church sacristy. Beyond the Renaissance, Trinity parishioners also furnished Impressionist and Post-Impressionist atmosphere: performing ballet and tap-dance dance-hall numbers, helping to get students into the mood of the era.

To defray cost of art materials (and snacks), camp students’ families paid $50.00 per child for the hands-on instructional art experience. And at the conclusion of the week-long arts camp, each student artist received a handsome portfolio of their artwork to take home, along with all their smiles and newfound fine arts skills.





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