Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:16AM - 273 Views
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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Two phrases rolled off the lips of the children at smART Camp at the Southern Ohio Museum in Portsmouth on Thursday when they watched an actual snake paint a picture. “Cool,” and “That’s way cool,” seemed to express the way kids viewed the unusual artist at work.

“Julie called me and asked me if I would bring in some critters, snakes for the kids to enjoy,” Jenny Richards, naturalist at Shawnee State Park, said. “I remembered a story from an art teacher from grade school art that the snake inspired the mosaic because of the scales. The snake is really a living mosaic. And so we talked about that, and then we put the snakes in some safe paint that was good for three year olds, and then we let the snake slither through, and the kids moved the snakes around on papers, and made a huge piece of snake art.”

Next the Camp moved outside for an art project.

“They get to go over to Cirque du’ Art and have an experience there. And we also have Mary Baughman coming to do a theater experience. So it’s visual arts, performing arts, all of that all wrapped into one here at the museum.” Julie Buckler, art educator at the museum, said.

Buckler said it is her first year with smART Camp, and she was enjoying the event right along with the children.

“We’re kind of just going with it,” Buckler said.

Dante Barrett had a snake wrapped around his neck, and some of the children were taking the opportunity to make the snake’s acquaintance.

“The kids all got the experience of holding and touching a snake,” Richards said. “We talked about snakes in this area, and we incorporated just a little bit of local information about snakes too, so people would feel a little bit more comfortable when they encounter a snake. It was really fun.”

Thursday was the fourth day of the week-long event.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.

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