[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ _builder_version=”3.19.10″][et_pb_row _builder_version=”3.19.10″][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.19.10″ parallax=”off” parallax_method=”on”][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.19.10″]Hi I’m Nicole Bowers and I’m this summer’s marketing intern at Saugatuck Center for the Arts. I’m a soon-to-be senior at Central Michigan University where I study integrative public relations and journalism. Follow me as I take a peek into the classrooms of our Growing Young Artists program this summer. I’m so happy to see what this year brings![/et_pb_text][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.19.10″]TO THE BEACH

This week kicked off with a field trip to Saugatuck Dunes State Park for an out-of-doors walking, history lesson. Students were met by a member of the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society who told the story of Saugatuck and the people who lived here long ago. The Native Americans gave Saugatuck its name, “English settlers made it their home and now you belong here too”, the guide said.[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image src=”https://sc4a-production.local/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/DSCF0044_web.jpg” _builder_version=”3.19.10″][/et_pb_image][et_pb_text _builder_version=”3.19.10″]The fascination only grew as the children learned about Singapore, Michigan, the town that’s buried beneath our feet. As soon as we reached the shore, all shoes were lost and three boys began to dig. “We’re finding Singapore”, they announced. “I think we’re almost there”. Sand began flying out of the hole at an unstoppable pace. Other kids, joined by their teachers, jumped in the waves of Lake Michigan or ran up and down the dunes, sand between their toes.

When it was time to go, the three boys reluctantly abandoned their mud hole. A stick was left to mark its place. “For when we come back,” they said.

To see my student, Oscar, having a good time was incredible. We hiked together and he did so well.” – Sam Lee GYA instructor.

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Back in Fennville, preparations for the fiesta are underway. Art made by students during their time at GYA will be gifted to the community at the celebration. In the previous weeks, classes discussed how many people give gifts to those they love, to show they care. Knowing their work would be given away provided a deeper sense of meaning and purpose to this summer’s projects. Children felt their work was wanted and valued by others. Piles of gifts lay stacked and waiting for their new home.

Each class took a walk to the park as the shacks were being built, and soon after, their artwork was tucked inside. Every student painted or colored a spot on the walls. One girl placed her hand over her handprint on the wall of the shack she helped create, reflecting proudly on the part she played in creating the display. Soon members of the Saugatuck/Douglas “Family” will come see her art, along with the rest of the Growing Young Artists.

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I’m looking forward to seeing all of our hard work up on display! I hope that the kids and their families are proud of the work they have made. I am excited to witness everything come together as a statement in favor of community and relationship building through art-making.” – Emily Lindbloom GYA instructor

The 2019 Growing Young Artists’ Fiesta is a night of students spoken-word presentations, live music by Grupo Super Nova and performances from Vizions Dance. Tastes of paletas, Palazollo’s gelato, custom-designed T-shirts screen-printed onsite with The Printmobile, face-painting, friendship bracelets, bubbles and games. Festivities occur at the park on Main Street and North Maple in the heart of downtown Fennville.

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