Discover the World from the SullivanMunce
Writer // Janelle Morrison Photography // Courtesy of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center
No need to travel abroad this summer to participate in SullivanMunce’s “Passport Series.” SullivanMunce is offering this culture-enriched art camp as part of its menu of summer art camps. The Passport Series will offer different sessions focusing on countries, such as India, Italy, Egypt, Africa and Greece, beginning in June through July for children 7-11 years of age.
SullivanMunce is a cultural center for art, history museum, genealogy and welcome center for Zionsville and the surrounding communities. Its executive director, Cynthia Young, is excited about the reboot of this camp that was first offered to the area children nearly a decade ago.
“The idea to reboot the camp came from the instructors,” Young said. “They [the instructors] have fun teaching the Passport Series. There are so many projects and lessons that they can come up with while having fun with the students at the same time. It’s a great way to explore different countries, art and history and how the culture influenced the art.”
Soyong Partington, a long-time instructor at SullivanMunce, is originally from Seoul, Korea, and once was the workshop coordinator for the World Ceramic Expo in Korea. She has been an instructor at SullivanMunce since 2001. Partington will be teaching the Clay Camps and the Egypt, Italy and India Art/Clay Combo camps in the Passport Series.
“I think art is a universal language, whether it’s 2D or 3D,” Partington emphasized. “The kids get to learn about and gain perspective about the different cultures. They learn how to respect other cultures, and that is really important to learn at a young age.”
The campers will learn about the histories and cultures of these countries while creating art with the coinciding lessons. They will make colorful textiles, create mandalas, make clay pottery, create Italian mosaics, learn about mummies, practice the art of communicating with hieroglyphics, learn about spices and ethnic foods and much more throughout each of these camps.
“On Friday, we will do a group activity where they will learn how to build a pyramid,” Partington said. “I will introduce them to clay and how to make slabs, and from there, they will build a pyramid using the clay slabs.”
The Art Blast Africa! camp in the Passport Series will be taught by Stephanie Crowell, who will also be teaching one of the Teen Camps this summer at SullivanMunce. The Art Blast Africa! camper will explore sculpture through mask making, animal sculptures and African Savanna dioramas, make Maasai necklaces and more.
Crowell and her husband recently moved to Zionsville. An art teacher by profession, Crowell wasted no time introducing herself and becoming involved as an instructor at SullivanMunce. She plans on utilizing some of her curricula from her classroom in her lessons during the summer camps in Zionsville.
“I’m excited for these summer camps. We can travel by learning,” Crowell expressed. “One of the aspects that I would love to tie into the summer camps that I’m instructing this summer is the purpose and functions of making art: Art for communicating ideas, art for day-to-day living, art for visual delight and art for personal expression. We will tap into the kids’ passion and tap into something that they can make an emotional connection with. I believe art makes people empathetic, and it makes them more worldly individuals.”
In addition to the art projects, Crowell will incorporate current reference material into her curriculum from world heritage sites and conservation sites, such as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The students will learn about Africa’s endangered animals, and they learn how to identify how African culture has influenced American consumerism and fashion throughout history and into the 21st century.
For a complete schedule of the Passport Series Camps, other camps offered through SullivanMunce, fees and other related info, visit sullivanmunce.org.