By JAMES BELL
Bringing back its annual Summer Youth Art Program, the Hays Arts Council, 112 E. 11th, is again ready to engage children with various art forms throughout the season.
This year's theme is Sizzlin' Summer 2022.
“We've got a lot of amazing classes again this year,” said Hays Arts Council Executive Director Brenda Meder.
Returning among this year’s courses are some annual favorites as well as first-time offerings, all taught by a diverse group of area artists.
The first courses begin June 6 and include acting and theater classes.
“We've got three different classes, and two of them start early this summer,” Meder said. “We like to do those early because it does get hot.”
Hannah Dreiling, a longtime instructor of the class, will return to teach both the opening Acting and The Theater classes — and plans to return the classes to the stage.
“This year, [Dreiling] wanted to go back into the 12 Street Auditorium,” Meder said. “After two years of being at the Downtown Pavilion, nothing feels better than a theater. … There's still something magical about a theater.”
Both sessions will run from June 6 to 9 and June 13 to 17.
Catherine Trieschmann Miller will teach the third theater class, Dramatic Arts Workshop from June 20 to 24.
Along with the acting and theater classes, visual, literary and craft classes will also kick off on June 6 with Summer Fun, where children will kick off the summer with painting, collage and printmaking using wood paper and found materials. Along with the June 6 opening one-day session another will be hosted on June 13. Those classes will be taught by Grace Splichal.
Another one-day class, Patriotic Pride, is scheduled for July 1, and will give the students an opportunity to create patriotic-themed projects using paint, wood, stamps and markers.
Those one-day courses, Meder said, are great for children with tight summer schedules, but the center also has planned several multiday sessions.
“Like the Art and Imagination class that Grace is also teaching,” Meder said. “And there's classes in drawing and painting. And then Mitch Sommers, who's been doing our Stained Glass classes forever, will be back with one of those.”
That course is scheduled from June 27 to 30.
Throughout the month of June, four two-day Call of the Wild classes will be offered. Sommers and Splichal are set as instructors for those classes.
”He's retired and a volunteer for Sternberg and so he has access to the critters,” Meder said. “So, we've got a session on snakes, turtles, frogs, and lizards. You get to see those animals, but then talk about them and have a little bit of knowledge. But then that first day and all of the second day, are then also devoted to doing art created around those critters.”
From July 6 to 8, Jackie Leiker is set to teach Get Some Perspective, a course designed for upper elementary-age students to learn the basics of drawing with perspective.
Fashion Fun will also return with veteran instructor Linda Hohman from July 18 to 21.
Drawing and Painting will run from June 20 to 23. And Down on the Farm, featuring farm animal-themed projects will be offered from July 5 to 7.
And Let’s Write a Book,will be taught by the area writer and illustrator of "Millie’s Garden" — Kathleen Kuchar and Joyce Frey.
“We had the big exhibition and had that on display and her illustrations have been around,” Meder said. “I snagged those two ladies and talked him into doing a three-day workshop two hours for each of three days.
“Those two instructors are going to help the students develop their stories and do illustrations,” she continued. “And we're going to print up very simple books that then they will share with their family on the last day of class. And we're planning on hopefully having those up during the summer Artwalk, which will follow just two days after that class closes.”