Each summer, the Asheville Art Museum welcomes rising K-12th grade students for week-long Summer Art Camp sessions from July through August. Dorothy Hambright has been a participating teacher in this program for about five years, teaching middle and high school art campers. It’s a great complement to her full-time job as an art teacher at Enka High School in Candler.
During a recent visit to Hambright’s school, she said, “My principal was just [in my classroom] today. She said, you know, you have a lot of kids in here that I end up seeing in my office. She said in here – they shine.” When asked how art affects a child’s well-being or sense of self, Hambright said, “I think [art] allows kids, especially with different ways of learning…it allows them to express themselves. Plus, this is a safe space for them to come, relax, and be creative.”
Hambright says she is looking forward to the new Asheville Art Museum’s bright education spaces and fresh opportunities to teach. The Museum’s Make it New, Make it Yours slogan? She interpreted it this way: “From an artistic process, coming in and creating, creating something new, taking on new ideas, new fresh materials, new fresh processes, and coming away with knowledge that’s yours.”
For now, she’s enjoying teaching summer art camp classes at the Museum’s pop-up location On the Slope, and the opportunity to get to know kids from all over the county. “The one thing I tell them every summer is that this is your camp, this is your week. I’m here with these ideas and these lessons and these projects, but if you want to take it in another direction, we can do that. I can help you with this, if you’re curious about this material or this technique – let’s try it out.”