Jul. 21—Participants in the 32nd annual Gilbertsville Community Arts Workshop were busy Wednesday, painting T-shirts commemorating a week of learning new skills.
Rev. Randy Palada said he started the art workshop while he was minister at the Gilbertsville Baptist Church to give kids in the community something to do for a week and to "share the gifts God has given me."
He said the first year, the event drew 12 students. It then blossomed to 40 to 50 participants, which overwhelmed the church. He said the program was held for several years at the Grange building before a fellowship hall was built at the church.
During the week, students learn ways to improve their artistic abilities and learn new techniques, Palada said. During the day, children in kindergarten through 12th grade participate, while adults participate in the evening. He said the village helps fund the program and he gets donations from the community.
This year, the youngest student is 3 years old. "She has amazing skills," he said. "Art comes naturally to her."
Teacher Kimberly Schaeffer said, "She came in the second morning so excited, she jumped up and down, which made me excited."
Schaeffer said she loves working with kids and seeing their creativity.
She said she has been teaching at the art workshop for the past seven years and taught herself how to do paint pouring, so she could teach the students.
She showed off the artwork created by the students and pointed to some of her favorites.
In addition to learning how to do paint pouring, students improved their painting skills by painting images on canvases, rocks and pizza pans.
Lindsay Turnbull, 15, is an intern this year and taught the pizza pan printing class. "You take a pizza pan and paint a design on it," she said. "You then take a piece of paper and press it on the pizza pan and it creates a print."
Lindsay, who is a student at Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton Central School, said she wants to be an art teacher when she grows up and wanted to get some experience teaching kids before she goes to college. She said she has participated in the workshop for four years.
Lindsay was there with her sister, Kacey Turnbull, who was also an intern, and her mom Jackie Turnbull, who volunteered ito encourage and support her daughter.
The other intern this week was Nathan Hills, who used his drawing talent during the week to draw outlines on canvases and created a freehand drawing of Wile E. Coyote for Cooper Gundlach's T-shirt.
Cooper said it was his first year participating in the program and he enjoyed painting the most.
The community will be able to see the artwork at an open house and reception at 6:30 p.m. Friday, July 22, at the Gilbertsville Expressive Movement at the Gilbertsville Commons.
Vicky Klukkert, staff writer, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-441-7221.