Happiness runs in a circular motion.
Thought is like a little boat upon the sea.
Everybody is a part of everything anyway.
You can have everything if you let yourself be.
When my husband, David, was substituting in our regional public school systems, I always sent him off with a kiss and a hug and a request. “Bring me sweet stories, please!” I loved David’s afternoon returns and the stories he brought home to me, especially the ones about playing his guitar and singing with the youngest students. I loved hearing how when he sang and played rounds of “the happiness song” all the kids joined in, even the most timid and withdrawn among them.
“Happiness runs in a circular motion!” So, so true at artCentral, especially at artCamp. The happiness with which our creative adventures began just grew and grew as our amazing ten days unfolded and were celebrated with the grand finale of our fabulous artCamper Exhibition and Reception at Hyde House.
That last Friday morning of artCamp, I arrived super early at artCentral. Sandra Dawn Ebbs and her two artistic children, Jasmine and Eric, were already outback beginning work on the artCamp mural in anticipation of the arrival of the artCamper artists in Sandra’s class. As I booted up my laptop in my upstairs office, I was surprised to see David’s name on my cell phone screen. He was calling to tell me he was getting the day off. “Wonderful!” I instantly responded. “Will you please come help me for artCamp’s last day?” Moments later I heard the sweet purr of his vintage BMW motorcycle pulling up on the patio below.
After the artCampers were checked in by our artCamp interns, we gathered on the porch to begin our last day for artCamp 2018. David helped me make the time special. With his guitar accompaniment all together we sang “Happiness runs in a circular motion…You can have everything if you let yourself be.” Before heading to class, I introduced the teachers and then our interns.
Our interns are the best! They give two precious weeks of their school-free summertimes to work very, very hard for the love of art and for experiences that prepare them for their futures. Maddie Capps and Sydney Hartless, both artists and Crowder College students, are studying to be teachers. Kate Beeler and Gabby Cook will be terrific assets in fields of art and service. Allie Lambeth will certainly have a career that embraces the world of fashion. Kaylee Shultz-Carmichael plans to be a surgeon. Amy Lane anticipates Christian mission work. Practicing artist Emily Rose, not only donates her limited free time as a superb weekend gallery docent, she enthusiastically helps out as an intern, too. Lead intern Owen Platt is an impressive role model for both artCampers and interns, as well. His years at artCamp teach us all that “You can have everything if you let yourself be.”
I first learned of Owen four years ago when his grandmother called to inquire if artCamp might be a good place for him to spend some time during his summer visit to Carthage. Owen’s story is told best in his own words:
“A portion of my summers are spent in Angel Fire, New Mexico, visiting my maternal grandparents, where I go mountain biking and work as a busser at a country club. When I’m not working or going down a mountain at 20 miles an hour, I’m in my room drawing or painting. The other part of my summer I spend in Carthage visiting my paternal grandmother. She’s the one who introduced me to artCentral and artCamp. At first I thought, ‘I really don’t want to go. I don’t need any art lessons!’ (But I really, really did!) After weeks of pestering from my dad, I reluctantly agreed to go.”
Owen continues, “When I first got to artCamp I was a small, shy little freshman. After some help from the interns, I started having fun. Also, Alice Lynn made me a kind of a pre-intern. She had me help her move boxes and tables. That led me into being an intern the following summer when I was too old to be an artCamper. Ever since, I’ve loved spending the end of my summers at artCentral. Every year artCamp is always interesting and exciting. I never know what will happen. Just like the day this year when Alice Lynn unexpectedly asked me to substitute teach. With the help of Allie Lambeth, another experienced intern, I was able to have a successful print-making class. Unexpected surprises like this, the awesome teachers and interns and the kids are what keep me coming back to artCentral year after year to spend my time being an artCamp intern."
Yes, at artCamp, “Happiness runs in a circular motion…You can have everything if you let yourself be.”