Sebastian, age 6, is the oldest of his brothers, who are always “messing with him.” He’s always bored, and the iPad and TV are never enough to keep him entertained. “He loves being anywhere but the house,” said his mom, Maria.
Sebastian also isn’t always inspired by art class at school. “His pictures are only one or two colors,” Maria described. “I think at school he is always anxious, wanting to be the first one to finish. He colors fast so he can get it over with.”
Sebastian was going to spend his summer break last year at home, until a family friend connected with the Newberry Arts Center reached out to Maria. The family friend offered a scholarship so Sebastian could go to art camp for a week.
“He was so excited!” Maria remembered Sebastian’s reaction when she picked him up the first day. “He saw people from his school and also made new friends.” Each day on the way home, Sebastian told her about new experiences like shaping clay with his hands.
She could see the difference, too. “Camp brings out children’s imagination and helps them use their brains and fingers.” The artwork he made at camp was completely different, more detailed and colorful. “I told him, ‘I can’t believe you did that!” Maria was so proud that she displayed a portrait he made at camp at the hair salon where she works.
Sebastian was eager to create more. “Every time we drove past, he pointed and said, ‘That’s my art center!’ He always asked, ‘When can we go back?’” Sebastian stayed busy with afterschool sports during the school year, but he got to participate in a three-day camp during the winter break. At work Maria now proudly displays the penguin and snowman he made. “My clients are so impressed. Everyone enjoys his artwork.”
Maria hopes Sebastian can go back to camp and keep creating this summer. Your support for CREATE Newberry goes toward scholarships for summer camps at the Newberry Arts Center where children like Sebastian can engage in and grow through the arts.