For thousands of years, Florida’s coast, wetlands, and estuaries have beguiled artists. The area’s earliest residents created pottery, boxes, and decorative objects adorned with aquatic motifs.
From John James Audubon who arrived in the 1830s to document herons and pelicans, to our beloved Highwaymen who began selling their lush landscapes on the roadside in the 1950s, those who create find Florida’s unique wildlife and breathtaking vistas a motivatingforce. Danielle Figueroa upholds that artistic tradition. “I’m inspired by Florida. It’s my favorite place.”
In her studio, she creates artworks in a variety of mediums and during the summer, she offers the same opportunity to students through themed, week-long camps. The “Deep Blue Sea” camp garnered a lot of interest and allowed participants to explore Florida-centric subject matter through a variety of techniques.
“Depending on the pace of the camp, students will complete anywhere between twelve and fifteen projects,” said Figueroa. Most of the activities use a combination of materials and methods, especially ones campers may not yet have proficiency with. “Pencil is comfortable for most everybody but working with a brush is a learning curve, it’s hard. I really try to do a lot of projects that include paint just because I want for them to feel like they have control of the brush versus the brush having control of them.”
Students were able to practice their brush strokes and delve into the concept of mixed-media with the creation of a three-dimensional jelly fish sculpture. Twelve-year-old camper Jacob Somerset explained the process.
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