Teens usually spend the summer months hanging out with friends, working at temporary jobs, or conscripted into baby-sitting younger siblings, but many local teenagers find more creative ways to spend their school break.
The LeMoyne Center for Visual Arts offers summer camps for kids of all ages, and the Teen Foundation program is a popular option. Campers choose from five, two-week sections, each focused on a different period of art history.
Education Coordinator Alexandra Ifland says that one of most unique aspects of the Teen Foundations program is the level of instruction that participants receive. “We have teachers who are graduate students and they teach at FSU. They take the curriculum that they’re getting at a college level and bring it to teens at a high school level.”
One of those instructors is Austin Yorke. As an MFA student at FSU, he recognizes the mutual benefit and believes that he has become a better university teacher because of his instructional experiences at LeMoyne. “LeMoyne’s been a huge confidence booster for me. It makes the classes that I teach at FSU a lot more successful.” Yorke began seriously pursuing art in his early teens after he and his family endured a harrowing boating incident that tragically resulted in the loss of lives. “I would probably be an awful person had it not been for art. It gave me a space to really figure out how those traumas affected me. It also bridged the gap between personally healing and, in some small way, helping others who are experiencing something traumatic, through art.” He was quick to add that “art can’t replace therapy.
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