Painting with Families Event Inspires Artists

Joseph V. Sowmick - May 31, 2016

In an effort to provide bonus coverage, Team Observer saw creativity overflow at the Eagles Nest Tribal Gym as the K-12 Education Department May 18 “Painting with Families” event provided a showcase where every Tribal child is an artist. Michelle Klingensmith, owner of Painted Turtle Pottery Studio, enjoyed her return visit and had the privilege of working with the SCIT Afterschool Program in the past. 


“The students were able to paint Christmas ornaments in 2015 and we will also be working with the K-12 Niibing Summer Program. I find the Tribal students are an artistic and amazing group of young people.  They are open, engaging and always ready with a question about the ceramic process,” Klingensmith said. “I have found the students able to engage in the unpredictable aspect of ceramic painting and they are not discouraged by the idea that they have to wait to see the final outcome.”


Youth Leadership Manager Deb Smith thanked Art Reach for donating a door prize and providing the community information on upcoming Art Reach events taking place in downtown Mount Pleasant.  Smith also offered thanks to Nbakade Restaurant for catering a delicious meal, Tribal Operations Maintenance for assisting with set up and the SCIT Recreation Department for providing the location for the event. Smith appreciated Nimkee Public Health (Anna Hon, Robyn Grinzinger and Judy Davis) for assisting with registration and commended all of the K-12 staff that came to help.


K-12 Education Youth Outreach Worker Deborah Peterson mentioned the packed gym showed the “Painting with Families” was a great success. “All of the participants really enjoyed the evening and it gave our community families an opportunity to relax together and create beautiful masterpieces on ceramic tiles.  We hope that we were able to deliver the message about the importance of art and that every child is an artist,” Peterson said. “Michelle deserves high praise for keeping it organized and was very helpful giving creative ideas and assisting with the tile painting.  She is very friendly and did an awesome job working with our kids and families.”


Klingensmith informs an added benefit of the process is watching the families create something together. “When the cell phones and other devices are put away, the focus is on that moment of individual creation and family togetherness.  It’s important to be able to slow down and be with those who are there for us every day,” Klingensmith said. “I love the photo picture board created by the Tribal Observer that highlights the families and their art.  I would like to share a special thank you to Debbie for working so hard to arrange this event.”


Another creative opportunity for students is coming on July 15 where Art Reach is partnering with the Ziibiwing Center for a “Kids and Culture” event. The program provides area families the opportunity to visit Ziibiwing free of charge. McDonalds will supply refreshments and Arch Cards to participants and Ziibiwing and Art Reach staff will provide hands-on children activities.


A full story on the “Painting with Families” event will be featured in an upcoming issue of your source for Tribal news … the Tribal Observer.

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