Any great educational institution for children will have a strong arts program. We think the artistic expression is valuable beyond words so we make it a big priority in our program. Artistic expression is soothing and often cathartic for the ar,tist. It is inspirational and thought-provoking for the viewer. Artwork provides a glimpse into the human condition that is not always understood but is consistently valued.
We purchase art to hang on our walls or put on our shelves (they even say that art can be a good investment). While our sofas and side tables might be swapped out without much thought, we agonize over what art stays and what goes. Most of the time it stays. We can’t remove it because it means too much.
Parents seldom knowingly throw away a piece of their child’s art. These little paintings, sculptures, nick nacks, cups, trays, and compositions are placed in appropriate places around the house and in my house are NEVER moved. My mother kept my yellow ceramic elephant, my brother’s brown monkey, my sister’s carved wooden box… and LOTS of other treasures from our camp days. As we moved into houses of our own, we would be given select items as a housewarming gift, much to the delight of all.
At Greystone, we recognize the value of sending good art projects home with the girls. Our fine arts program is massive… well-maintained facilities, fully staffed and led by professional artists… because we think excellence in the arts is worthy of the effort.
Some of the campers already know that they are good artists. They come to camp with skills that are well developed and, for those campers, a break from their art might be exactly right. Camp is a place to do new things, so they focus elsewhere. Others find their time in the studio to be relaxing and inspirational… and these girls are proud to have their talents appreciated and understood by a community they love.
Some of the campers have no idea they are good artists. They take an art class out of curiosity and find it connects. The realization that they can “speak” in this way is an epiphany, and for a counselor to mentor, such a girl is moving in a way that is hard to describe. The entire camp celebrates their newly discovered artistic gifts, but counselors most of all.
Yesterday we enjoyed seeing what ALL of the great artists of camp have been making at our end of summer Art Show. This year’s pieces were amazing, as always. The passion and technical talent were evident, the expression pure. These are treasures meant to be kept for generations!
We also had our Archery Tournament (First: Cameron H.) and Riflery Tournament (Overall Winner: Lillian G.), both traditions that are as storied as the camp itself. Winning a tournament is a HUGE deal at camp, and we celebrate their talents accordingly. The Watershow was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Today we look forward to another HUGE artistic expression… the Senior Paly production of “Newsies”. I absolutely love this play. It is one of those productions that is sure to be a hit: catchy songs, compelling characters… the kind of show that allows the cast to really ham it up on the stage. The kind of show that allows great contributions from the backstage crew (fun scene changes, set design, costumes, props, sound, and lighting). Should be fun.
Last night the counselors had an opportunity to contribute to our Great Day Scholarship Fund. An astounding 80% of them donated a portion of their summer wages to help campers come to camp in the future. We are always touched by contributions to this fund from our Alumnae, but it is especially encouraging when the counselors join in. We see the impact camp has and are committed to seeing that work continue.
Thanks for checking in!