A panda, bear and bunny were sighted in Park Terrace Park Monday.
The creatures were being made out of air-dry clay by “almost” 11 year-old Victoria, 12 year-old Gabe and 7 year-old Michael, all local schoolchildren taking part in the first day of the Brewery Arts Center’s Art in the Park program.
The program started up last year after Gina Lopez Hill, BAC’s executive director, found out the Food for Thought program was serving lunch daily in the park.
“I thought wouldn’t it be cool to get the kids some art training,” said Hill, who was helping out in the park Monday.
Last year, the six-week program was funded by the Nevada Arts Council, but with additional funding this year the BAC was able to expand the program to four days a week for the entire summer.
The festivities run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at the park and on Thursdays at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.
About seven teachers, including four from Carson Montessori School, will teach the kids a variety of arts and crafts, such as watercolor painting and calligraphy, throughout the summer.
By noon Monday, there were a dozen or so kids working on tables set up under a shade tree, modeling animals and swords and decorations out of fistfuls of white, doughy clay.
Jeanne Ebatt, an artist in the BAC’s Artisans Store, was on hand to provide the clay, instructions and plenty of encouragement.
Tammy Meckler, executive assistant, Swift Communications, was assembling small boxes for the children to take their creations home.
The plan was to bring them back Wednesday to paint with watercolor or acrylic paint once the homemade clay, made out corn starch, baking soda and water, had dried.
A total of 51 kids took part Monday, according to Sarah Morey, who runs the program.
The arts program is funded through a $3,700 grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a $3,000 grant from the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, a $600 donation from Dermody Properties Foundation, and a $2,000 gift from a private donor.
Food for Thought was nearby Monday with picnic tables set up under another tree in the park.
The 10 year-old nonprofit, which provides free lunches to children in need at 11 local schools, serves summer lunch five days a week in the park and at The Bridge church on Stewart Street as well as to campers at the Salvation Army’s summer day camp.
Three high school students prepare the nutritious meals in the Carson City Community Center kitchen, said Marlene Maffei, Food for Thought’s executive director.
On Tuesday and Thursday, when Art in the Park isn’t there, Food for Thought plans to provide physical activities, including soccer and life-size Tic Tac Toe, for the kids.
Last year, the program served 4,500 kids and expects to serve 10,000 lunches this summer.
The lunch program runs through Aug. 19.