Art Business Education

Art and science classes are side-by-side in west Augusta

Austin McCardle usually creates abstract designs with pen and ink, but a summer camp at The Painted Lady Studio in west Augusta opened up a new world for him.

“This is the first art camp I’ve ever been to,” said the 17-year-old who spent part of his summer with his brother and sister-in-law in Augusta and signed up for the Art Around the World.

Jonah Miller (standing) helps Trent Wright with his electric fan car. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Art instruction isn’t easy to come by in his hometown in Alabama, he said. At the camp, he experimented with different types of media and styles.

Art students learned about art in other cultures with fun projects related to different countries. They made Russian-inspired nesting dolls, Chinese ink scrolls, painted watercolor toucans and sculptures, made from found objects, inspired by the Great Barrier Reef.

Each week brought with it different projects influenced by other countries, and Fridays brought glow-in-the-dark fun with UV reactive paints.

July 21 marked the end of summer sessions, but if McCardle returns to Augusta next year, he said he’d like to participate one more time.

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While he doesn’t have the option of taking classes during the school year at The Painted Lady, other camp participants such as Bethany Spell do, and she’s already making plans to return.

“She’s like my family,” said Spell of Stephany Miller who operates the studio.

Spell has been taking classes from Miller for about five years.

Registration is underway for fall sessions for after school and home school classes. Art classes are divided into three different age categories – 5-8, 9-12 and 13-18 year olds. An open house is scheduled for Aug. 5.

Next door to The Painted Lady is another learning enrichment program operated by her husband, Jonah Miller. Fort STEM focuses on a science curriculum.

Middle schoolers spent their final hours of camp Friday racing small cars they’d made.

Trent Wright, a North Augusta Middle School student, tries to troubleshoot his car at Fort STEM camp July 21. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Campers excitedly began racing one another before Miller had made the official race matchups. A few of the cars experienced some glitches. Some didn’t go straight; and some never left the starting block.

Even if they didn’t go straight, the cars did make it across the finish, and the winners of the head-to-head races couldn’t contain their excitement.

Physical science principles propelled the lessons, according to Miller, who during the school year teaches subjects such as biology chemistry, earth science, pre-algebra and algebra.

Many of the Fort STEM campers participated in multiple sessions over the summer including Jay Waters, a SOAR Academy student.

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“I’ve learned a lot about science and made cool stuff,” he said.

Registration is also available for Fort STEM, and Miller said the slots are filling quickly.

During the school year, other special events are held including some that blend both the art and the STEM activities. Parent night out programs do just that, according to Stephany Miller.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News, has covered Augusta’s news for 35 years. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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