HAMMONTON, N.J. (CBS) – It’s a space that attracts South Jersey artists and art lovers from ages 7 to 70. The Hammonton Arts Center is one part studio, one part gallery, and during the summer it’s an arts camp.
The weekly camp has become an annual tradition for many creative kids.
“It’s just like a wonderful place. I love the teacher,” said 9-year-old Giselle Galletta.
Annette Rinkler is one of the instructors and also serves as the president of the center’s board.
“I do something different every day,” she said. “Today’s lesson is based on a Mexican folk art tradition called ‘amate’ painting, which is based on nature and trees and simplistic designs.”
The member-supported center right in downtown Hammonton offers classes and workshops year-round for children and adults.
“The first year I came, I was really bad,” Galleta said. “There’s a book and when I look back, I think, ‘Wow, I really grew as an artist.'”
That’s the hope for every aspiring artist who comes through the center’s doors.
“If you look we have all different levels of skill and expertise,” Rinkler said. “We’re trying to be an incubator for people getting started. We’ve had a couple of artists that have really taken off in the area.”
While someday, you may be able to purchase their works of art from the gallery’s walls, right now, these kids are simply doing something they enjoy.
“It’s a really good place to be when you want to just like express your feelings and stuff, through art and painting,” said Sophia Pearson, 11.
“It’s like a learning experience,” said Theresa Miloshevsky-Facchinei, also 11. “At school you learn, you get better. It’s kind of like school, but fun.”
Visit hammontonartscenter.org to learn more about becoming a member or enrolling in the center’s programming.