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Lamar Arts art camp a huge success

Lamar Arts is currently holding a two week Kids Art Camp at the Depot in town. There are two one week sessions for dramatic and visual arts. Although this week’s session is full, registration is currently underway for the second camp Monday, June 15, through Friday, June 19. It is held from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. Richard Wright is camp director. Associate instructor is Michael Merritt. Lamar Arts volunteers are on hand to help. Classes include Improv Olympics, introduction to abstraction, a master photo class with Charles Dukes, bead working, introduction to pottery, photography with local photojournalist Andrew Odom, scrapbooking, puppetry arts and process drama. Wright, after serving in the Army where he attained the rank of sergeant, attended Gordon and Armstrong Atlantic State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in theater. He is a third year master of fine arts candidate in drama theatre for young audiences at Eastern Michigan University, where he teaches theatre and communications. Wright has been a member of the Hilberry Repertory Theatre. During his career he has toured with Missoula Children’s Theatre as a tour director and actor and recently was company manager for Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, Mass., which created the Tony Award winning musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He has taught workshops all over the nation on role-play, improvisation, acting basics, make-up, theater games, community theater development, history of storytelling, theater etiquette and marketing and has taught theatre on the middle and high school levels. ’I’m grateful to Lamar Arts for allowing me to share drama with the youth of the community,’ Wright said. Merritt is a sculptor and director of Lamar Arts. His journey to become a full-time professional artist began in high school. At age 20, Merritt joined the Marine Corps. During his tour of duty, he was injured and a buddy bought him a drawing pad to use while he was recovering. This simple gift reconnected him with his passion for art. He knew then the visual arts would be his life’s career. After that he said, ‘I never looked back. I moved to live with my grandmother in Barnesville and enrolled in Gordon.’ There, he studied with master realist Marlin Adams, the head of Gordon’s art department. From his studies, Merritt developed a unique style that combines the discipline of realism with the free-flowing visual ideas of cubism and surrealism.

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