PLATTSBURGH - What better way to learn about history, than by traveling in a time machine? That's exactly the concept the North Country Cultural Center for the Arts is taking and applying to the world of art.
During spring break - Monday, April 12, through Friday, April 16 - NCCCA is offering a Spring Fling program titled "Art Machine," in which children ages 6-14 can learn about art history and make their own creations.
"As an artist, we become the tool," explained Ali Della Bitta, NCCCA education coordinator. "We become the machine that makes the art. So, I was thinking about art history, how things evolve and change."
Della Bitta kept that thought in mind when she created the program, in the hope of making art history more interesting for the students.
"I was trying to think of an image that would catch them and maybe make art history a little more fun for them," she explained. "So, they would go back in time and visit [Vincent] Van Gogh's 'Starry Night,' and make their own and bring it home."
The program, which has a morning session, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and an afternoon session, from 1-4 p.m., is $85, with scholarships available through NCCCA.
"There's a lot of ways kids benefit [from the program]," explained office manager Beth Barnes. "For kids that are having a hard time in school, understanding certain things, it's a different creative outlet for them, where they can kind of grow themselves and learn about themselves through art."
Aside from learning about artists, students will create paintings, sculptures and drawings based on various artists, such as Van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky and Alberto Giacometti.
According to Della Bitta, seeing how art has evolved through the artists is important.
"When you become a little more aware of it, you see the small steps it took to get from pointillism to Chuck Close's work," she said. "Cubism didn't come from nothing, it came from an evolution from line and painting."
"[The students] can put their own twist on what's happened," Della Bitta added.
To learn more about the program, or to register, contact NCCCA at 563-1604 or visit www.plattsburgharts.org.