Arts Center paints

Members of the Ardmore Boys & Girls Club show off their artwork created during a recent class hosted by the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Arts Center and Melanie Laten, local art teacher.

November has marked the beginning of a wonderful adventure for the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Arts Center. As a non-profit driven by and for community, the organization’s intent is to facilitate creativity and welcome all people – artists, connoisseurs, even those who claim to lack aesthetic sensibility – to step into the world of art and embrace that swirly movement within. One of the newer members of the Art Center has done just that.

Jennifer King works for the Ardmore Boys & Girls Club and has a heart for youth development; with a fantastic friend and art teacher like Melanie Laten, the wheels were turning in no time.

The Boys & Girls Club is a programming-based non-profit youth development organization on a mission “to inspire and enable all young people especially those who need [the Club] most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens”. They focus energy on creating new opportunities for the kids they serve to explore their growing interests and be inspired to act on what moves them.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of America will host a National Arts Contest that recognizes club members for their accomplishments in visual, digital and performing arts. To help the Ardmore Boys and Girls prepare for their art show in January and national contest entry, the Arts Center is sponsoring a short series of art classes where Mrs. Melanie will teach on painting techniques, as well as introduce an array of mediums to develop their creative outlook and embolden their abilities. The hope is to broaden their eye for the arts and encourage them to explore art further.

On Nov. 1, Laten taught the Shooting Stars (ages 10-12) how to paint a field of sunflowers beginning with the sky and finishing with the final details in the grass and on the flowers. They learned how to mix paints to accomplish desired shades of color, which brushes to use for different aspects of the painted image and how to apply strokes for optimal aesthetics.

One youth, Reighan, seemed to be a bit discouraged by her “inability” to master the techniques, but before she even finished her painting, King had already dubbed it a favorite because of the abstract spectacle, that Reighan’s sunflowers contained random large petals arrayed among mostly small petals. Reighan felt more confident with her painting once she saw her finished work and heard words of encouragement from the adults and her peers.

This wonderful group of kids really enjoyed the painting session, as well as viewing the gallery of art upstairs after their class.

“It was a joy to witness the expressive outburst as they recognized Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ in the corner,” said King.

The Shooting Stars Paint Class was an exciting “first” for the Art Center. The center aims to do more community outreach and engage special interest groups of all age frames and appeals in order to build fruitful relationships across the local map.

The Fayetteville-Lincoln County Arts Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit corporation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in our community through the presentation, education, and promotion of all types of art. Located at 303 Main Avenue South in Fayetteville, the Arts Center hosts a regular performing arts show on the first and third Saturdays of each month. For more information about the Arts Center, please visit their website at

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