Art in Nature

June 9, 2016

This week, during Arts Exploration Camp, our campers ventured down the street to Centre College to expand their understanding of Art Around the World and how global art can be found close to home.

Their first stop was Palace of Memory, a granite and earth-mound outdoor sculpture by Maine artist Tom Chapin. The sculpture features a giant Egyptian scarab beetle carved of African red granite and more than 200 feet of a serpentine, grass-covered mound.

The campers experienced Palace of Memory in lots of ways – looking from all different angles and walking the entire length in silence. Then they sketched the sculpture from two perspectives – bird’s eye and ant’s eye.  Inspired by this amazing creation and by the nature sculptures of British artist Andy Goldworthy, the campers created their own outdoor sculpture entirely out of found materials.

Earthen Works

Later in the day, our afternoon campers made a second visit to the college to see The Flame, an 11-foot, 2,000-pound bronze sculpture by Belgian artist John Somville and college alumna Dottie Smith. Prior to their visit, campers read cultural myths related to fire from several countries. During the field trip, they sketched The Flame, wrote their own fire myths, and illustrated their stories.


One of our goals with Arts Exploration Camp is to stretch our campers’ understanding of what constitutes “art.” Many kids initially think that art just means painting or drawing. When they come to camp, children are exposed to a wide range of artistic styles and mediums. They dance and sing, work with clay and fiber, explore mixed media and discover that they can create art out of just about anything!