Shania Heath might well be the next Van Gogh, but first she’ll have to get over her fear of Daddy Long Legs.
On Friday, Shania, 12, was attempting to draw pictures with chalk along the “Young Masters Wall” at the start of the Karl Stirner Arts Trail but a spider kept getting way too close to the frame she was working in.
“These bugs are going to kill us,” said Shania, who was one of about a dozen members of the Boys & Girls Club of Easton and its Teen Center working on the wall.
Jim Toia, a Lafayette College professor who is also the chairman of the Board of Governance for the Arts Trail, cajoled her into persevering. “Don’t be a wimp,” Toia joked. “It’s nature.”
The outing was part of an effort by the Arts Trail board to get more of Easton’s young people involved in the arts in their community. Toia, who directs a community based teaching program for Lafayette, said the Boys & Girls Club of Easton group was the first to make pictures on the Young Masters Wall, but the Arts Trail board plans to have other youth groups participate each month.
“It’s an ever-changing art wall,” he said. “It gives Easton’s youth the opportunity to show off their art.”
That’s just what Miles Hicks, 14, was doing as he and Cameron Mosley, 13, worked inside one of the frames that are part of the wall itself. “I just let my imagination go wild here,” Miles said. He was working off a paper drawing that had Pac-Man-like creatures, a UFO and a deer in the headlights.
Dean Young, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Easton, said kids from the group’s Teen Center camp on Northampton Street were also taking part. “They love being able to do hands-on projects,” Young said. “It’s powerful for their expressions to be landing on a wall for everyone to see.”
He noted that Crayola provided the chalk that will get plenty of use this summer as other groups from the camps are brought over to create art on the wall.