To the Editor:
As most of you know I have been involved with the local art scene in Boca Grande for most of my adult life. I have been a member of the Boca Grande Art Alliance since its beginning and was even president for a year, teaching classes and exhibiting my work at the center. I am incredibly grateful for the support that I am shown by this community and I never take it for granted. The island has supported my artistic efforts throughout my life and I am proud to say that at least three generations of islanders collect my hand-colored etchings and acrylic paintings.
I have always shared my experience with children in many ways, through visits to the schools, through my “Follow the Fish” painting projects, and with my Kids Summer Art Camps throughout the years. I love teaching kids, they are all essence, unafraid to try new things and amazingly full of creativity. It’s fun to watch, and it’s inspiring to see what they come up with when you show them a new technique.I decided to teach the Swayze Kids Art Adventure in my studio this year so that the kids could have a real life artist’s studio experience. I wanted to be able to teach printmaking and wanted them to have access to my etching press and be able to spread out while they create their artwork. I set up two weeks of camp, advertised it, kept it reasonably priced and started to gets calls from parents. Then I got the most amazing call.
An elderly gentleman, who does not want to be identified, called to ask about my camp. He said that he was 90 years old, was spending a year’s sabbatical on the island because he loved it here, then mentioned that he had noticed my various community service projects and would like to sponsor my camp. The news was a Godsend to me. I always worry about missing creative children because of money issues so I called four area teachers and they helped me fill my camps with children in need of scholarships.
Although this gentleman wants to remain anonymous, I hope he reads the paper because I just want to say a big giant THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart and from the families that you helped. Thanks to you, our “Camp Angel,” and to the caring teachers of the community who found the students, 22 scholarships were given out for the four sessions of Art Adventure Camp! The children that you sponsored in my art camp had a fantastic creative time and will take the memories of that with them for the rest of their lives. You are an angel. THANK YOU!
Carroll SwayzeArtist & InstructorEnglewood/Boca Grande
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