JACKSON TWP.  Students from grades kindergarten through seventh and their families filled the Jackson High School commons area on June 8. It was the last day of this year’s art camp hosted by the Jackson School for the Arts (JSA).

Campers spend the week learning about musical theater or visual arts and by week’s end they are performing on stage to a live audience or exhibiting their works of art in an art show. The first week of the JSA Dance Camp was held the same week.

Musical theater campers

This year’s musical performance was Disney’s "101 Dalmatians, Kids." More than 70 campers participated along with many JSA student interns.

Susie Gardner is the JSA arts director, Hannah Rissler is the theatre/artistic director, Jennifer Vaughn assisted as did Amy Haines and Anney Jeandrevin.

The goal of the summer musical theatre camp is to share in the process of creating a theatrical production. It introduces students to the study of a variety of theater terms and techniques, experience the collaborative nature of theater, choreography, vocal music and to make a connection between the world of theater and a host of other subjects of study.

The theater campers gave an afternoon performance of the production they practiced all week. Moms, dads, grandparents and other family members packed the performance arts hall to watch the musical production recreating the favorite childhood story of the 101 Dalmatians.

Visual arts campers

The visual arts campers presented an art show of their work before the play began. Bridget Williams was the lead teacher for the weeklong camp.

"It’s been an amazing week, we had 70 students in visual arts camp this year who learned a number of painting techniques and worked with a variety of mediums," Williams said. "We always implement a theme that relates to the musical production and this year campers painted a portrait of their pets.

"The camp has been growing for four years straight. The teachers in the program are great, the high school volunteers are great and the students in the camp do a wonderful job with their projects."

This year, the visual artists could use a photo of their own pet or use one from the Humane Society as a model for their paintings. Williams said that the kids "loved painting pictures of their pets."