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Seema Returns

This is a guest post written by Seema Seraj, a piano teacher who has returned to ArtMill Summer Camp for the first time since it began in 2005. This is a view of ArtMill through Seema's eyes. 


Something in the combination of the historical landscape, the sustainable countryside living, and the artistic creativity that is infused into every activity and every corner, makes Art Mill magical. Two more students arrived today from Russia, completing our group and bringing the number of languages spoken at ArtMill up to a total of 10. I'm impressed and uplifted by how the campers eagerly awaited the arrival of two people they had never met, and how each one of them is making a huge effort to bridge the language barrier and make them feel at home. As ever before, I'm also impressed by how quickly and easily the campers dive into the activities that are presented to them. Their day has so far been filled with Spanish lessons, French lessons, an art class led by Kathleen Graves (one of our Artists in Residence),  an hour or so of wall painting with Alex Nichols (Artist in Residence from last year, returning this year as a teacher), with two or three sessions of lake swimming and boating interspersed between. Somehow, they're still going strong, and are up for an evening of karate, yoga, and games. And I'm sure they will still find a way to stay up talking even after the counselors have announced lights out. 

From the kitchen, where I am preparing snacks (their appetites are voracious!), I can hear beautiful guitar music upstairs from Oto Hudec, an Artist in Residence from Slovakia, and as I walk past the mill up to the barn, I hear someone playing the baby grand piano in the living room. In an hour or so we will walk or bike through the bursts of forests and meadows back to the school house, it is sprinkling but the sky is still light and dancing its reflection upon the lake. I'm surrounded by inspired, accomplished artists, children with spirits that are bright, kind, and ready to create, the sounds of birds and roosters and horses and creatures bustling in the fields. There is a lake about 50 yards from where I am sitting, and I'm staying at a mill that survived the rise and fall of the Communist Revolution, and lives to tell the tale. ArtMill feels like an actualized creative vision, the carrying out of a far-off dream to merge social change, sustainability, art, and education. I am young on my journey in the world, but from what I can tell, there's not much more one could ask for. 


2012-07-09 - 10:12:00  by alexkatis

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09.07.2012 - 13:14 - guest - Thank you Seema for that lovely reflection!

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