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By the time art education students take Minuette Floyd’s course in school art programming, they’ve already logged 60 hours observing K-12 art classes in area schools — and they’re itching to design their own.

They get that opportunity through the Young Artists Workshop, an art enrichment program offered to children ages 5 to 18 for seven consecutive Friday afternoons after school each spring and fall. Floyd began teaching the course in 1998.

“These aren’t merely craft classes; our art education students get to think deeply about topics they want to help the younger students explore,” says Floyd, an associate professor of art education and coordinator for art education at the School of Visual Art and Design. “If someone has a theme of ‘taking care of our world,’ for instance, then all of the lesson plans will address pollution or sustainability or related topics.”

The classes involve drawing, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, printmaking, ceramics and other media, and each class is led by an art education major. Students often pair up and take turns teaching the classes.

The final class is devoted to a public exhibition in McMaster.

Students come from public and private schools as well as the homeschool community. The Young Artists Workshop typically draws about 60 students, although up to 100 have enrolled in past sessions. “It depends on how many art education majors I have enrolled in my class as to how many kids we can accommodate,” Floyd says.

The K-12 students get exposed to a range of art techniques and artists, and some later enroll at Carolina as art majors. The UofSC students get feedback on their fledgling efforts as teachers before beginning the more formal process of student teaching the next semester.

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