Joel Salmons teaches one of the new art classes offered to students.

The Lake Houston Family YMCA has recently partnered with Lake Houston Area Artists and is now offering a series of classes for youth between the ages of 4-15.

“We are proud to partner with the LHAA and we have retained one of their best instructors, Joel Salmons,” said Andrew Sommella, youth development director at the Lake Houston Family YMCA. “We are now providing three separate weekly classes, each taught by Mr. Salmons, that each target a specific group of children and have their own parameters and coursework.”

The first of these classes is a one-hour Tuesday night class, in which Salmons teaches children who are 4-7 years old.

“Mr. Salmons reads an art-based story and afterwards, the students have a discussion about the art they just witnessed and the story they just heard,” said Sommella.

On Wednesdays, there is a one-hour long class which is offered for children aged 8-11. The title of this class is “Art Investigators.” Sommella said, “The mission of this class is to dive into the artwork itself.” The students analyze and scrutinize selections of artwork that are taken from the National Gallery of Art, which is a prominent art museum located in Washington, D.C. Following instruction and observation from Salmons, the students engage in “serious conversation” and dive into the intrinsic meaning of the pieces of artwork by simply asking themselves, “What is the message/meaning behind this painting?”

The final class in this series is the one that is offered to children who are 12-15. Students in this upper-level class aim to resolve enigmas such as “How do artists solve problems?” and “What is the artist striving to accomplish?,” according to Sommella.

“Students have projects that they complete at the end of each class. We try to give the students a variety of different forms of art to work with. The pieces of art are not only paintings, they could be sculptures, watercolors, etc. During one class we may have students use watercolor and during another class, we may have students work with graphite pens,” he said.

The program strives to offer students a variety of different selections of artwork, which according to Sommella, “provides an outlet for children to explore themselves.” These art classes are another attribution to one of the Lake Houston Family YMCA’s goals, which is that all members and guests should seek to benefit from self-expression and discovery of their passions.

The cost to attend these classes is $40 a month for members and $60 a month for nonmembers. For more information, call the Lake Houston Family YMCA at 281-360-2500, visit ymcahouston.org/lake-houston or visit the Lake Houston Family YMCA facility at 2420 W. Lake Houston Pkwy., Kingwood.

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