Neighbor You Should Know: Ellen King

By Kristin Boza

As parents scramble to find engaging activities for their kids each summer, consider the enchanting Mrs. King’s Art Camp, taught by Ellen King. Since 2012, King’s camp has been a neighborhood staple for kids who wish to learn more about a variety of art mediums.

“My aunt, Marybeth Vihon, grew up in Beverly and is a well-known artist in the Chicago land area,” King said. “She suggested I start a summer art camp based on the overwhelming success of a camp that her daughter attended in her neighbor’s yard in Wilmette. Her excitement inspired me to begin mapping out how such a camp would operate best in Beverly.”

The camp has tried a variety of venues over the years, and this year is hosted out of BAPA’s Community Room. “This location will help us to seamlessly incorporate the idea of children expressing themselves through the act of creating art in their own community,” King said.

Boys and girls between the ages of 5 and 10 are welcome to the camp, which meets three days a week and takes place over five week-long sessions. “The goal of the art camp is to provide opportunities for children to develop their creative expression in a fun and relaxed environment,” King said. “They will work independently and in a variety of collaborations in drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture as well as the preparation and display of their artwork for an art show.”

King hold a BA in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Master of Arts in Teaching (elementary education) from National-Louis University. Currently, King is the art teacher/school librarian at Kellogg School in North Beverly. “I absolutely love being a resident as well as an employee in our beautiful community,” she said. “I suppose the fact that I am immersed in all-things Beverly on a day-to-day basis has clearly provided the impetus for the art camp’s creation.”

Living and working here reinforces King’s view of the family-oriented community we share. “I love that the common thread among neighbors is that people want the absolute best for their children and are willing to work tirelessly to make that possible,” she said. “I also believe that there is a renaissance of sorts that is occurring in our community regarding the arts. From the phenomenal success of the Beverly Art Walk, the Beverly Music Initiative at Tranquility, The Frunchroom and Beverly Arts Center’s revival as a pillar of art events in the neighborhood, it’s clear that art is alive and well.”

Mrs. King’s Art Camp has limited spots available for sessions 1, 2 and 4. Land of Nod, Lulu Photography, Southtown Health Foods, The Chicago Public Library-Walker Branch, Edna White Memorial Garden and Cornell School of Ornithology are all donating goods and services to the campers. “I am thrilled that these prominent businesses are teaming up with the art camp to make this an amazing summer!” King said.

To find out more about Mrs. King’s Art Camp, visit Facebook/MrsKingsArtCamp or email King at ewoods75@yahoo.com.

 

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