Lamar University hosts inaugural SEAL Summer Art Camp

Funded by the Center for Resiliency and the College of Fine Arts and Communication, the inaugural Social Emotional Artistic Learning camp was held last week with 25 students in attendance.

The idea of social emotional artistic learning stems from a secondary art curriculum taught by Dr. Joana Hyatt, camp organizer and associate professor of art education, in the spring of 2022.

SEAL Summer Art CampAccording to Hyatt, preservice art education students researched current art education curricula that include topics such as social justice, climate change, SEAL, teaching for artistic behavior and community art practices.

“Students developed dialogic strategies from a framework of empathy that includes research-based inquiry methods designed to help others view art through both interpersonal empathy and social empathy lenses,” she said. “The resulting student-developed curricula (was) taught during the summer SEAL camp to participants.”

The impetus for the event, Hyatt noted, was the litany of natural disasters that have impacted the Southeast Texas region, including Hurricane Harvey, Tropical Storm Imelda, hurricanes Laura and Delta, and a Texas winter storm, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is well understood that our regional community, which includes our students and children, has a story to tell about resiliency,” Hyatt said.

This is the first year such a camp has been offered. Historically, previous summer art camps were thematically organized around a science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics focus. SEAL Summer Art Camp

The goal of the camp was to be a Social-Emotional Learning experience, which seeks to promote an understanding of self-awareness, an ability to process experiences, to understand others and make responsible decisions, Hyatt said. 

“When art is added to social-emotional learning practices, SEAL-based instruction promotes the creative act of making and analyzing art from multiple perspectives,” she added.

Taught by preservice art education students Kenadi Hagan and Corey Adams, art projects included the following: drawing superheroes based on students’ personalities using the Myers-Briggs Personality Test; creating three-dimensional superheroes figures; creating a game based on mutant superheroes; painting watercolor coastal scenes; printmaking on T-shirts; constructing 3D environments; and creating a collaborative mosaic.

The resulting work of the camp was featured in an art exhibition on July 15 at the Dishman Art Museum, where friends and family were welcome to come view the artwork.

With the success of the camp, the director and organizer said she hopes to hold the SEAL camp again next year.

Learn more about SEAL Summer Art Camp.