Create-a-Skate art camp helps students apply creativity (video)

Carolina Astrain By Carolina Astrain

June 29, 2013 at 1:29 a.m.
Updated June 30, 2013 at 1:30 a.m.

A manilla apron hugged her side as Kayla Bonugli's wrist glided her paintbrush across a pale, wooden plank.

Instead of spending her summer mornings in her apartment complex pool, the 14-year-old incoming Victoria East High School freshman spent the last few weeks of June designing her own skateboard.

"It's fun," Kayla said. "It's good to have a cool teacher that teaches me everything."

This was VEHS art teacher Jamie Sainz's first time coordinating the Create-A-Skate summer art camp.

"It was something we started doing in Art Club," said Sainz, who doesn't skateboard herself. "I'm just an artist, and I like the artistic side of this sort of project. You can paint on pretty much anything."

The art teacher stretched strips of masking tape over the students' dried purple board.

The design plan is to create a multicolored checkerboard pattern, said Kayla.

A few chairs away from Kayla was VEHS art teacher Candace Coyle, who was painting a high school mascot on canvas for an outgoing staff member moving to a new high school.

Coyle, who coordinates the drawing and painting summer programs at the high school, said she's had lots of students sign up for morning classes, but it's not uncommon for most of the students to show up in the afternoon.

According Coyle, the summer art classes are free-of-charge to VISD students.

"I plan a budget and order all the materials in advance," Coyle said.

Home school student Daisy Vrana, 13, doesn't attend a VISD school but signed up for the class anyway.

"It was free, and I wanted her to get better trained with the art teacher," said Paula Vrana, her mother. "She has a lot of fun."

Vrana said she heard about the program through the district's website.

"This is her first year doing this," Vrana said.

An animal figure fused with the limbs of a tree appeared on Daisy's sheet of drawing paper by mid-morning.

Underneath the sheet was a collection shaded eyeballs where Daisy had practiced her shading.

"I like drawing, and it's been fun getting a tour of a big school," Daisy said. "Mrs. Coyle is a good teacher, and she's so funny."

The skateboard Kayla designed will need four wheels, but Kayla said she usually skates on a two-wheel skateboard, also known as a Ripstick.

"With a Ripstick, it's easier to make different turns," Kayla said. "On a four-wheeler, it's hard to make a U or N without flipping the whole board over."

She held a blow-dryer inches away from the board as she dried the purple and blue paint over the art room sink.

Kayla moved with her family to Victoria two years ago from San Antonio so her mother could finish getting her nursing certificate at Victoria College.

Whenever they get a chance, Kayla said she likes to skateboard with her brother in a parking lot near the Victoria Mall.

"I met this guy who had a skateboard in San Antonio, and he taught me," Kayla said. "Now, I just do it for fun when I'm bored."

As an A/B honor roll student, incoming marching band member and former orchestra student at Howell Middle School, Kayla said she likes to keep busy.

A few weeks before she started the Create-A-Skate camp, Kayla had already attended archery and guitar camp.

"It's fun learning new things," Kayla said. "And if I weren't here, I'd probably be at home playing my double bass."



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