REED CITY — Summer activities are winding down for families as school is creeping right around the corner.

The Art in the Park sessions are one of those activities that had to come to an end. Held during the Reed City Crossroads Festival, the finale attracted quite a crowd of artists. Children of all ages gathered in the pavilion at Rambadt Park to decorate notebooks and folders for school. Tables were full of scraps of wallpaper, foam letters, stickers, wrapping paper and paint to cater to everyone’s imagination. A variety of school supplies, including backpacks, were also given away in drawings.

Donna Wheeler, coordinator of the summer program, and assistant Kaytlyn Sheldon spent six Saturdays at the park, bringing the joy of art to area families. This summer’s theme was “Simply Art” and just let participants explore the different mediums used to create art. Starting with a simple acrylic painting on canvas, sessions allowed for any age to make a project. At times the project was a bit challenging, as with the paper mache and plaster of paris, but that’s when adults stepped in to assist. It became a family event with parents and grandparents creating masterpieces together with their children. Several families returned to participated this year along with many new faces. Donna was pleased with the increase in this year’s turnout.

Newcomers to the summer activities were brothers Marcellus, 5 , and Mariano, 6. A little on the shy side, these boys got into every project with enthusiasm. “Yes we did like it!” they both said when asked how they enjoyed coming this year and added that they wanted to return next summer.

A few of the projects made during the art sessions were entered in the Mecosta County Fair by sisters, Tristin, 16, and Kassidy,11, earning them 1st place ribbons.

Everyone definitely left each session with something to be proudly displayed. Young or old, they got their creative juices flowing and found the artist within. In a couple of weeks, school will start and a lot of these children won’t have art included in their day. For a few months this summer, though, they were introduced to the very important subject and learned a few things they can create again on their own.

Even if it’s one small project on the weekends, it’s important to find the time to allow children to use their imagination and create something from within. They especially like the messy ones. These are the cherished projects that hold the memories of their childhood.