Creative minds on the loose! That’s the way artist Roz Roy describes students at Boyd Elementary this week as they experience art in their schools courtesy of supporter Fondren Renaissance Foundation (FRF). 150 4th grade students are learning the art of collage paper making from Roy and watercolor technique from Natalie Ray, all part of a program to bring art into public schools. This is the third year FRF has sponsored the Boyd lessons and Foundation Executive Director Jim Wilkirson said the organization is fortunate to have these two artists leading. “We’re showing them what we do as artists,” Ray said, “and letting them be inspired to create their own work.” 

The lessons are also a way to identify young artistic stand outs and foster their talents. A former Boyd student herself, Ray told us she will be teaching a camp this summer at The Cedars where a hand selected group will create pieces for a fall art show. The camp, in mid July, will be kept to a small size to give individualized attention to each student. “We’re very excited,” Ray told us. “We’re going to have some great campers.” Art from last year’s camps still hangs in the student art room at The Cedars. 

As public school budgets dwindle, Roy said she is thankful for FRF and the funds they are providing for the art program. “All of these kids just love this,” she told us, “and really, this kind of art is inexpensive to do.” Roy says there’s something about seeing pencils, paints and paper that gets young minds going. And Ray agrees. “They’re soaking this up. We’re very excited to see what they come out with.”