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Children, parents get a ‘spark’ with art

On Saturday, parents and kids were ready to try some good, old fashioned art on the Campus of Troy University.

The International Arts Center hosted its first ArtSPARK of the summer and gave children and their parents a chance to tie dye a towel. Carrie Jaxon, the director and curator at Troy University’s International Arts Center, said ArtSPARK was all about family fun and exposing the IAC to the community.

“It’s a free, family event we offer to the community so parents can spend time with their children on the weekend. It’s also a way to get people on campus and show them what we have at the International Arts Center. The IAC is a community arts center and we want people to know that it’s their art center so they feel comfortable coming to campus to take part in activities or to view exhibits.”

The International Arts Center is located on International Boulevard in the heart of the university’s campus. Jaxon said the center is adjacent to the Janice Hawkins Cultural Arts Park and the ArtSPARK name is a play on ‘arts park.’

“The university and the IAC have a lot to offer the community,” Jaxon said. “We want to have activities for children and their families. It’s important for children to be exposed to art at a young age. There’s a lot the IAC can do to help expose children and their families to art.”

On Saturday, the IAC’s ArtSPARK focused on using indigo dye to teach children not only about art, but also about how ancient people used plant pigments to add a little color to their clothes.

“Indigo dye has been used for thousands of years,” Jaxon said. “It’s one of the oldest forms of dying cloth. Making a tie dye towel or T-shirt is a fun activity for children and it also gives them something they can take home with them.”

ArtSPARK will return on Aug. 7. Jaxon said the program for that date has yet to be determined.