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July 8, 2014

York County art camp teaches kids how to turn trash into treasure

Children are learning how to turn trash into creative costumes at a program put on by the Arts Council of York County.

If you see children climbing in a dumpster behind the Center for the Arts in downtown Rock Hill, don’t be alarmed. They’re out digging for cardboard so they can keep practicing how to turn someone else’s trash into their new treasure.

The kids are participating in a class led by Ashley Beard, an art teacher at South Pointe High School, and put on by the Arts Council of York County. Over the course of a week, they practice their creativity by turning trash, recycling, old items and arts and crafts materials into costumes they will show off at a fashion show on Friday.

On Tuesday, Claire Flowers held up a colorful headband, a toilet paper tube and a seashell.

“This is going to be my crown,” the 6-year-old said.

A few minutes later, after careful application of some hot glue, spray paint and glitter, it was perfect.

“This week is about using your imagination and being creative and letting the things you already have inspire what you’re going to make,” Beard said between advising one boy how to cut cardboard to create a “Transformers” robot and helping several little princesses put beads on masks.

One camper decided to make a costume that was “crazy and random” – half-man, half woman. The camp lets her unleash her artistic powers, said Shalini Setty, 10.

“I came here because I like to do arts and crafts and it sounded really fun,” she said.

Naomi Kiley, 10, was building a “Tardis” costume, from the “Doctor Who” television show. Even though it’s going to be hard to finish the large, blue, telephone booth-like structure that she’ll wear, she is confident she can do it – with the help of a lot of cardboard, duct tape and spray paint.

And, Naomi said, it will be fun.

“It’s better than people sitting and watching TV.”

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