Summer Arts Camps

SAC Teacher Feature: Mary Dunn

It’s starting to feel like summer! In just a few short weeks, schools across north Louisiana will be letting out. If you are looking for a way to nurture your child’s creativity and keep him/her occupied, NCLAC’s Summer Arts Camps (for students entering 2nd – 7th grades) are will start in June. This week, I want to introduce you to another one of the talented artists who will be instructing one of the camps: Mary Booth Dunn!

SAC Teacher Feature: Mary Catherine Davis

This week, the star of our Teacher Feature is Mary Catherine Davis! She has participated and volunteered in many community arts exhibitions, events, and workshops. NCLAC is happy to have her as an instructor for Summer Arts Camps 2013! She will lend her talents to a workshop, teaching 2D visual arts.

Beautiful weather is perfect for volunteering

Spring is here, although it sort of feels a bit like summer already, and our office is in full swing for educational and community activities.We have many events coming up for which we need volunteers, and everyone knows volunteering does a body good. Take a look at our list and pick something you love, or something you'd like to learn more about!

Community Outreachfarmer's market

Ruston Farmers Market--assist at the NCLAC booth with a children's art activity

June 1  8am-noon

July 4  8 am-noon


Bead Mosaic Calendar Project--cut, glue, and generally assist with a bead mosaic project

Each Wednesday and Thursday at 3:30, Presbytery of the Pines, 210 North Bonner

This is a community-wide mosaic project, that will ultimately be turned into a calendar that will benefit area nonprofits and schools.

Call Jackie Cochran at the church at 255-6177 if interested



Peach Art Exhibit Check-in--check in art, fill out entry forms, take fees, digitally create tags

June 13 at the Ruston Civic Center. Come meet someone new; two volunteers will work each shift.








Peach Art Exhibit Hanging--move & hang artwork, hammer nails; bring a hammer, nails are provided

June 14 at the Ruston Civic Center. Bring a friend for this gig; four two-person teams are needed.

9am until completed, which is usually around noon.



Peach Art Exhibit Reception--provide refreshments for the Peach Art Exhibit Reception

June 16 at the Ruston Civic Center. Like to cook? You can help us with tasty refreshments for our community reception!

You should bring your food/drinks at 2:30pm sharp, and take leftovers and/or dish home at 4 (unless it’s disposable)       

two providers of:

savory (ex:  cucumber sandwiches, deviled eggs)

snack plates (ex:  fruit, cheese, chips/dip)

dessert plates  (ex:  cupcakes, cookies, brownies)

drink item with cups  (ex:  tea, lemonade, punch w/25-50 paper cups)

one provider of:

napkins  (ex:  50-100 small paper napkins)

small plates (ex:  25-50 small paper plates)


Art Education

Summer Arts Camps--assist teachers in a classroom of children making art projects

We've been holding Summer Arts Camps for over 20 years, and they are so much fun! Come see what it's all about--

June 3-7 in Ruston  8:30am-noon, Monday-Friday

July 8-12 in Ruston 8:30am-noon, Monday-FridayOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Are you ready to help?

Give us a call at 255-1450, or an email at, and we'll sign you up!




SAC Teacher Feature: Rachel Johnston

Another week, another Teacher Feature -- we are counting down to Summer Arts Camps! NCLAC has selected the best and brightest arts instructors in our area to lead these camps. This week, I want to introduce you to Rachel Johnson, a self-taught fiber artist who uses natural materials in her work to achieve an earthy, rustic quality. Her artistic skills include fiber arts, leather work, and soap-making.

SAC Teacher Feature: Peter Hay

I hope you are enjoying the warm weather outside! As we get closer to the end of the school year, keep in mind that NCLAC's Summer Arts Camps are a great way to help keep your child occupied while also enriching his or her creative and artistic development. As part of our weekly “Teacher Feature,” I want to introduce you to another camp instructor: artist Peter Hay!


Peter was born in Maryland, moved to Ohio, and then settled for a while in Oklahoma. He received his Associate of Art degree from Northern Oklahoma college before earning his Bachelor of Arts at Northeaster State University in Tahlequah, OK. Peter is currently a graduate assistant at Louisiana Tech University, working on this MFA in studio art. Peter's surreal and still life paintings were featured during Holiday Arts Tour 2012 at the Dixie Center for the Arts. 

Peter will teaching 2D (drawing and painting) at a weeklong camp in Jonesboro, from July 15-19.

Registration for weeklong camps is $60 if you pay before May 1 ($65 after that date). We also have several “Super Saturday” that are just $20 if you register and pay 10 days before the camp ($25 after that date). Camp fees include a snack.

Students entering grades 2-7 are eligible to participate.

Those interested may register by phone at 255-1450, or by downloading a registration form from our blog @, or site @ Forms and checks should be mailed to NCLAC, PO Box 911  Ruston, LA 71273

Community Connection: Farmerville

Farmerville has a surprising lack of farmers. Well, farmers in the agricultural sense. The misleading name actually came from one of the founders of the town.

The first man to buy a lease of land in what is now Union Parish was John Honeycutt. John was a trapper, so the area was perfect for him. John got his lease from the Spanish government way back in 1790, and he settled in. A few years roll by with John scratching out a living doing his trapping thing when a roving band of Native Americans came through. They told John that there was another family that had settled in the area. When John went to meet the new neighbors, he was pleasantly surprised to find a settler named Feazel living with what could only be described as a house full of girls. The story says that John eventually asked Feazel for the hand of one of the girls. Typical guy.

People came from all over the South to settle in the area, and Union Parish was carved out of northern Ouachita Parish in 1839. Naming the parish seat proved to be a difficult matter. Matthew Wood donated the land for the town, but didn't want the town to be called Woodville. (Maybe he thought the name would be too mainstream.) The name was decidedly named after the Farmer family. On May 17 of that year, the first Union Parish police jury made the ordinance to officially name the town Farmerville. It wasn't until 1842 that the town received a charter and was incorporated.

There isn't much trapping going on in Farmerville anymore, but the outdoors still plays a huge role in the area. Lake D'Arbonne is an artificial lake which started with a $1 000 000 appropration in 1957 and was completed in 1963 with a cost of about $3 000 000 (just over $22.7 million in today's dollar). The lake covers 15 280 acres with 100 miles of shoreline and is 15 miles long. It's fed mainly by Little Corney Bayou and Corney Bayou, but Bayou D’Arbonne, Middle Fork Bayou, and Little Bayou D’Arbonne are also contributing sources. Lake D'Arbonne boasts plenty of fishing and water sports along with camping at the state park.

A long history that revolves around the outdoors and the new lake can lend itself to a great future for the area. I had the opportunity to talk with Katie Knight, local country music artist and Farmerville native. Katie said that she loves her home town. "It's a small town with a small town feel. Everybody knows everybody." I asked Katie about how growing up in Farmerville has helped her songwriting. She says it gives her a perspective to work with. She knows what it's like to live in such a small town and imagines what it would be like to live in a big city. To learn more about Katie Knight and her music check out her website.

Farmerville is hosting one of NCLAC's very special Super Saturday Arts Camp on Saturday, June 15. At this exciting one day camp, your kids will participate in visual and performing arts. The camp will take place at the First Assembly of God on 900 S Main St.

Registration for this even is only $20 by June 5 and $25 after June 5. This includes supplies and a snack. Camp is from 9am - noon. If you've got a youngster that's currently in 1-6 grade and you think they would enjoy a day full of fun arts based activities, click here to download the registration form. You could also call the NCLAC office at 255.1450 to register.

SAC Teacher Feature: Bethany Raybourn

Good afternoon, everyone! I hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday. It is time for another installment of “Teacher Feature,” when we highlight one of the amazing individuals who will be helping NCLAC with Summer Arts Camps. Today, I am happy to introduce you to Bethany Raybourn, our coordinator for the two Ruston camps this year. Bethany has been involved with NCLAC for quite some time now, demonstrating her commitment to arts education. Last year, Bethany was one of the volunteers who helped with SAC 2012. We are excited to have her with us for SAC 2013!

Here’s a little background about Bethany: she was born and raised in North Louisiana.  She obtained her BA in English from Louisiana Tech University, and this May she will graduate with a Master of Arts in Teaching (Secondary English Education).

Bethany Raybourn

Bethany spends most of her time as a high school English teacher, which is a profession that she says she has grown to love and enjoy over the past year. In her spare time, she loves to write poetry, turn her poems into songs, and then perform them. She says that she developed a love for music, songwriting, and the arts in general at a very young age, and she is always excited to take part in any opportunity to participate in or volunteer for NCLAC events.

Are you interested in signing your child up for a Summer Arts Camp?

Students entering grades 2-7 are eligible to participate in Summer Arts Camps! This year, we will have both weeklong camps and several “Super Saturday” camps.

Weeklong camps are $60 if you register and pay by May 1; $65 after May 1. Camp fee includes supplies and a snack.

Super Saturday camps are $20 if you register and pay 10 days before the camp; $25 after that date. Camp fee includes supplies and a snack.

Those interested may register by phone at 255-1450, or by downloading a registration form from our blog @, or site @ Forms and checks should be mailed to NCLAC, PO Box 911  Ruston, LA 71273

Community Connection: Ruston

Peaches, railroads, and hall-of-famers. That's what describes many of the highlights of Ruston, LA. Established in 1883 with land donated from Robert Edwin Russ, Ruston has blossomed into a bustling city that has brought some of the best in football, technology, and fun. Every summer, Ruston celebrates the Squire Creek Country Club Peach Festival. The festival brings people from all over the state and all over the country to downtown Ruston for music, food, and fun. Saturday brings music as sweet as the peaches themselves. Vendors from all over line the streets peddling their wares. Visitors can enjoy juried art exhibits, kids activities, and the annual parade among a myriad of other activities.

Ruston is home to Louisiana Tech University. Louisiana Tech (known affectionately as Tech) has brought many breakthroughs in technology and research through their engineering department; beauty through the art, architecture, and performing arts departments; and business leaders through their business department. Tech was the first to offer a degree in Nanotechnology, has had award winning plays and playwrights, and has produced many prominent business leaders in the area and around the country. Tech is also home to many international students that bring their own cultures to the table. Tech recently hosted Nepal night, which brought together people from all over the community to celebrate Nepal's culture. Food, music, and dancing took center stage. Nepal Night is just one of the many community events Louisiana Tech hosts that engages people in Ruston. Tech also has programs in the soft sciences (physchology, sociology, etc), liberal arts, and many other programs of study.

Another facet of Louisiana Tech is it's rich sports history. Tech has produced a number of Hall of Fame members in different sports. Terry Bradshaw played quarterback for Tech and became the NFL first draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1970. Bradshaw originally played second string behind Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. Willie Roaf also went to Tech and is a current member of the NFL Hall of Fame after a career with the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. Karl "The Mailman" Malone. played basketball for Tech and was drafted after three seasons by the Utah Jazz. Malone had a stellar career in the NBA and came home to became a member of the Louisiana Tech basketball staff in 2007.

Ruston hosts most NCLAC events. Since I started as an intern for NCLAC in 2012, I've been a part of Artoberfest, Holiday Arts Tour, and Summer Arts Camp. NCLAC also hosts many art openings and exhibits at Crescent City Coffee in Ruston among other locations. Artoberfest is an annual one evening festival celebrating homebrew craft beer, which is a surprisingly popular pastime in the area. The annual Holiday Arts Tour connects local artists and local business with the community. Artists are able to have their work displayed in participating businesses. There are personal studio tours and workshops, more art than you can handle, and live music to wrap up the weekend.

NCLAC will be hosting two week long Summer Arts Camps at First Baptist Church in Ruston this year. The first will be June 3 - June 7 and the second will be July 8 - 12. Classes will be held from 9am - 12pm (noon). Classes will involve work in 2D and 3D art as well as drama. Camp fees are just $60 if you register by May 1 and only $65 if you register after that. To register or for more information, call the NCLAC office at 318.255.1450. Or you can make it easy on yourself and click here to download the registration form.

We look forward to hearing from you!


SAC Teacher Feature: Emma Case Melville

We are excited to have Emma Case Melville as an instructor for Summer Arts Camps this year! Emma will be teaching two classes on 2D/3D art: one in Farmerville on 6/15 and the other in Arcadia on 6/29. If you want your child to take a class with Emma, call NCLAC's offices at (318) 255-1450 between 10-2 on Monday-Thursday in order to enroll.

SAC Teacher Feature: Matthew Knopps

Summer Arts Camps are a few months away, but it is never too early to celebrate the teachers who dedicate their time and effort to showing children how to draw, paint, sculpt, and perform on stage. Every Tuesday for the next few weeks, I want to introduce you to one of the amazing individuals who will be teaching one of the camps this summer.