Pottery, papier-mâché and paintings were on display at Sense of Wonder Creations in Vineyard Haven this Sunday, as budding artists and their families gathered for an afternoon of gallery exhibitions, craft-making, and special guest performances. The event showcased projects from 38 students in Sense of Wonder’s winter and spring art classes and was, said director and founder Pam Benjamin, “the culmination of the artists’ hard work.”

Celeste Bailey
Counselor Celeste Bailey. — Ivy Ashe

The results of that hard work were enough to fill both the Sense of Wonder creative studio and a backyard tent. Nearly all of the students’ pieces were available for purchase, with half of all proceeds going to UNICEF. The remaining half went straight to the artists. Artists were also in charge of setting their own prices, making for sales that reflected the diverse age range of the students — winter and spring classes are open to six to 18-year-olds. Counselor Stephanie Thibert, a Sense of Wonder alumna, said that while one painting had been sold for $20, many students were just as happy to earn two or three dollars for their piece.

Pam Benjamin with Coton Voorhees
Pam Benjamin. — Ivy Ashe

No afternoon at 23 Grove street would be complete without new opportunities for creative expression, which were presented before attendees had even set foot inside the studio. All children were encouraged to throw a pot at a ceramics station set up on the building’s front porch, where Featherstone potter Dan Parker was on hand to help with the finer points of working with clay. In the backyard, children created masterpieces from Popsicle sticks, feathers and pipe cleaners with help from Mr. Parker’s daughter, Rosa, and the other Sense of Wonder counselors.

Activities came to a pause midway through the afternoon, when guest performer Martina Fajkusova arrived for a demonstration of fire juggling. Ms. Fajkusova, who is from the Czech Republic, practices poi, a tradition of fire dancing with roots in New Zealand Maori culture. Incorporation of multiculturalism is an important part of Sense of Wonder programs, said Mrs. Benjamin, who tries to have visitors from different countries at the art show each year.

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful camp,” said Tanya Voorhees of Vineyard Haven, parent of young artists Lauren and Colton. “The things these kids do are amazing.”

In addition to the money raised from sales of art pieces, donations for UNICEF were collected, with over $440 put toward the cause at the end of the day.

The Sense of Wonder Creations summer program begins on June 28. Applications can be found at senseofwondercreations.org/camp.