Nancy Hampton is a member of the WHAM Art Association in Surprise. About twelve years ago, Nancy began working as a volunteer with under-served, elementary-aged children in Avondale, AZ, as part of her church’s free after-school tutoring program, called Opportunity House. Because there was a huge lack of art in their lives, Nancy would occasionally have an art session with the kids. The sessions were so successful that they were expanded and became a vital part of the free six-weeks Opportunity House Summer Program – which has been ongoing since 2005. During the summer, once a week for six weeks in June and July, there is an art session led by a volunteer artist who shares her/his art expertise with up to twenty kids. At the end of the summer sessions, all of the children’s artwork is hung for an exhibit to which parents and friends are invited. Nancy says, “My philosophy for the Opportunity House art program is that in each class, each child can create his or her own masterpiece. There is no ‘coloring between the lines.’ No matter what the final results look like, or whether the child used the correct techniques, or if the art doesn’t look anything like it is supposed to, it is the child’s own creation. It is the most important thing they have done today, and something of which they are very proud. They love to talk about their art piece and how they created it. Their self-esteem soars and they have learned something.”
This program has recently been adopted by our Member League, WHAM, where it has found a new home. Nancy’s dedication to “Opportunity House,” now for some 12 years, is still going strong!
Nancy first got interested in painting during a one-semester art course at Kent State University in Ohio; however, life got in the way of art, and she had to wait until retirement to begin her journey anew. “Although I’ve tried other mediums, I now focus on oils and, occasionally, colored pencils. The oils provide vivid colors and are very forgiving when it comes to correcting mistakes. Color is my thing and lately I’ve enjoyed painting large florals on canvas. My motto is, ‘if in doubt, add color.’” Nancy’s work has been shown at the Arizona Art Alliance Shows, the Glendale Gallery at Westgate, the West Valley Arts Councils Shows, the West Valley Art Museum Peoria Shows, City of Goodyear Art Council Exhibits, and the Glendale Arts Council Shows, where she has received several awards and enjoyed sales of her oil paintings. Her art was also featured on the Goodyear, AZ website, as part of their “Elements of Nature” exhibit.
Nancy’s dedication to art and her desire to share her skills and time with her community are truly examples of what our Volunteer Hall of Honor strives to recognize and to pay tribute. Thanks, Nancy, for all you have done and all you continue to do.