Endangered species sculpture and painting classes offered in North Myrtle Beach

Endangered species sculpture and painting classes are offered in North Myrtle Beach. (Amanda Kinseth/WPDE)

Painting and sculpting art classes in North Myrtle Beach focus on endangered species.

The classes are for children and adults, and it's not just about the artwork.

Stephanie Sellers gently molds the clay, instructing everyone how to form a leatherback turtle.

"This is a real heartfelt project. I get to combine two loves, working with my hands and creating and the species of the world and endangered species."

She's not only teaching about sculpting, she's teaching about survival and the struggle for endangered species.

"When you know better, you do better, and that's what it's going to take to make a difference. Scientifically I know we won't be able to save all the endangered species because our world is changing, but we can try," she said.

Holt is an 11-year-old student in the class. He's learning exactly what a leatherback turtle looks like, and why.

"The oil also lets them go all around the world because it traps in their body heat, so they can go in even colder temperatures," said Holt, explaining the benefits from the leatherback turtle's body structure.

"These kids are creating keepsakes they're going to take home, and they're going to remember the leatherback turtle," said Sellers. "Then when they're in college, they're going to say, 'What can I do to make a difference? Should I study marine biology? What can I do to help?'"

Holt already knows he wants to be a marine biologist, and there might be more future species savers in the bunch.

"It's not just about playing in clay and making a pretty picture to hang on the wall," said Sellers. "It's a little deeper than that."

She's hoping to make a deep impact.

The endangered species art classes are Thursdays at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center.

To register email or call 919-353-2522.

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