Gosh, it’s only mid-July and already the stores are putting out their displays of school supplies and backpacks! But summer is far from over, and there are weeks yet of time for creative play and discovery! Space is still available in a couple of Crystal Bridges’ summer camps, including two that help nurture some of the skills that kids will need when they head back to school: Art Adventures, for kids ages 6 to 12, beginning July 17; and Creative Kids, for campers ages 6 to 8, starting July 24.
Some artworks tell a story. We can look at the work’s setting to learn where the story takes place, examine the figures in the work for clues to their character, and use our imaginations to put ourselves into the work and come up with a plot. Learning about and creating stories in art is what Art Adventures is all about. Campers will explore the various elements that make up a story—setting, character, and plot—and then create art projects to tell their own stories.
Campers in the younger group, 6- to 8-year-olds, will be making story quilts inspired by Faith Ringgold’s Maya’s Quilt of Life. But first, they’ll engage in activities to spark their creativity: imagining a setting for their story inspired by sounds, for example, and then building miniature dioramas to show what their setting looks like. Next, they will imagine a character for their story and create miniature figures of their character to place in the dioramas. Finally, each camper will come up with the plot that fits their setting and character, and create colorful “quilts” from fabric and other materials that will illustrate their story.
Older campers (ages 9 to 12) will create imaginary social media profiles as a tool to build a character, then create a puppet of their character and make a backdrop to represent the setting before creating short stop-motion videos to tell their character’s story. Each camper will come home with their very own short film!
The Creative Kids camp
This camp is designed to encourage kids to tap into their creativity to create art and also to maximize their powers of exploration and discovery. The camp is based on the principles outlined in the book The Missing Alphabet, written by founders of the Learning About Learning Educational Foundation.
During camp, kids will explore elements of the “Sensory Alphabet”— line, color, texture, sound, movement, rhythm, space, light and shape—using techniques from the book that “engage children with the creative thinking processes, the capacity to invent with many media, the ability to think across disciplines, and the reliance on (and joy in) the imagination.”
This sounds sort of academic. But it’s really just a whole heap of exploratory and creative fun! Activities include meeting various people around the museum to learn about how they use the Sensory Alphabet in their work and everyday lives, making collagraph prints to explore different textures, creating tape-resist paintings inspired by Sol Lewitt’s giant wall drawing, Loopy Doopy, and finally creating their very own mini museums.
Space is still available for both camps as of this posting.