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Summer Camp Week 1 – The Inside Scoop
art and design, education, summer camp

Summer Camp Week 1 – The Inside Scoop

And so, week one of this year’s summer camp is over. My best intentions of writing this post over the weekend were thwarted when a previously canceled show was rescheduled for Saturday. Sunday was mostly spent being exhausted and silent.

Still, better late than never! Here’s the scoop from last week –

The theme was Op Art and optical illusions, the campers looked at work by Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely, and designed and painted their own Op Art compositions. As always, I was delighted and surprised by their ideas and work. Summer camp is a lot looser than school.  I leave the kids to make mistakes and solve problems by themselves at their own pace. Some students take a lot longer to figure things out than others, but they all made amazing discoveries about design, and illusion, and produced some beautiful and interesting work.

This was the first year that we ran the Mini Camp, so there were a lot more little kids around than usual. This meant more running around time for my helpers, and two classes running on totally different schedules. There were times when this seemed a bit chaotic, but then beautiful things started to happen. Some of the older kids started mentoring and helping out the little kids, and the younger kids would walk around the older kids’ room and soak up new ideas from their work.
Our second large project was a favorite for both groups because it involved lots of color, and the instant gratification of painting with masking tape. The students looked at Bridget Riley’s stripe paintings, and how different colors work with each other. The Mini campers did a session on the color wheel first, while the older kids just leapt into the work, making discoveries as they painted. Take a look at some of what they created.

We continued with the theme of color and perception, by creating our own cut paper experiments based on Josef Albers‘ color experiments. The Mini campers looked at Molly Bang’s book on composition and used color paper to create scenes from stories.

The week ended with a day of heavy rain, and dark skies. luckily, we had spent so much time running around outdoors all week, that the kids did not get particularly wriggly. Instead we watched My Neighbor Totoro, ate popcorn, made folded paper drawings, danced to Thriller and did a LOT of cleaning up. Three days worth of painting = two very messy rooms!

Above all, we played

All week, we rode scooters, shot hoops, made chalk drawings, and went down slides.We played Froggy Murder, Twister, and Four Corners indoors. We yelled over each other during Apples to Apples. A group of kids took it upon themselves to teach me how to play Tips with a basketball, and didn’t laugh at me (most of the time, anyway). Some of the Mini campers wore costumes to the last day of camp, and one little girl took a nap under her umbrella. There were kids who read books and chatted on the sofa, and kids who took walks together. After all, that is what summer should be about – discovery, friendship, play and rejuvenation.

I’m off to my happy place, London, at the end of this week. The camps will continue when I get back. Until then, expect reports of my adventures abroad.

Love to all my campers, big and small. You are all wonderful!

About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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