TROY — For children looking to stretch their creative legs this summer, Mayflower Arts Center has served as a haven for art exploration with its “Summer Art Camp” program.
The nine-week program, which began June 12, hosts a four-day camp each week running Monday through Thursday, including a morning camp for students ages 5-9 and an afternoon camp for students ages 10 and older.
This marks the sixth summer that Mayflower proprietor Lisa Bauer has run the program. With most installments selling out, Bauer claims “her goals for the camp are surpassed every year.”
Afternoon art camps are oriented around art technique, focusing on a different discipline each week, such as drawing and illustration, comic arts, sculpture arts, and fashion design.
“It really allows older kids to hone their craft on individual techniques,” Bauer said. “This week is painting and next week will be photography. We still have some spots left for the photography camp.”
Morning camps, however, tend to be more oriented around pop culture and mixed media.
“We focus on a particular theme each week, and we try to find something for that age group that they’re familiar with and inspires them. This week is ‘Art Around the World.’ We’ve traveled to different countries and done art each day inspired by that country.”
Other morning camp themes have included “Camp Supers,” inspired by the “Incredibles” films, “Camp Narnia,” inspired by the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, and “Secret Spy School,” which incorporated a secret agent theme into all projects.
Due to the eclectic theming, Bauer exclaimed it’s common for kids to sign up for multiple weeks.
“We have a lot of repeats who will do more than one camp with us, but we mix it up to make every camp different,” Bauer said. “With the younger kids, we try to make projects scalable, because we’re really introducing them to materials for the first time. Some of the younger ones have never cut with scissors before. It gives them all a chance to explore, but also have fun.”
Bauer claims that the summer art camps provide she and other volunteers the opportunity to enlighten kids on the wonders of creativity.
“My biggest objective is just to be able to expose children of all ages to art,” Bauer stated, citing that along with that comes exposure to “different materials, different techniques, and different ways of thinking outside the box for creative projects.”
According to Bauer, ideas for future camps are gathered from participating kids at every week’s end.
“At the end of each camp, we have a night where the kids come in and see all their work on exhibit,” Bauer said. “At that point, we sit down and talk about what they liked about it and what they’d like to do next year. I get a lot of inspiration from the kids on camps they’d like to do next summer, or even classes we can offer during the school year.”
“Kids Art Show: The Best of Mayflower Summer Art Camps,” an exhibit featuring work compiled by campers throughout the summer, will be on display in the center’s lobby gallery Aug. 11-25. An artists’ reception will be held Saturday, Aug. 11, in which young artists along with family and friends, will be able to enjoy projects compiled throughout the summer.
Located in the historic 1928 Mayflower Theater building, the Mayflower Arts Center seeks to provide a community-friendly environment to create art, and enlighten and inspire a deeper appreciation of art among artists and patrons.
For more information, visit www.mayflowerartscenter.com.