S’More Art Adventures

Three Amazing Art Camps for Kids
By Joy Blewett

This summer, provide your child with a hands-on arts experience. More and more research is surfacing on the benefits of creating and engaging with art. Art-making opportunities can build skills in self-expression, critical thinking and creative problem-solving. Here are three organizations that open their spaces to kids during the summer to explore a wide variety of art experiences.  

After learning important lessons of self-acceptance and self-expression from the kids they taught last year, the arts team at Canvas & Chardonnay (C&C) is excited to offer kids art camps again this summer. Each day for a week from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Eileen Bruns, Leah Bee, Angie Pipkorn, Vanna Vanessa and Tyler Aug will provide an array of arts experiences from their personal expertise. 

“We cannot put a limit on what kids interpret as art,” ponders Leah, co-owner of C&C. “We will learn from them as much as we will share our crafts.” Along with painting, drawing and sculpting, students will explore architecture and street art through a downtown walk in Rochester and nature with rocks, plants and fiber arts. Aug shares his love of film by introducing kids to the use of green-screen technology.

The kids art camp also includes a visit to the Rochester Art Center and learning breathing exercises and plant care from Vanna, a local yoga instructor. Don’t miss these weeks being offered for ages 7 and up in June, July and August. For more information go to canvasandchardonnay.com/upcoming-classes.

The Rochester Art Center offers two art camps during the summer. Free family days continue throughout the summer on the first Saturday of each month.

Kids Art Camp, a half-day program for kindergarten through third grade, will explore skill building with painting, drawing and hands-on projects. Participants will learn how to work individually and collaboratively, creating unique artworks and experiencing the natural world through the eyes of an artist. 

The Total Arts Day Camp, a full-day program for grades one to 12, will become a film studio with facilitation by Stewartville STEAM teacher Kelly Schrandt. Participants will incorporate painting, drawing and sculpting into a media-arts experience. Through writing, directing and filming, participants will learn about storyboarding and creating their own animated mini-movies. Included will be a film showing at the end of the week for family and friends. For more information about Rochester Art Center’s summer art camp opportunities go to rochesterartcenter.org/summer-camps. 

Crossings at Carnegie is an eclectic art space in downtown Zumbrota with an art gallery, art store and assortment of classes. From Messy Munchkins to Running with Scissors, Crossings art camps offer wheel-throwing and hand-building clay classes, robotics and STEM invention workshops, woodworking and welding and musical theater and textile, among traditional art making opportunities.  

“Art is a common denominator,” states Marie Marvin, co-director of Crossings. “Art can bring us back to a shared humanness beyond the perceived boundaries that separate us. It not only lets us know ourselves better, but helps us communicate across all languages and cultures to know each other better.” 

As an at-risk teenager, Marie was saved through her love and passion for the arts, and creating Crossings almost 20 years ago helped her find her calling. The kids camps are her favorite endeavor. “It is an honor to witness the innate artistic energy in our children, welcoming them year after year into our art camps. Art education and exposure to the arts is something we owe to all our children.” 

Crossings invites working artists and art teachers from the region to teach their passion and expertise each summer. Participants get to create art among inspiring artworks and learn from artists themselves. For more information on Crossings art camps go to crossingsatcarnegie.com.

Art on the Ave hosts Sound and Color,
a free family arts event celebrating its 10th anniversary.
Saturday, May 18, 2019,
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on 6th Avenue SE, Rochester.

Joy Blewett is a freelance writer, artist and teacher in Rochester.