Summer Art Camps!


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Hurrah, it’s summer art camp time!
Each of our sweet summer art camp week has a different creative, joyful theme.

wk 1 Art with nature
June 15, 16, 17  ages 5 – 10 

Creating with all-natural materials including: mud paint, charcoal, fruits + veggies, spices, mud kitchen, sticks, and more, children will explore art-making methods through the lens of nature. We will integrate a fun outdoor nature project with collaborative mandala making, plus make our own painting brushes, journals and paint jar kits to take home  – creating our own “natural art tool box”. This will be a special art camp week!

wk 2  Fashion design for dolls + me
June 22, 23, 24  ages 5 – 10
This super fun camp will explore textile and fashion design! Using 2-d mediums like drawing and collage to design as fashion illustrators, we will make study/sketch idea books, art, and then use different methods to print and design our own cloth, even bringing in a recycled shirt/dress to transform, then turn our cloth into real creations – for our dolls and some accessories for ourselves too. For this camp, please bring your favorite doll so we can support them with new fashion! We will take our dolls on some outside adventures to the park, plus each child will have a fun little handmade suitcase/wardrobe box to take home and play with for hours all summer long. At the end of this camp, we will do a little “fashion show”!

wk 3  Boats + bridges + buildings
July 6, 7, 8  ages 4 – 10
Did you know the studio and the playground near us overlook the ocean?! In this camp, children will plan, draw and build! We will create some fun boats (and try to get them to float!) out of wood and recycled materials. As young architects, we will have fun creating imaginative tiny models, plans, maps and box/paper buildings. We will also co-create a mini-plan for a real project (a children’s garden gazebo for Portland’s Harbor View Park). We will be working both in a larger collaborative way with our building scape and also making individual works to take home. Our funky hand-made boats will be fun to play and float all summer!

wk 4  Pop up shop
July 13, 14, 15  ages 5 – 10

In this fun, funky and entrepreneurial camp, children will work collaboratively on co-creating a shop and individually on items for the shop and to take home. This collaborative camp will be busy! We will also explore and learn more about money/currency (and make our own) and integrate ideas around reciprocity and creating a little business to make the world better. We will design and create a collaborative object/item to sell to raise money for a shared cause, and at the end open the “shop” for our families with items to share for free. Think lemonade stand – but for art! 

wk 5   Telling stories: making books + zines  
July 27, 28, 29  ages 5 – 10
As young authors and illustrators in this fun camp, children will create individual and collaborative books (we will publish our own in the studio!). Imagine graphic comic books, cookbooks, and alphabet books. We will also explore multiple kinds of bookmarking binding and methods, and respond to the interests of the group, as we write and illustrate a story about who we are and the world around us (a story can be just pictures too!).

wk 6  Jam it up
August 3, 4, 5  ages 5 – 10

In Jam it up, we will work in the fun space between music and art! We will make art to all different kinds of music, write a little song with the amazing Portland musician and songwriter Emilia Dahlin (and record it!), make some funky hand-made sculptural instruments, plus decorate + design our (own) CD cover and more.

wk 7  My Favorite Animal 
August 17, 18, 19  ages 4 – 7 (for our youngest friends!)
In my favorite animal(s), children will explore beloved creatures large and small of their choice through the use of various mediums (including: sewing, paper mache, painting and printmaking). We will make accessories for your stuffy, and use them as models (plus animals in the studio) to create giant paintings. This is always a very sweet little camp, and we invite friends to bring a favorite stuffy so that our snuggly stuffed animals collaborate on our artworks are introduced as part of the studio group. 

wk 8 Public art camp
August 24, 25, 26  ages 5 – 10

In our Public art camp, children will learn about public art (both temporary and more permanent) and get to work on a real-life proposal in Portland’s west end,  and with a real community partner! This camp week will be focused and dynamic. Our “pop-up” shop will also be a part of this fun camp as we experiment with making art public. We will draw and collage plans, build a model, dream of possibilities, and learn about temporary and more permanent public art. This will be a fun and powerful camp! 

Each camp has an innovative, funky and fun, project-based curriculum that we adjust slightly to the energy of the group. Our projects are influenced by nature, and contemporary/historical artists and changemakers. Specific books will be carefully curated to align with the themes of each week, with thoughtful, caring discussions, playful games, nurturing fun yoga and singing interwoven into each day.  All materials are high quality, sustainably and mindfully chosen–recycled/repurposed or ethically made. Each day, a different art process in the studio greets the children and launches our work together! We play daily at Tying Street playground and integrate creative mud kitchen, kites/whirly-gigs, bubbles, art outside – and just free play!  Besides the fun thematic projects, we will weave in choice time to paint on easels, play, and always deep and fun project work.  Our creative teaching approach is inquiry-based, responsive, and we support and respect the curiosity and imagination of the young child.

We welcome and celebrate a group of mixed-age children. Camps welcome children ages 5 – 10 (with a couple of special offerings for our 4-year-old friends!) Teachers include: Lead teacher organizer Christina Bechstein, with visiting teachers and assistants like Sam D’Onofrio, Christina Mesevage, and others. We are a unique team, each of having diverse, highly skilled and certified training and experience in art education,  for instance: Columbia Teachers College Reading and Writing Program, Reggio Emilia, Public School, Waldorf inspired/trained, advanced degrees, service learning, college teaching experience, contemporary art education pedagogy of all kinds and more. For each camp, we will have a special visitor to show us their “art” in the world. Caring, skilled assistants are also integrated into our studio community. For Summer 2020 Art Camps, we are working on a list of community partners in addition to our growing community of artists, architects, boat builders, fashion designers, and musicians/songwriters to come for a morning during specific thematic camps.

some of our values
We work to craft, reflect and put into action our values that are focused on respecting the individual child, and creating projects and processes that are responsive to each studio group. Other values include:
* The whole child: social & emotional development, inclusion within a caring community
* Child as a communicator: language development through participation, listening, poetry
* Child as co-creator: project-based, hands-on, individual learning
* Child as artist: centering arts, creativity + imagination
* Child as informed citizen: community member, global + ecological participant

when + pricing
Our camp runs 3 full days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, 9 am – 3 pm.
Each camp costs $210, and the price includes all the amazing materials and 2 – 3 teachers!
If you need support with a 10% off sibling discount to attend, please reach out. Also, if you can contribute to help another child attend, we welcome your donation! 

cancellations + waiting list
Please email us if your choice is full and you would like to be on our waiting list. Our cancellation policy is if you cancel at least 1 week before camp starts, we can reimburse or try to reschedule you, minus a 10% processing fee. 

other details
Please send children with the following to summer art camp:
– water bottle
– extra set of clothes (just in case)
– cozy pair of slippers or socks to wear in our studio
– weather-appropriate gear: rain gear & boots when muddy, sun hat when sunny
– sunscreen
– packed snack and lunch

Prior to starting class, each student caregiver must sign and return our student info sheet packet (includes media form, release form, emergency contact, plus other important info), we will have those in the studio for you to sign on the first day. We will send an email the weekend prior to camp starting with other details and reminders.

our space
Our space is fun and joyful, bright and renovated, known as Love Lab Studio. The design is thoughtfully curated for the needs of the children. We are located at 26 Brackett Street, a mixed residential and retail neighborhood (across from the famous and healthy cafe LB Kitchen!)  in the West End of Portland, at the edge of a beautiful park and playground and a nearby urban food forest.

Additional information

Camp Choices

wk 1 Art with nature – June 15, 16, 17, wk 2 Fashion design for dolls + me – June 22, 23, 24, wk 3 Boats + bridges + buildings – July 6, 7, 8, wk 4 Pop up shop – July 13, 14, 15, wk 5 Telling stories: making books + zines – July 27, 28, 29, wk 6 Jam it up – August 3, 4, 5, wk 7 My Favorite animal – August 17, 18, 19, wk 8 Public art camp – August 24, 25, 26