Friday, July 8, 2011

The Art of Summer Camp

Preschool Summer Camp started with Art Explorers week but the development sparked in the studio went far beyond art processes. Certainly children practiced skills, but DCM counselors kept fun and creativity at the heart of these serious explorations.

Big discoveries happen when children apply dozens of types of paint in hundreds of ways to myriad surfaces. Each process provides new understanding of how materials behave. Blending explorations about color theory with artistic genres, the campers took magnified looks at Pointillism through the works of Seurat and Signac. Using oil pastels and dot bottles filled with watercolors, they could examine spot filled works from near and far. Bundling together primary colored markers, children could see from a distance that yellow and blue dots visually mixed to appear as green. Light boxes drove home the impact of light on color and added new dimensions to art making. Highlighting literacy, numerous books on the creative process were introduced at group time and kept in the room for independent looking. Children hypothesized about new colors while mixing paint and listening to Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Other books included:

Art by Patrick McDonnell
The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
Hello, Red Fox by Eric Carle
A Day with No Crayons by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Chad Cameron

The dynamics of Museum playtime switched from routines established with family members to the fun of playing with 20 peers. While counselors are not the same as parents or other caregivers, they are still strong and caring adults. Additionally, their experience with Museum exhibits allowed them to open the children’s eyes to new ways of playing.

Take a look at the video of Art Explorers week. Upcoming blogs will highlight Camps on Pretend Play, Water and Bubbles, Color, Light and Shadow and much, much more. It’s a busy and creative summer at DCM.

Submitted by Marcia Z. MacRae, Interdisciplinary Arts Specialist and Sue Kessler, Play Coordinator and Lead Counselor

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