The Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s summer camp program, ArtVenture, has been running for over 10 years. This year, VisArts is offering a new class, called Art Explorers, which caters to Richmond’s youngest artists. Art Explorers is designed for five- and six-year-olds and joins the line-up of over 200 art workshops offered annually at VisArts.
In the class, five- and six-year-old campers will create an eclectic variety of artwork using clay, wire, fabric, paint, and more. Each class is led by two teachers, and participants benefit from extra kid-friendly workspaces and plenty of breaks.
“We decided to open up the camp to five-year-olds because we want ArtVenture to be more accessible to more families,” said Jordan Brown, director of education at VisArts. “We believe all ages can benefit from art education.”
Between June 18 and August 31, kids aged 5 to 14-years-old can choose from more than 200 courses in a wide range of artistic media. ArtVenture has established itself as one of the most popular day camps in the region, bringing campers back to the center, year after year.
Also coordinating the program is VisArts’ education manager, Tesni Stephen, who took classes at VisArts (then the Hand Workshop) when she was a kid.
“It’s been really meaningful to help plan ArtVenture because it was so formative for me as a young artist,” Stephen said. “What’s special about the camp is that kids get to use professional tools and work in real art studios.”
VisArts, which offers more than 800 adult and youth art classes throughout the year, gives young artists the chance to work in professional studios and access to some of Richmond’s most prominent artists, including Tommy Van Auken, Alicia Dietz, and others. “Our instructors are artists themselves, so as teachers, they can share their own creative practices and expertise,” said Brown.
Brown and Stephens have lined up 11 weeks of workshops, with topics like wheel throwing, darkroom photography, stop-motion animation, and mural painting. Classes like digital filmmaking are among the most popular offerings. Sewing and wheel throwing classes are also crowd favorites, according to Brown, because students get the chance to work with specialized equipment that they can’t typically access elsewhere.
One-week sessions run from June 18 to August 31. Morning classes are from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and afternoon classes are from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Parents who sign up for a week of both morning and afternoon classes can send their child with a lunch to eat at VisArts during a supervised lunch hour, free of charge. Parents can also purchase an extended day add-on for just $50 to pick up anytime before 5:30 p.m.
To register for ArtVenture, check out VisArts’ online catalog at visarts.org, or pick up a print catalog at the center.
This article and its contents were provided by the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.