After a summer of online-only art camps due to COVID-19, the Schweinfurth Art Center is excited to offer in-person youth art camps this summer, with many safety measures in place.

“Our studios are unparalleled in the area when it comes spaciousness, and we’ve directed our teachers to take their camps outdoors as much as possible,” said Schweinfurth Program Director Davana Robedee, “Our upstairs sewing studio has a brand new HVAC system that we installed during the pandemic. With masks, social distancing, good airflow, and proper protocols in place, we are planning several high-quality art camps.”

Artist Michele Ridgeway is excited to be teaching in Auburn again. In 2019, Ridgeway led a summer art camp where students created all sorts of monsters and held a delightfully frightful parade of paper-maché monsters for their parents at the end of the week.

This summer, she’ll be teaching classes for two different age groups: a morning class exploring colors for ages 6 to 10 and sewing crafts for ages 11 to 15 in the afternoon. “I really love to teach, and when I taught the in-person art camp at the Schweinfurth two years ago, it was such a positive experience,” Ridgeway said. “The young artists were so motivated and we had such fun!”

Michele Ridgeway with artwork by some of her students at the Schweinfurth Art Center in 2019.

The art center is offering eight weeklong sessions in July and August for two age groups, 6 to 10 in the mornings and 11 to 15 in the afternoons. Cost for one week is $115 for Schweinfurth members and $130 for nonmembers.

Ridgeway, a pre-school teacher at a private school near Albany, believes that art is an essential part of a student’s education. “Making things gives (children) the skills of self-expression and communication,” she said. “Creating art helps boost self-confidence. And children who experiment and make mistakes feel free to invent new ways of thinking, which extends well beyond the craft room.”

Students in Ridgeway’s younger classes will experiment with printing, mixing, and painting to create a large colorful canvas. The afternoon group will be making a stuffed animal, tote bag, and an embroidery project.

Other classes will take imaginative trips to the Galapagos Islands and Africa. Students can also take portrait drawing, fiber art, and learn to quilt. The weeklong camps will be held in the art center’s spacious classrooms, and students are required to wear masks and social distance.

Here are the art camps being offered:

July 19 to 23, 2021

Morning class: Color Explorations
Teacher: Michelle Ridgeway
Details: 9 a.m. to noon for ages 6 to 10
Explore the different colors of our world through painting, collage, creative writing and book making. Young artists will be inspired by Dr Seuss’s My Many Colored Days, experiment with color mixing, and have fun making their own design books for each color of the rainbow.
Afternoon class: Fiber Crafternoons
Teacher: Michelle Ridgeway
Details: 1 to 4 p.m. for ages 11 to 15
Enjoy a week of fiber exploration that is freeing, colorful, and includes decorative arts, math skills, sculpture, and crafting. Learn about pattern making to create your own “softie” and construct your own unique tote bag and pillow. Learn embroidery stitches and create free-style designs from yarn and burlap.

July 26 to 30, 2021

Morning class: Island Extravaganza
Teacher:
Warner Varno
Details: 9 a.m. to noon for ages 6 to 10
Artists will travel virtually to the Galapagos to draw, paint and sculpt plants and animals seen nowhere else in the world. Hike the volcanoes of Hawaii and the cliffs of New Zealand, then head to Vancouver Island to go whale watching and learn about the cultures of the Pacific Northwest.
Afternoon class: Fresh Perspective Portraits
Teacher:
Warner Varno
Details: 1 to 4 p.m. for ages 11 to 15
Artists will step deeply into their imagination as they get to know the intimacy of objects, the beauty of a historic Auburn home, and the majestic patterns of the Cayuga Museum’s famous gingko tree. They will warm up with drawing from life in pencil, pen, and charcoal and move to a variety of pastel and paint mediums like watercolor, acrylic, gouache, and water based oils.

Aug. 2 to 6. 2021

Morning class: Harambee! Arts and Crafts from the African Continent
Teacher:
Vanessa Johnson
Details: 9 a.m. to noon for ages 6 to 10
Harambee is a Kiswahili word from Kenya’s national language that means “all pull together.” Join together to explore Africa through arts and crafts, storytelling, drama, and music. Make a musical instrument, sew a West African neck pouch, and celebrate the earth’s environment and its animals.
Afternoon class: Sankofa! Arts Traditions from Africa and the African Diaspora
Teacher:
Vanessa Johnson
Details: 1 to 4 p.m. for ages 11 to 15
Sankofa is from the Akan Twi language of Ghana West Africa that means to “go back to the past and bring forward that which is useful.” Students will explore traditional art forms from the African continent that have spread around the world. Weave a journal wrap cover inspired by Ghanaian kenti cloth, make an instrument inspired by the African diaspora, and create a doll based on traditional African fetishes.

Aug. 9 to 13, 2021

Morning class: Sunshine and Blue Skies
Teacher:
Joy LoPiccolo
Details: 9 a.m. to noon for ages 6 to 10
Celebrate the happiness and joy of summertime through water themed art projects in this mixed media art camp. Learn how to paint with bubbles and create art with ice cubes. Experiment with watercolors, and be inspired by Jackson Pollock.
Afternoon class: Introduction to Quilting
Teacher:
Pam Capon
Details: 1 to 4 p.m. for ages 11-15
Students will make small quilts and explore several techniques for creating designs that make up quilt tops. Learn how to design by cutting and piecing fabrics, and how to use the sewing machine to put the three layers of a quilt all together.