Summer Through a Screen

This summer I had to approach the Decorative Fine Arts camp with a new approach. Thanks to the global pandemic, camp was going to have to be online, and inspired by a few supply kit options I had seen in the past I immediately started thinking of ways to create a camp that came in a box, or at least a camp that came complete with everything a camper would need in order to complete each activity. I had this idea that families who love Glen Echo, live close by, and want to support the park, would be willing to drive over on a Sunday in order to pick up materials. And thankfully, they were!

So just to give you an idea. The camp experience came in three parts: materials, zoom and videos. Each Camper would receive a box of all of the art materials they would need (and a few extra treats!), as well as paper instructions, and a bonus project. With that box they would also be emailed a link to instructional videos, and there was one for each day of the week. Those are hosted here on my website on a password protected page called “Box Videos”. Finally, we would also meet on Zoom to doodle and draw together. I also answered questions and gave extra tidbits of advice for each project. My hope for this camp was that each camper would be busy for approximately 45 minutes-2 hours a day, for 5 whole days! The two additional camps I designed after creating the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp in a box followed the same structure, and you can see more about them below.

As I write this I am currently teaching my 8th week of camp. It has been an incredible experience. It has not been a lucrative endeavor, but it has helped me stay connected to the park and to the families and campers I adore! It has also meant that I will be able to re-open in person next summer, God willing.

I also ended up developing a box version of my Carousel of Animals Camp for slightly older kids. This was a HUGE success, especially because I was sent the most beautiful images of final products.

And Finally I was able to create basically the camp I wanted for my 3 year old daughter: the Beachy Art Bundle! It was a camp for the youngest campers and I really enjoyed watching my daughter do it, especially because her incredibly talented pre-school teacher hosted live story times for this camp. I was only in the instructional videos, and was a mom of a camper the rest of the week. I was so impressed with how this camp showed me some of the possibilities for a virtual preschool experience. I had previously been a bit skeptical that it could be more than a zoom call but thanks to the talented Miss CAT it was a blast!

Thank you ALL who have supported this endeavor! It has been fun, and really lightened the overall mood for me this summer. I hope to see all of my campers again (in-person) soon!

Clay Explorations

Every week at the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp we start off the week with painting in the mornings and clay in the afternoon! It’s always a big hit. We have a clay tile relief sculpture project with more specific instructions and then campers also have the freedom to do free experimentation and sculpture making. These small sculptures usually reflect their own interests, such as foods, animals or fictional characters!

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Bart Simpson

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A villager? (If you’re familiar with Minecraft you’ll understand.)

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Rolling into Summer with Color Wheels!

I couldn’t be more proud/happy/excited/nervous/ecstatic/ready to be back at the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp, and this time as the camp owner. Since my amazing mentor and talented sculptor Sinclair Hamilton retired I will now be running the Decorative and Fine Arts Camp under Emma Teaches Art LLC. and in partnership with Glen Echo.

So far the first two weeks were full, and full of fun. If you have been following me for years you’ve seen this project before, but here we have our first and signature camp project. The DFAC covers all sorts of art-making, and we start our week with painting. The color wheel project is also differentiated by campers ages and weeks of experience at the camp. This means that campers who have never been at DFAC before and are 7 and under start with “color wheel A”.

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Those campers who have never been at DFAC before and are 8 and up start with “color wheel B” a slightly more complicated version of the color wheel.

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The black Background is how we finish off the wheels!

Those campers who have been at DFAC before and have completed “color wheel B” move on to “color wheel C” a slightly more complicated version of “color wheel B,” but with the challenge of choosing their own colors, and this trend continues in color wheels “D,E,F”. (You get the idea)

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Finally, campers who have returned enough times to get to F then get to invent their own color wheel, shapes and all!

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