Youth Summer Camp Spotlight

By Georgia Stavrakos

Summer Camp is in full swing until August 23rd here at Station Gallery, and last week we had the pleasure of hosting our second and final week of Youth Art Camp! During this four-day journey, campers ages 12-15 had the opportunity to learn new artistic techniques and stretch their creativity to produce amazing final pieces! Youth Camp is facilitated under the guidance of a professional Artist Instructor who aids the artists in broadening their ideas and skills in a variety of media. This camp is perfect for experienced artists and curious creatives alike, as there is something new for each camper to learn and try.

Last week, the counsellors and Artist Instructors have been amazed at the originality, thoughtfulness, critical thinking skills, and imagination that the youth campers have used in order to create their amazing art pieces. They were a focused group who were serious about trying new things and improving their art-making methods. On the first day of camp, campers customized their own bags using silkscreening, a printmaking technique. This bag is used to hold and take home all of the other art projects campers make during the week. Campers sketched and finalized a stencil which was used to create the final design on their bags and got to experience this printmaking method firsthand. We were wowed by the out-of-the-box designs the campers were able to come up with, as well as some of the unique colour choices!

For their first project, youth campers began by using different typography to write their names, and filling the letters in with intricate patterns using a technique called Zen Doodling. They created a background using different watercolour methods, and brought their piece to life by making their name pop out of the page three-dimensionally using foam pieces. Each project turned out completely unique and incredible!

Next, campers perused magazines for a perfect reference for their Cubism-style acrylic paintings. Each camper used their reference and focused on the geometrical shapes within it. They created different thumbnails of their pieces by transforming the pictures in their references into shapes, giving them an idea of which arrangement of shapes they liked the most. Once their sketchbook ideas were complete, they were ready to move onto their final painting, where they sketched the shapes onto a wooden board and used acrylic paints to give the shapes dimension and texture.

During this project, campers learned about focal points, applying colour theory to make their artwork stand out, creating gradients, and using a light source to accurately add highlights and shadows. This painting truly tested the acrylic painting abilities of our campers, and they did not disappoint! One camper said, “At first, it was really difficult to picture a realistic scene in just shapes. It’s also hard to make things look 3D. I didn’t know how I was going to do it but I came up with something I really like after I learned to do shadows and light better.”

After painting, campers went back to their magazines and scrapbooking paper for their next self-portrait project. Each artist had a portrait taken of themselves which they traced onto a clear sheet, and used different colours and styles of paper to create a collage background to put underneath it. Some campers went for a more realistic style, while others chose more abstract concepts and colours.

For their final art venture of the week, they extended their media use in order to weave their own baskets by rolling up and painting pieces of newspaper to weave together. They are functional pieces that demonstrate the versatility of art. 

Through their unique projects, the campers deepened their understanding of art as an everyday occurrence for everyone to enjoy and participate in during our Art Marketplace week at camp. Not only did they use common art materials, but also experimented with creating using everyday items. We very much enjoyed our week with these talented campers and are so proud of the projects they created and the skills they learned!

Register for our final week of summer camp here.

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