Category Archives: Young Masters

Happy Campers

What is summer without summer camp? Did you know the first summer camps in the US originated in the 1860s? Then and now, summer camps present themselves as an escape from our every day life and as an opportunity to have fun while learning something new.

Gunnery Camp,1861, the first organized American summer camp. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

While traditional summer camp was presented as a way to build character in the “great outdoors,” at The Sid, we like to develop knowledge and skills in our gallery and studio.

SRM Children’s Summer Camp 2018

Why is art good for your child? For one, looking at art helps kids learn how to analyze and synthesize information. Also, making art is more than painting pretty pictures; it involves math, science and experimentation. Additionally, children who feel free to experiment often feel free to find new ways of thinking, both inside and outside the art studio.

Above all, when kids feel good while they are creating art, which helps boost self-confidence. And who doesn’t want more happy kids?

So what kind of activities did our summer campers at The Sid get to explore? See for yourself!

Learning a new way to make sculptures by using molds!

Painting plaster cast sculptures

Painted hand casts.

Learning different ways to make sculpture.

Posing for cowboy portraits.

Cowboy portraits completed.

Learning how to make sunsets using color gradation.

Cowboy sunsets and animal portraits.

Lions and Tigers and Bears – Oh My!

*Well, maybe more like antelope, bears, horses, and cattle. This year’s Summer Camp theme was Animals in the West!

This summer we hosted two weeks of Summer Camps: one for children between the ages of 6-9 years old and the other for tweens – children between the ages of 10-12 years old. What fun we had exploring the animals found within our collection and learning about other native animals of the West!

Each day campers began with a still life warm up to get their creative juices flowing. Campers then spent time with our collection participating in gallery activities and various animal themed tours with our talented docent team. Students asked themselves questions like, “What would the skunk say?” and asked our docents questions like, “How did he get that big bronze statue to stay glued together?!”

Following their time in the gallery, campers spent time in the studio art room creating their own masterpieces. Throughout the week our young artists worked with air dry clay, acrylic paints on canvas, watercolors, permanent markers, chalk pastels, colored pencils, and printmaking materials.

On the final day of each week-long camp, campers went through our Junior Docent Training….basically a crash course for kids, teaching them how to lead a tour for their friends and families. At the end of the last day, campers hosted their very own ART SHOW! Campers proudly took to their role as Junior Docents and led their friends and family on a tour of our galleries and then to the studio art room. While showing off their artworks they spent all week creating, campers enjoyed some Art Show refreshments. Bear cupcakes and animal cookies seemed totally appropriate!

What a delight it was to have each and every child participate in our Summer Art Camps! Campers impressed us with their creative thinking, intriguing questions, and unbelievable talent. Thank you to all of our campers and their families, our Summer Art Camp Intern (Aaron McBride), and our Docent Team! You brought the animals in our collection to life. We hope to see you again next summer!

*Written by Andrea Hassenteuffel, Director of School & Family Programs

Summer at the Sid

School’s out, summer is in, let the drama stop and the ART begin!Campers3

What a wonderful time we have had with our Summer Art Camps! This year we hosted two, week-long camps: one for children between the ages of 6-9 years old and the other for tweens (10-13 years old). This year’s theme was Traveling Through the West!Campers1Campers2

Each day, camp began with a sketchbook warm-up to help jump-start their creativity. Campers spent time each day in the gallery looking at artworks from our permanent collection with the help of our docents. They also spent time in the studio daily creating their own works of art. Campers created several projects in the studio: air-dry clay pots/vases, acrylic painted landscapes, watercolor wildflowers, weavings, designing a brand and decorating a bandana, chalk pastel portraits and animal portraits. They were challenged to look closer, draw bigger, and explore their ideas and subjects!Campers 5Campers 6Campers 7

Students also learned about what life was like in the West, who they might have seen, what they might have heard and saw, and discussed how they might have felt if they had traveled West. Campers spent time considering many perspectives of the West: the artist, the settler, the American Indian, the cowboy, and even the Pony Express Rider. These perspectives were explored through story-telling, reading, gallery activities and games, looking exercises, and dialog with our team and their peers. Our campers were so eager to learn and were a delight to have with us this summer!Campers 4

Each camp finished with an art show. Campers invited their families and friends to join us at the Museum to take a tour and celebrate their artwork created at camp! Campers even went through some “junior” docent training so that they could facilitate the tour for their visitors. At the end of the art show campers were able to collect their artworks, but not before enjoying some delicious goodies…what would a kids’ art show be without cupcakes and cookies?!Campers 9art showCampers 8

We are already in anticipation for next summer! Thank you campers for joining us! It was fun learning and creating together!


Andrea Hassenteuffel, Director of School & Family Programs