By Crystal Harrell
Summer is quickly approaching and as children find themselves with more free time on their hands away from school, what better way to learn a new skill than going to art camp? Old Town Artisan Studios in La Quinta will be offering weekly sessions, from June 7 through August 13, for ages 7 to 10 years and 11 to 15 years.
This year’s Art Camp curriculum will include classes in clay, fused glass, pottery painting, watercolor, pastel and acrylic pour painting, paper maché , sewing, bead making, and much more. Students will create new projects each week. The camp is flexible with the project started each day depending on the number of kids per session and the level of skill. Class sizes are limited to 10 students per session. The cost per weekly session is $250, with all materials and art supplies being included in the price.
“We change up the classes and projects each day. One day you might be on the working in the clay studio, and in the afternoon you might be working in the glass studio. I think the constant changing of activities keeps the kids interested and excited. Each day, the kids are working on two separate projects—one in the morning session, and then a new one in the afternoon session,” said Executive Director of Old Town Artisan Studios Thomas Burns.
Old Town Artisan Studios started the Summer Art Camps as full days three years ago. Prior to Burns coming on board as Executive Director, the art studio had a limited summer camp offering. With the new facility, they can handle a lot more kids per day.
Burns’ favorite part of the summer camp experience is seeing a timid or shy child come to life and get really excited about creating something of their own, as you can actually see the confidence build over a one-week session.
“The reception has been great! Our best advertising has been by-word-of-mouth. The kids really enjoy the camp and they go home happy each day! A number of our class sessions fill up from students that have taken the previous week class. That to me is a real testament of how well the camps are received,” stated Burns.
Old Town Artisan Studios runs the summer camps within the state CDC guidelines. They have a protocol in place to keep all participants as healthy and safe as possible. Last year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Old Town Artisan Studios was able to run the summer camps with the state and City of La Quinta’s approval, reporting no issues or COVID cases.
“I think it is extremely important to keep kids involved in all of the arts, especially now that a number of programs have been defunded or cut from our school systems. The arts help kids think creatively and come up with a creative solution to a problem. We believe that they can take those art skills and transfer them into any aspect of their lives in the future,” explained Burns.
Old Town Artisan Studios is dedicated to ensuring that art remains a vibrant part of the Coachella Valley, from art programs in schools to lifelong learning. The Outreach Programs offer everyone the opportunity to experience art and self-expression. Through collaboration with local organizations who share visions, Old Town Artisan Studios provides art classes to children and adults with special needs, as well as seniors and veterans. As some schools cut back on art programs, they also feel it is their duty to help fill that gap with art instruction in after-school programs. Those interested in participating in the Summer Art Camp can enroll online at oldtownartisanstudios.org.