You may think of museums as quiet, contemplative places but at the Montclair Art Museum’s SummerART camp, serious and fun aren’t mutually exclusive. “We take art education and the camp experience very seriously so everyone can have fun!” says Leah Fox, director of MAM’s Vance Wall Art Education Center.
The nearly 20-year old program is open for half- and full-day camps for kids ages 6-12 and classes for ages 12-15. In addition to traditional studio programs exploring various media through thematic lessons, SummerART also offers digital arts and a robust ceramics program, and has received the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Summer Art Camp five years in a row by JerseyArts.com.
Camps are taught by professional teaching artists, and high school and college students serve as counselors. “Art camp isn’t just for young artists,” Fox says. Children “will explore nature, science, history, language arts and more through creative expression. SummerART programs are designed to cultivate imagination while developing artistic skills in a nurturing, supportive and inclusive environment.”
Last year, camp was held remotely, but this summer calls for using the Museum’s largest learning spaces—multipurpose Leir Hall and light-filled Geyer Studio. Windows will remain open, and the ceramics studio has been retrofitted with Plexiglass dividers, touchless sinks and an improved ventilation system. Outdoor learning spaces will be used as much as possible and art supplies won’t be shared. Temperature checks, social distancing and surface cleaning policies are also in place. “We are parents too and are thinking about your child’s safety in every detail of program design this year,” Fox says.
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