Art Camp kicks off the summer

Published 9:22 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

By Ella Bronaugh


Last week kicked off the official beginning of summer, as well as several summer camps around Suffolk.

Email newsletter signup

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts wrapped up its first camp of the summer, Art Camp, on June 22, and Gavin Harper, education manager of the Suffolk Center, has concluded that it was a success.

“It’s gone really well,” Harper said in an interview. “The kids have all said they’ve enjoyed it; the parents are saying their kids enjoyed it. They’re all having a lot of fun.”

Art Camp is the first of four camps that the Suffolk Center will be holding this summer. Their other summer camps this year include Music Camp, Theater Camp and STEAM Camp.

Each year, the Suffolk Center establishes a theme that each of their summer camps will follow in all activities that are conducted throughout the week. The theme of last year’s camps was “The History of Suffolk.” This year’s theme was “Explore, Inspire, Engage.” The campers at Art Camp explored this theme through drawing, painting, sculpting, making collages and dancing.

The Art Camp chose to “Explore, Inspire, Engage” through fairy tales. The campers were asked to use the creativity of fairy tales to inspire their creations of art and dance.

“They learned about Peter Pan and his imagination throughout the story,” Harper said. “They took the idea of Peter Pan and were told to think of something that represents him. This gives them the opportunity to think outside the box.”

Dancing was included in Art Camp as a way to allow the campers to express their art with their body.

“The creative element of art is also in dance,” Harper said. “Dance is a form of art. The campers use their creativity in moving their body and letting it speak their art for them.”

One aspect of the Suffolk Center’s Art Camp that sets it apart from other camps in the area is its partnership with Young Audiences of Virginia. This statewide organization provides a few instructors to the Art Camp each year to teach the campers the fundamentals of drawing as well as other essential art skills.

“The instructors are highly professional people that come in with the right credibility and background,” Harper said. “They’re very qualified, and they really capture the essence of what we’re trying to do here at the Suffolk Center.”

The campers had the opportunity to show off their fairy-tale creations at the art gallery at the end of the camp on Friday. Each camper had several art projects on display that they had created throughout the week.

“The art gallery is an opportunity for students to showcase their work and what they have accomplished; they get to see how far they’ve come from day one to day five. It’s pretty amazing to see what some of the students have come up with. They’ve worked really hard.”

Art Camp will be returning again next summer.

To register for other summer camps at the Suffolk Center, call 923-0003 or visit