An artist blooms in summer with camps for all ages

In this file photo, children explore the world of art at the Harn Museum's summer art camps. (Photo courtesy of the Harn Museum)

Published: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 15, 2013 at 11:55 a.m.

There's more to art than meets the eye. Whether your child is a budding artist or you simply want to expose him or her to an appreciation for art, several Gainesville arts organizations offer programs for children to learn about and produce their own works.

Sue Johnson, founder of local nonprofit Friends of Elementary Arts Inc., frequently works with The Doris to provide educational opportunities in the arts for children. She says an arts education provides students with the skill set necessary to achieve in adulthood.

"Research shows that companies are looking for people who can think creatively and are able to look at problems from a variety of perspectives," she says. "These are skills practiced by students who study the arts. The arts also encourage self-discipline and persistence, flexibility and a willingness to learn."

In addition to specific skills, art instruction teaches children how to communicate clearly, and with elegance and flair, says Tom Hart, the founder of the Sequential Artists Workshop.

"The entire human race trades stories. It allows us to have a better understanding of the world. Even people working in labs or on something technical see themselves as part of a story," he says. "Having had some experience in communicating this way will make the kids better participants in whatever career or path they choose."

The Doris Bardon Community Cultural Center, the Harn Museum of Art, P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School and the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) will offer summer programs for children to learn the techniques of drawing, painting, printmaking, and comic book creation to name a few.

The Doris

Summer Camp at The Doris is offered July 8 to Aug. 16. The program, which runs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, costs $100 per week and is open to ages 6 to 12. The Mommy and Me program is open for ages 3 to 5. Classes offered include ceramics; origami; mosaics; mixed media, which involves incorporating multiple art mediums into the same work; and Mommy and Me.

Lytha Nicholson, executive director at The Doris, says students will benefit from classes taught by retired art teachers and graduates of UF's art programs.

"I want the kids to be with others in a creative environment and to discover their own creativity," she says.

Students can register on a weekly basis or for the whole summer. To sign up for this program, stop by at 716 N. Main St. or call 505-5062.

The Harn

The Harn Museum of Art's summer camp will run seven weeks from June 10 to Aug. 9. Students can sign up for the morning session, 9 a.m.-noon; the afternoon session, 1-4 p.m.; or the full day, which includes a supervised brown bag lunch. The camp, which is open for ages 7-10, costs $140 per session, or $280 for the full day. Classes are taught by certified art instructors and include time to explore the galleries and time to create new works. Topics include self-portraits, nature drawing and painting, sculpture based on works in the Asian art collection, and recyclable and reusable art.

Bonnie Bernau, education curator of community programs, says with 12 children in each class, students will have an individualized experience.

"The kids will be inspired by art of every culture and every time," she says. "There are very few kids getting the art they need. Kids need more art."

To sign up, contact Lisa Stevens at or 392-9826, ext. 2112. Become a Harn Member and pay a reduced price.

P.K. Yonge

P.K. Yonge's Fine Arts Summer Camp features three weeks of instruction June 10 to June 28 from 8 a.m. to noon. The camp is open to students entering grades 3-8 and costs $125 a week. Classes include printmaking, bookmaking, drawing, painting, collage, clay, photography and collaborative art making.

Susan Johnson, the studio visual arts instructor at P.K. Yonge, says students will spend their days in the art studio and at the end of each week will display their work at the Blue Wave Gallery.

"I gauge my success in the classroom by the extent (to which) each student can guide their own learning and push past the level of comfort they entered into the classroom with on the first day," she says. "I do not see the teacher as the vessel dispensing knowledge to her students but rather as a lifelong learner alongside of the students."

For more information, contact Susan Johnson at or 213-7746.


The Sequential Artists Workshop will offer its second two-week summer comics workshop June 17-28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Total space is limited to 14 students and is recommended for teenagers. The cost is $150 per week or $275 for both weeks. A limited number of sliding-scale and scholarship options will be available.

In the first week, students will learn the skills necessary to create comics, like lettering, building characters and drawing environments. In the second week, students will create a four-to-eight page story, which will be displayed in SAW's gallery for June's Art Walk.

SAW founder Tom Hart says this workshop will give those interested in comics a chance to build their portfolios.

"This is a chance to cut loose and get deeper into what they like to do," he says. "I want them to have accomplished more in the comics medium than they've ever done before."

To register, call 234-6729 or email

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top