Top left, a girl works on a painting at the Arty Art Camp offered by the Southern Heartland Art Guild in Covington. Top right, Musical Theater Camp members perform a song and dance at last year’s camp, offered by the Arts Association in Newton County. Above, Members of the summer Drama Camp, offered by the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts, rehearse a number. These camps are one of many arts-related summer camps for kids offered in Conyers and Covington. (Special Photos)
Have a budding artist or performer in the home? Then you should be able to keep him quite entertained this summer as local arts nonprofits offer a variety of camps from which to choose.
In Covington, the Arts Association in Newton County is once again presenting its Creative Kids Camp and Musical Theater Camp and offers a variety of dance camps as well as an acting camp. Additional visual arts camp possibilities can be found in Covington at the Southern Heartland Art Guild’s four Arty Art camps.
In Conyers, the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts presents its perennial summer camp options — ArtSmart and Drama Camp.
Whatever your schedule this summer, you should be able to find an artistic option for your child in the east metro area.
Creative Kids Camp
Running June 2 to 6 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus of Oxford College, Creative Kids Camp offers rising first through sixth graders activities in instrumental music, singing, dance, theater and visual art. Classes are taught by teachers trained in their fields of instruction and each class of 25 students is assisted by several volunteers, many of whom were Creative Kids campers themselves.
“We have fantastic teachers who teach the classes and who offer broader examples of what you’d get in the classroom,” said Buncie Lanners, executive director of the AANC.
The camp is $225 and in addition to the morning activities, kids get a lunch in the cafeteria of Oxford College and are treated to a live professional performance at the end of each day. The children also perform for their families and show off their visual art on the very last day of camp.
“This camp continues to be so very popular and it’s become a real tradition, both for people who live in the community but also for those who come to stay with grandparents, aunts and uncles,” said Lanners. “We urge people to sign up early.”
Held from June 16 to 19, ArtSmart combines visual and performing arts through a selection of six classes, five of which students may choose.
CRCA Executive Director Jackie Sprague said this year the camp is welcoming a new instructor, Kimberly Morris, who will be teaching movement arts, a combination of African dance and modern dance.
“I’m excited about this for ArtSmart,” said Sprague.
Children may also choose from: drawing with Orrin Morris, watercolor with Sheila Myers, acting and improvisation with Tess and Justin Conway, and pottery with Penny Lee.
Campers rotate through their five selections each day, and spend from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the camp, which will be held at the Rockdale Career Academy this year, a more central location than Edwards Middle School, where it was offered last year.
“We’re hoping the new location increases camper registration,” said Sprague who said classes accommodate between 10 to 12 students. The camp is for children ages 6 to 14 and cost is $150 before May 16 and $165 after that date.
Arty Art Camp
The Southern Heartland Art Guild’s Arty Art Camp is strictly a visual arts summer camp and its offered in two sets of sessions, with June 9 to 12 and July 7 to 10 offering the same projects and June 23 to 26 and July 14 to 17 overlapping projects. Camp is $165, or $10 less before May 1.
Rising first-graders through 12-year-olds attend the camp from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Southern Heartland Art Guild on the Covington Square, where they create a myriad of art work in a variety of media.
Making graduated color studies with papers, pressing textures into clay bowls using a slab roller, using palette knives to mix different gels into acrylic paints to make them thicker, and weaving with different kinds of yarn and beads are just a few of the activities planned for the camp.
“People who want to dig deep can come to two sessions,” said Ann Wildmon, director of the camps. “The projects are different but we’re reinforcing the concept of investigating different media because that’s my goal. I don’t want to glue noodles. We don’t glue macaroni. I like to put real art tools in front of the kids and let them learn. How do they know what they like unless they try it?”
Different artists from the Southern Heartland Art Gallery also come in each day at the camp and introduce themselves and describe the type of art they create. Then the children go and view the art — items such as jewelry, painting, sculpture — in the gallery for sale. Wildmon will show children the process of making a children’s book, a project she is working on.
“They learn that there is a business of art,” said Wildmon.
Musical Theater Camp
At the Arts Association’s Musical Theater Camp, held at the Porter Auditorium in the former Newton High School, campers can improve their singing and dancing skills as they audition and are cast in various musical theater numbers.
The camp is designed for rising fourth graders through graduating seniors and runs July 7 through 18. Fourth- to seventh-graders attend 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and eighth- to 12th-graders, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The camp culminates in a performance on July 18 at 7 p.m. Cost is $250.
The Actor’s Experience
Designed for campers in grades four through 12, the Actor’s Experience will focus on three areas of theater including technical, performance and a specialization, such as costuming or creative writing.
The camp is led by Jay Tryall, local director and performer with the New Depot Players and co-director of the Oxford Youth Singers and Oxford Singing Children.
The camp, which meets at the Covington Regional Ballet building on the Covington Square, runs June 23 t0 27, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the fee is $175.
CRCA offers its two-week long Drama Camp, which offers singing, dancing and acting in musical numbers to rising third-graders through seniors. Taught by Jay Domingo, a visual arts and theater teacher at Edwards Middle School, along with local musician Brittany Jaynes, the 2014 camp will place particular focus on drama.
“With our Drama Camp this year, we will have more emphasis on acting,” said Sprague.
The camp, held in the Rockdale Auditorium in Conyers, runs July 7 to 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a performance on July 18 at 7 p.m. The fee is $150.
The Covington Regional Ballet, which operates under the umbrella of the AANC, will offer several dance camp options.
Princess Camp is a week of dance, arts and crafts, story time and other activities for the little ones. The Princess Camps run June 2-6 and July 7-11, with 3- and 4-year-olds attending 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 5- through 7-year-olds attending 1 to 3:30.
Cost is $125 and the camp is held at the Covington Regional Ballet School.
The Revolution Dancer Intensive, which runs June 9 through 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., is a dance camp geared toward the experienced dancer who wants a challenge. The camp focuses on technique and artistry, and guest artists will guide students through the two-week camp at an accelerated pace.
Cost is $550 for one week, or $800 for two weeks.
To round out the dance selection, there’s Summer Dance Camp, from July 21 to 25, for ages 8 and above. Classes are offered in ballet, jazz, tap, Broadway and other forms of dance.
The camp offers three levels: beginners, who meet from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; intermediates, who meet from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and advanced, who come together from 10 to 2 p.m.
All classes are held at Covington Regional Ballet and cost is $175.
More information about all of the summer art camps, including registration forms, may be accessed via the arts organization’s websites, including the Arts Association in Newton County at www.newtoncountyarts.org, the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts at www.conyersarts.org and the Southern Heartland Art Guild at www.southernheartlandart.com.