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Art on the outside
Summer camps offer a mix of the outdoors and the arts for kids

By Meredith Enkoff
May 23, 2010

Hello Muddah, hello Faddah
Here I am, an art aficionada
Camp is very entertaining
And they say we’ll have some fun when we are painting
— adapted from “Camp Grenada,” by Alan Sherman

Children heading to summer camps can find, if they seek it out, a twist: artistic fun mixed in with traditional tent pitching, fire building, horseback riding and other camping activities.

Here is a partial list of the many area opportunities, with contact and registration information, for artsy children free from school.

Rawhide Ranch Photography Camp
After a week at a typical summer camp, kids come home with picture frames made of Popsicle sticks, the addresses of the best friends they made there and a few more bug bites than when they left. The new photography camp at Rawhide Ranch in Nashville will give them all that, but will let them capture their own memories of it.

The ranch traditionally offers horseback riding retreats. Ranch manager Derek Clifford wanted to expand the activities at his summer camps, and as photography is one of his passions, it was the first idea to come to mind.

He’s in a good spot for it. “Brown County is naturally beautiful,” Clifford said.

From July 18 to 22, kids will learn basic photography skills from Brown County native Stacy Able, who now has her own photography studio in Columbus.

Able hopes to give campers a slightly easier outlet for art than painting or drawing, and to encourage them to express themselves, she said. Campers will use what skills they learn with cameras they bring themselves, focusing on different subjects each day. One day they might capture shots of animals, another day landscapes, “or they might photograph each other,” Able said.

At the end of the week, they will have a scrapbook or a Powerpoint of their own work, showing what they learned, the friends they made, and the fun they had. And the kids stay in the ranch’s plush hotel rooms instead of cabins, so there is no fear of finding spiders in one’s bed or having to shower outside.

Rawhide Ranch will also hold a “Plein Air” Artistry Retreat from June 20-24, led by Tracy Buckingham, an artist from the Carmel area.

Both camps are for children ages 10 to 16.

The cost for each of these camps is $395, and includes all meals, lodging, and art and crafts made during the week. Kids must bring their own cameras and camera equipment, however.

Registration forms are available on the ranch’s website, Contact Clifford at 812-988-0085 for more information about the camps.

Clay camp and Raku workshops
Bloomington Clay Studio, founded in 2008 by artists Daniel Evans and Shu-Mei Chan, is now offering summer classes for kids ages six to 17. Classes are offered in three-week sessions that can also be taken as individual weeks, and run from June 7 to August 13.

Chan will teach most of the classes herself, and they include “handbuilding for ages 6 to 8,” “wheel-throwing for ages 9 to 11,” and “wheel-throwing for ages 12 to 14.”

Each week will have a different focus. For example, the first week of the handbuilding class will let kids make their own magnets and trading cards. They will make masks the second week, and the third week will be devoted to making clay instruments.

The studio will also hold two special Raku workshops, one for kids ages 10-13 and one for ages 14-17. Raku, named for the Japanese family who invented it, is a rapid firing technique that lets the artist fire and glaze their art in a single day, Chan said. This one-time, five-hour class will let kids move their art from the kiln, where it is fired for an hour, to a trash can full of combustible material, and then cool it in water. Usually the firing process alone takes eight to 10 hours.

The clay studio has the only anagama wood kiln — a large, cave-like kiln that is located outside — in Bloomington that is available to the public.

Classes are open until filled, Chan said, and each has a maximum of eight kids.

For all class dates and times, go to Clay camps are between $150 and $175 per week, and Raku workshops are $80. To register, contact Shu-Mei Chan at 812-340-4831. The studio is at 6900 E. Gross Lane.

Ivy arts at the Waldron
With Ivy Tech Community College’s recent ownership of the John Waldron Arts Center, they now have the opportunity to offer another “flavor” of summer programs geared toward younger kids, said Susie Graham, director of continuing education. Their previously existing program, College for Kids, is offered only to children ages 11 to 14.

Ivy Arts for Kids offers 10 new summer art classes for kids ages 5 to 11. The classes will run in two-week sessions, from June 7 to Aug. 13. Morning classes are from 9 a.m. to noon, and afternoon classes are from 1 to 4 p.m. Class costs range from $135 to $150.

Ivy Arts for Kids will take advantage of the Waldron’s ceramics labs and art rooms. Half of each three-hour class will be devoted to ceramics, and half will be spent doing other class activities. In “Diary of a Kid,” for example, kids will “explore the art of cartooning,” and create a journal based on the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books by Jeff Kinney that they will fill with “drawings, collages, and writings about their life.”

Another class, “Yummy!” will let kids use food to create art and make art they can use when they eat. Part of the class will be spent on activities such as stamping with fruits and vegetables, and part will be spent on making ceramic food and dishes.

Classes will be taught by area art teachers, Graham said, and will be separated into two age groups: five and six-year-olds will be in one, and seven to 11-year-olds in another.

To register, go to or contact Katrina Jones at 812-330-6042.

More options
WHAT: WonderCamp, “Where Art Meets Science;” activities include making an animated comic strip
WHEN: June 21-25, 1-4 p.m.
WHO: Grades 4-6
WHERE: WonderLab, 308 W. Fourth St., Bloomington
COST: $75 for WonderCamp members, $85 for general public; scholarship applications available
REGISTER: or call 812-337-1337, ext. 11
WHAT: Camp Steele, where campers learn about Hoosier artist T.C. Steele through art activities and exploration of the area; new this year are behind-the-scenes tours of Steele’s studio; classes now led by local artists
WHEN: July 9, 16, 23 and 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
WHO: Grades 3-7
WHERE: T.C. Steele museum, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Nashville
COST: $20 per day or $60 for all four days
REGISTER: or call 812-988-2785; for more info dial 812-677-2003
Jane Tryon, seen here in 2007 at age 6, joined scores of other artists in the pastoral landscapes at T.C. Steele exploring the beauty and exhibiting their art. Monty Howell | Herald-Times

Jenny Peddycord, right, teaches Elizabeth Braitman, left, 11, from Indianapolis, and Charles Hill, right, 11, of Colfax, Ind., how to tie a horse up in this 2004 photo taken at Rawhide Ranch. Chris Howell | Herald-Times
Copyright: 2010