Sure, kids dabble in paint and clay once a week or so throughout the school year. But if you have a child who really loves to create, a week-long (or longer) summer art camp might be just the thing to ignite a passion. These nine visual art camps, happening throughout the summer around Boston, span ages and art mediums, so you're sure to find one that gets your creative kid excited. And be sure to check out our complete camp guide for other art-based programs, including theater camps and more.
Ages 6-10; half day
When a half-day option is best for your family, turn to the Clayroom, which focuses its programs on pottery, sculpture, and other 3-D art. Kids are given lots of room to explore different mediums, and lunch is provided before they head home or to an afternoon program.
Summer camp at the deCordova Museum
the hive at DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum—Lincoln
Ages 5-12; full day
Surrounded by one of the most beautiful sculpture parks in the region, campers buzzing around "the hive" in summertime can't help but be inspired. Four week-long sessions draw themes from current exhibits ("Animal Architecture," "Sky Travel," etc.) and at the end of each week, kids' collaborative projects go up on display.
Creative Arts at Park—Brookline
Ages 7-15; full day
Meant for kids ages 7 to 15, "CAAP" allows campers to enjoy a wide range of creative interests, from theater to specialty sports. Their visual arts program is particularly rich (and often whimsical), and this year includes classes like "Bend the Light," "Comic Book Creations," and "Garage Art—Or the Inappropriate Use of Office Furniture."
Painting at the New Art Center in Newton
New Art Center—Newton
Grades 1-12; full day
As a year-round art school, this gem in Newton, where many young talents get their start, is a great spot for developing a serious art interest. Weekly themes vary by age; first through third graders might choose a week devoted to work inspired by Eric Carle, while older grade-schoolers explore more sophisticated subjects like bookmaking and architecture.
Brookline Arts Center—Brookline
Ages 5-17; half day or full day
Another locally renown year-round art school, BAC offers summer-long classes for children ages 5 and under and week-long programs for kids ages 6 to 17. "ArtVentures" allows campers to explore a mix of mediums, while "Intensives" focus on honing skills in one specific area, such as pottery or figurative drawing.
Linx Art Camps—Wellesley
Grades K-8; full day
This hugely popular day camp has something for everyone, and their visual arts camp has a devoted following. Campers have three periods each day to work on projects appropriate for their age and skill level; additional camp time is spent enjoying spirit activities, swim lessons, and other camp-y fun.
MFA Kids' Studio Art Classes—Boston
Ages 5-13; half day
Art history is a real focus at these Museum of Fine Arts weekly camps, and children are enouraged to translate what they see in the museum into their own creations. This year's themes include "Textiles and Folklore Across Cultures" and "Realism, Abstraction, and Everything in Between."
Finding outdoor inspiration at the Art Barn Summer Art Camp
Art Barn Summer Art Camps—Weymouth
Ages 3-11; half day
Art isn't constrained by the indoors at this fun South Shore camp. Kids are encouraged to "play, explore, and take risks," sketching out things they see in nature and then developing their work in the indoor studio. Camp ends at noon, and snack is provided.
Arlington Center for the Arts—Arlington
Grades PK-10; full day
Week-long sessions are split between Arlington High School and the newly renovated Arlington Center for the Arts space. Interesting weekly themes run the gamut from "Super Sleuth" to "Young Archaeologists."
All photos courtesy of the summer camps