by Christina DiMartino
Programs for children at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City are developed to encourage a deep connection to works of art and artistic expression. Taught by artists and museum educators, the camp programs incorporate a wide range of mediums to allow experimentation and foster creativity in kids.
Mayrav Fisher, education manager for school and family programs for the museum, told Parent USA City that the camp programs have been evolving steadily over the years, reflecting a growing demand by parents and children.
“New programs get added to our roster as a reflection of audience requests and needs,” says Fisher.
“All of our programs are listed on our website, and I suggest that parents check every season to learn about new camp venues that we have added. We also encourage parents to join our mailing list for family programs. Those on this list receive a monthly newsletter alerting parents to all of the upcoming family, after school and other camp programs.”
The programs take place at the Guggenheim’s iconic building on Fifth Avenue near Central Park, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and completed in 1959.
The Guggenheim livens up winter, spring and summer of 2011 with these exciting programs for kids:
● Midwinter Break Camp
February 21–25, 2011, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Children focus on building and improving their creative skills with teaching artists through gallery and studio explorations. In the galleries, they will explore works of art in the Guggenheim’s permanent collection and special spring exhibition, The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918. In the studio, children will experience new approaches and techniques as they develop their personal artistic style through a variety of mediums.
● Art After School
Tuesdays (eight weeks) beginning March 29, 2011, 4 p.m.–6:15 p.m. At Guggenheim’s spring after school program, your child can experience the museum’s spectacular Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and permanent collection as well as The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918. Each session’s gallery visit serves as inspiration for in-depth art projects in the studio. Children will learn about a wide range of techniques, including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, collage, and photography. The program concludes with a mini-exhibition for family and friends.
● Spring Break Camp
April 18–22, 2011, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Led by museum educators, this creative camp will spark your child’s imagination and foster critical thinking skills. Campers will also explore The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection, 1910-1918. Each session includes guided gallery explorations followed by hands-on workshops where participants create their own works of art. Various mediums and methods including painting, sculpture, collage and digital media in individual and collaborative projects are carefully designed to provide age-appropriate projects.
● Summerscapes Art Camp
July 18–22, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. and/or July 25–29, 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Parents who want to inspire their child’s creativity should consider Summerscapes, Guggenheim’s stimulating mini-camps led by museum educators. Each session begins with an exploration of the Frank Lloyd Wright building, permanent collection, and special exhibitions. Then it’s back to the art studio for hands-on projects that are carefully designed to ensure successful outcomes no matter what your child’s age. Your child will have the chance to work on individual and collaborative projects, and to experiment with everything from painting and sculpture to printmaking and collage. Summerscapes concludes with a mini exhibition so children can share their creations with family and friends.
Fisher says camp counselors are accomplished emerging artists, “who love to teach and are well trained at using an eclectic approach that is based on inquiry and exploration. Our educators are passionate about passing their artistic curiosity and skills to our younger participants.”
Although the Guggenheim camp programs have been around for only seven years, Fisher says many campers have attended the programs multiple times, often until they “age out.”
Besides kids’ programs, the Guggenheim Museum also offers Your First Artist Portfolio, a program designed for tween-age kids, and the more sophisticated Responding to Art through Creative Writing for teens.
Supportive parenting styles are encouraged by programs that engage entire families in conversation, an exchange of ideas, art activities, drama activities and storytelling. Guided family programs include Second Sundays interactive gallery tours and Family Tour & Workshops.
Asked if she had an inspiring message for parents who may not have considered sending their child to a museum camp, Fisher responded, “A museum camp experience is always inspiring. A Guggenheim Museum camp experience is all that, times 10! Being in New York City, in one of the most iconic buildings of the 20th century, having access to Central Park, to incredible art and to inspiring teaching artists is a life-changing experience for kids.
“Here at the Guggenheim, we provide a setting that allows kids to think, explore and work like artists. This means unleashing the creative streak of every child in a safe, inspiring and nurturing environment.
“Whether you send your children to an after school program, midwinter break camp or summer camp at Guggenheim, they will discover a freedom of creativity and a level of skill that will empower them for the rest of their lives.”
Christina DiMartino has been a freelance and assignment writer since 1985. She is a researcher, interviewer, writer, editor, and manuscript collaborator with a repertoire of clients from around the world.
Photos courtesy of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum