Students at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts Summer Arts Camp are learning about more than just how to add color to paper.

"Students have the unique opportunity to work with two incredible teaching artists every week, learning the diversity and complexity of fine art mediums,” said Education Coordinator Ashley Holmberg. “By offering a safe learning environment to explore their personal passions and talents, the center is committed to supporting the creative ingenuity of our young people."

Since its inception in 2014, the camp has created a history of uplifting the young artists community of by providing quality arts enrichment at an affordable price next to Ives Park.

Holmberg said the youth summer camp was awarded the Summer Arts Youth Program Grant through Creative Sonoma supported by west county supervisor Lynda Hopkins.

Grant awards and donations from community members are critical for the summer camps. SCA is dedicated to making sure no child is turned away from engaging in the arts.

“Currently more than 25 percent of our students have been granted financial assistance as part of our scholarship program sponsored by three amazing community donors,” Holmberg said. “We are so grateful for the gracious support of our community which allows us to offer inspiring fine arts enrichment activities for students.” 

During the summer sessions, students are learning how to work together to create art on a larger scale. The youth collaborated to create murals to hang outside the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St.

Michela, 11, is attending arts camp for the third year. She has a passion for sculpting.

“Here is where I first learned about it,” she said. “We have real artists for teachers.”

Her current work-in-progress is a sculpture of a character named “Shadow” from a book she wants to write.

Sascha, 10, said it was also her third year to attend the arts camp. Through learning and participating she found her favorite medium to be sculpting.

“There are many types of art and you’ll probably find the one that you really love,” she said.

Her work-in-progress is a sculpture of a gray and white husky. She said she loves dogs and wolves and was inspired to do the sculpture after seeing a coyote in her back yard.

Registration is still open for session 3 (July 23-27, ages 7-11) and session 4 (July 30-Aug. 3, ages 10-14), each with a different theme and pair of art teachers. Holmberg said session 3 will feature artists Sahar Pinkham and Sandra Novia.

Students will have the chance to learn how rhythm can be applied to their daily lives, creating a deeper sense of musical intelligence, strengthen their capacity to clearly identify personal boundaries and explore artistic expression through improvisation.

Students will pick an object and use contour drawing techniques to create a still life composition, as well as exploring color theory. Young artists then are guided through the process of deconstructing these images to ultimately create an abstract piece.

Holmberg said session 4 will feature artists, Nate Henry-Silva and Mary Beth Sasso. Students explore how to use abstraction as a tool for both skill building and expression. Various techniques will be introduced using drafting tools such as compasses and rulers, to produce patterns and geometries, followed by an introduction to color theory and watercolor painting.

Holmberg said this session will lead to students combining their new skills and creating an abstract work of art. Campers will have the chance to explore the history of Israeli sculptor and artist, Yaacov Agam by drawing two separate realistic images and through artistic manipulation, travel through zigzagged “mountains” and “valleys”, ultimately resulting in the creation and assemblage of a “kinetic” piece of moving art gaining a deeper understanding of optical and kinetic art.

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