Our Summer at Nine
The end of a summer is always bitter sweet. Saying goodbye to friends we made, remembering all the laughs we had and looking back on all the amazing art we created. These last eleven weeks here at Nine Studio have been some of the best we’ve had and a difficult summer to say goodbye to.
Here at Nine Studio we designed five different themes for our eleven weeks of summer camp; Be Picasso, Nine TV, Fort Building, Character Design and Photography. Each week had several projects within it. Some consisted of a focus on one large scale project such as Fort Building week and some had many small projects using lots of different materials under the umbrella of the theme such as Character Design. But all gave resources and open exploration for children to discover new interests and ways of thinking about art. I’d like to tell you about just a few of my favorites.
Our painting week, Be Picasso, was held four weeks spread out throughout the summer. We focused on color theory and different painting techniques depending on the type of paint we used. We focused on planning and executing a painting. Helping organize ideas and structure thoughts on paper before beginning the painting process. All of these activities helped prepare the students for their main project which was a landscape using acrylic paint on a 16x24 canvas.
We also talked about mural paintings one week and received a little help with the boring fence in our backyard. It looks much better now.
During Fort Building, our most popular weeks, our art studio turned into Nine Town. A community that was made up of different stores, fire and police departments and the thing a town needs most to survive, an ice cream shop, just to name a few. The students were able to use the full space of the studio and work together to create their own little town. First by making “blueprints” discussing the planning and team work that’s needed before anything was built. After given large cardboard structures the children designed, built and decorated their community contribution as they wished. In addition to the interior and exterior painting there was lots of detail work to make such as mailboxes, signs, doorbells and safes for their money, of course. Douglas, our office manager and marketing director, frequented Nine Town and this is what he had to say about it, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much money as I did that week. I didn’t even own a store but I was a frequent customer of Nine Town Milkshakes, where, to my surprise, I got tipped for being a loyal customer. And you just won’t believe this, I got tipped a $100 billion bill. Can you imagine!? With my newly “earned” money I went straight to Nine Pancakes and bought pancakes.” The last day of Fort Building The Pancake House opened, run by owner and teacher, Amelie and a student helper and with their pretend money everyone was able to buy and eat real pancakes. I wanted to contribute to the town as well and I opened a small tattoo pop-up where kids came with their large bills (even though I was only charging $5) and was able to pick out a temporary tattoo of their choosing. Fort Building was full of imagination, creativity, teamwork, collaboration, play and lots and lots of pretend money.
One of my favorite weeks was our photography week. Having a degree in photography, this week was close to my heart. I wanted to show children that there is more to photography than a smartphone or tablet. I brought a few cameras from my collection of vintage cameras to help discuss the history of photography. We learned about the parts of the camera and how to use them. We made and decorated our own camera obscura, the first type of camera and image projection. We also made our own pretend camera with recycled material with all the parts we learned about such as a viewfinder, the shutter release and a lens. With a variety of lessons we explored photography in many different ways, traditional and digital.
These are the summers that matter in a child’s life. These are the ones they’ll remember forever. Here at Nine Studio we are proud to be apart of a child’s summer and art education. We are proud to be the place where they explore and try different mediums they might have never used before. We are proud to be the place where laughter and play make it not only educational but fun as well. And we’re proud to be the reason it’s hard to say goodbye to a summer.