Bowdoin Summer Art Camp


The Bowdoin Summer Art Camp has a variety of great camps to choose from for youth ages 5-15. Bowdoin Summer Art Camp is a fully-supervised day in the art studio that nurtures seeing, exploration, and creativity in young people. No experience or expertise is necessary, just enthusiasm for the process of making art and a willingness to experiment with new ways of seeing. Each session is designed to work as a separate unit, but a child may enroll in more than one session as long as he or she is the appropriate age.

Camp sessions will take place at the Edwards Center for Art and Dance on the Bowdoin College campus. As weather permits, some sessions will take place outdoors on the campus.

On the last day of each session, young artists will host their family and friends at an artists' reception.

Tuition and Materials Fee

All art supply and reception costs are included in the tuition fee charged for any given week. Fees may vary for each session to accommodate the length of session, guest artists, and materials needed. Campers would need to bring their own snacks and/or a bagged lunch.


A limited number of printed t-shirts will be available for purchase during Art Camp.

2017 Bowdoin Summer Art Camp Overview (CLASSES SUBJECT TO CHANGE FOR THE 2018 SEASON):

Full Day Sessions: 9:00am-3:00pm (drop off is 8:50-9:00am; pick up is 3:00-3:10pm)
Morning Sessions: 9:00am-12:00pm (drop off is 8:50-9:00am; pick up is 12:00-12:10pm)
Afternoon Sessions: 12:30pm-3:00pm (drop off is 12:20-12:30pm; pick up is 3:00-3:10pm)

 Session Descriptions:

2017: Art Explorers I: Dino Daze (Ages 5-6/entering Kindergarten-Grade 1)

Ages 5-6

Venture back to a land before time! Imagine a fantastic world full of giant reptiles, birds of prey, huge trees, and volcanoes! Campers will go on an archeological dig around the Bowdoin campus and report their findings back at base. We will work two- and three- dimensionally to bring the past back to life! Please join us on the last day of camp for our artists' reception.

2017: Art Explorers II: Magical Garden (Ages 5-6/entering Kindergarten-Grade 1)

Ages 5-6

It's growing season here in Maine and we will be cultivating artwork from real and imagined gardens. Seeking inspiration from the magic of the natural world, we will draw, sculpt, paint, and print using plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits. Sure to make an appearance in our created worlds are bugs, fairies, and gnomes. Rain or shine, friends and family are invited on the last day of camp for a celebration!


2017: Art Explorers III: Creature Creation Station (Ages 5-6/entering Kindergarten-Grade 1)

Ages 5-6

In this workshop, campers learn to see the world through the eyes of an insect, adapting to a tiny perspective of a large world. We will seek inspiration from the out-of-doors—forests, gardens, and backyards—and create artwork involving multiple legs, wings, eyeballs, and antennae. Campers will draw, sculpt, and paint. Friends and family are invited on the last day of camp for a celebration (bug spray optional!).

2017: Art Explorers IV: Ocean Commotion (Ages 5-6/entering Kindergarten-Grade 1)

Ages 5-6

Campers are invited to dive into a weeklong mixed-media adventure. Come explore the mysteries of the deep on an imaginary deep-sea voyage! In this workshop, campers will create art inspired by tropical fish and ocean life. Young artists will be introduced to the process of paper mache through the construction of colorful 3-D fish! Ocean-themed drawing, painting, collage, and story-telling will be integrated throughout the week for plenty of fishy fun!  Friends and family are invited on the last day of camp for a celebration of art.

2017: A Dreamer's World (Ages 7-9/Grades 2, 3, 4)

Ages 7-9

Young dreamers will delight in a fantastical exploration of art using dreams as our theme. We will construct imagined worlds with invented critters, plants, beings, and buildings. We will draw, paint, and print two-dimensionally, as well as build three-dimensionally. We will create layered artwork that's as wacky, wild, peaceful, funny, inventive, and vivid as the fabric of a dream. Campers will share their dreamscapes with friends and family on the last day of camp.

2017: Printastic! A Watercolor & Print Workshop (Ages 7-9/Grades 2, 3, 4)

Ages 7-9

Ted and Susan will offer a variety of art resist and printing opportunities for young artists. Starting with crayon resist watercolor work, with an optional poetry writing component, and moving to mono printing and ending with styrofoam relief printmaking, each day will be a workshop unto itself culminating with a Friday art show. The day will end, as always, with group singing of raucous camp songs. Join Ted and Susan for this short but compelling week of art.

2017: Color and Collage (Ages 7-9/Grades 2, 3, 4)

Ages 7-9

In this workshop, campers will integrate painting, collage, songs, poetry, and games into a week of creativity. Young artists will make hand-painted, textured paper with watercolor on wet paper. They will use salt, sponges, Plexiglas, plastic wrap, straws, and marbleizing techniques to create a variety of nature settings illustrating water, sky, various lands, and times of day. These papers will be the raw materials for creating collages that tell picture stories. Collage themes will be self-directed, but the collage illustrations of Leo Lionni, Lois Ehlert, Steve Jenkins, and Eric Carle will be shared for inspiration.

2017: Color and Collage Craft (Ages 7-9/Grades 2, 3, 4)

Ages 7-9

This workshop will utilize the same techniques as those in Color and Collage but will offer an opportunity for further exploration. Using the papers and collage technique students will fashion functional items such as journals, refrigerator magnets, bookmarks and illustrated wooden boxes for family or personal keepsakes.

2017: Imagination Station: Pictures & Prose (Ages 10-12/Grades 5, 6, 7)

Ages 10-12

Ever wonder what a piece of art is trying to say? In this workshop, campers will consider the connections between words and images, poetry and pictures, stories and illustrations. We’ll create posters, small books, narrative illustrations and more using pen and ink, watercolor, gouache, and a number of exciting mixed media materials. A trip to Bowdoin’s Art Museum will spark our imaginations and generate ideas to help us create art that expresses how we see the world with our own characters, stories, myths and drawings. The week will culminate in an art show open to family and friends on the last day.

2017: Collage, Puppets, & Zines Workshop (Ages 10-12/Grades 5, 6, 7)

Ages 10-12

"Zines" are small limited edition magazines that contain stories and art and are self-published by way of a photocopier. We are going to tell stories all week using images: images with puppets, images with cut paper, images that we have reassembled from magazines, images that we have made with simple printmaking techniques, images that we play with, manipulate, re-manipulate and then assemble into simple "zines." For this class, we will be using various forms of puppetry, a wide range of collage techniques, a couple of very simple printmaking methods, and some simple book making skills.  And of course, capture all this in our zines. The week will culminate with an exhibit on Friday for family and friends.

2017: Sew Much Fun: Textiles Workshop (Ages 10-12/Grades 5, 6, 7)

Ages 10-12

Weave your way through the week exploring all things fabric! Each day will focus on a new method or technique; from sewing to weaving, batiking and more! Artists will learn about the history of textiles across the world as well as create their own treasured objects. Please join us on the last day of camp for our artists' reception.

2017: I Ink I Can, I Ink I Can: Printmaking Workshop (Ages 10-12/Grades 5, 6, 7)

Ages 10-12

Get ready to get messy! Artists, you're going to roll out your creativity in ink (and other stuff)! Each day we will learn and practice new techniques of printmaking. Using and building on drawing skills, artists will create prints from observation as well as from our imaginations! Campers will learn to use a professional printing press as well as take a trip to the museum to look at print works on display. Bring your creativity, and I ink you can become a printmaker too! Family and friends are invited on the last day to an artists' reception.

2017: Portrait & Figure Workshop for Teens (Ages 13-15/Grades 8, 9, 10)

Ages 13-15

Look inward and project outward! In this camp, we will explore both the self-portrait and drawing the figure with pencil, paint, ink and collage. Working both from observation and invention, we will consider qualities such as proportion, space, gesture, and movement to create dynamic works that explore and reflect the self and the human figure. Artists will have the opportunity to exhibit their finished artwork on the last day to friends and family.