Ah Haa Moment: Youth Art Programs

One-of-a-kind youth art camps and classes at the Ah Haa School. Summer Art Classes for ages 4 and up

Although summer is the season for family vacations and adventures, it is often hard to humor every member of the tight circle. Telluride’s festivals and fourteeners represent some great options, but such outings are not always suitable for kids.

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Enter Telluride’s community art school, the Ah Haa School for the Arts.

With instructors who have dedicated their lives to empowering children and an environment that enhances individual creativity, Ah Haa strives to introduce every child to the wonderful world of art. What’s more, tuition assistance, work study and multi-session discounts make Ah Haa’s four-day Youth Art Camps and Fabulous Fridays accessible to all.

Ah Haa’s curriculum is designed to instill confidence and proficiency in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Each week brings new morning and afternoon camps and Friday classes, divided into different age groups; 4-5, 6-8, 9+, and older. The fabulous Julie McNair, former professor of ceramics and sculpture at Mississippi State University with an MFA in sculpture from the University of Wyoming, will be teaching three youth wheel throwing camps this summer, where students age 9 and up will learn to throw functional pottery on the wheel. One of McNair’s favorite things is to help kids turn their “oops” into cool organic shapes, making her a very popular instructor. There are still spaces left in McNair’s first two wheel classes, June 30-July 3 and July 7-10. Fellow ceramicist Greta Neumann is teaching Youth Wheel Throwing the week of July 28-31, and several spaces are still available in her morning session.

New to Ah Haa’s summer youth faculty this year is Ouray artist Ann Cheeks, who teaches Monday-Thursday camps throughout the summer.

Although Ann just moved to Colorado, establishing her new home in 2012, her teaching experience with children dates back many years. Ann taught at the University of Virginia, the McGuffey Art Center and The Village School and co-founded Pathfinders Nature Art Camp in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her upcoming camp, Earth Art in 3D (ages 6-8, June 30 – July 3), will bring kids outdoors to create a variety of earth-inspired works and learn about shadows, light, shapes and patterns in Telluride’s natural surroundings. Campers will make alabaster pendants, create a wall hanging of vines or reeds and embellish their Earth Art with feathers and other found objects.

Looking for a single-day class? Check out Ah Haa’s Fabulous Friday sessions, which run mornings and afternoons, with the option of staying the through lunch. Friday classes are a great opportunity for kids whose summer schedules do not allow for multiple-day camps, enabling them to explore a specific medium with the goal of leaving with a completed project.

New this summer is Angela Pashayan’s course Kids Crossing Cultures, a program that earned her a national award from Boys and Girls Club in 2010. Children in Pashayan’s classes take a visual and auditory journey to a foreign country (India, Peru, Africa) to learn about another culture – the people, music, food, and art – while also experiencing some yoga and exploratory painting.

For the youngest budding artists, a new class for ages 18 months to three years offers an introduction to art and all the sensory pathways a creative experience uncovers. It is taught by returning instructor Carrie Kaser, studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and has a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. She learned lithography at the Tamarind Institute and completed a master’s degree in Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo.

Little Hands Art is scheduled every Saturday in July from 9-10 a.m. Children and a parent or caregiver can explore color, nature, sculpture and printing together with Kaser.

Kaser also teaches Ah Haa’s camps and Friday classes for older children, starting with Painting En Plein Air for ages 6-8, June 30-July 3.

Another of her not-to-be missed classes is Moku Hanga Heroes for ages 9+, July 7-10,. Students are exposed to the Japanese custom of moku hanga printmaking, a traditional Japanese art and design whose influence can be scene in comic books, animation and video games.

Whatever the class, Ah Haa offers tuition assistance to all, with application forms conveniently available online.

Ah Haa also offers a multiple class discount and work study options.

So dress your kids for a mess and bring them down to explore, express and evolve at the Ah Haa School for the Arts.

For a complete summer camp schedule, go here.



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