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Summer Camps For Young Artists

Tiny aspiring ballerinas practice a a camp run by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.
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Above: Tiny aspiring ballerinas practice a a camp run by the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet.

These are the weird, in-between days of summer – when many traditional camps are winding down but it’s still too early (at least for me) to buy back-to-school supplies.

Plus, if you’ve got a kid that prefers paintbrushes to beach pails, you’re well aware that coffee filters can turn into butterflies only so many times before you reach for the DVD remote.

Though lots of neighborhood art studios offer drop-in hours, weekly camps (that aren’t the YMCA or JCC) are not as easy to find this late in the season.

Luckily, there are a few smaller local art spaces offering everything from crafts and dance to yoga and ice cream making programs through the end of August – or at least until you’re ready to buy those new pencils and lunch boxes.

Xpressive Arts Center in Poway offers full and half day craft-based camps now through Sept. 7. Clear out the project closet because kids will come home with painted rocks, decorated hats and fans and paper-mache masks.

My Art Shed in La Jolla features themed programs, like super hero week for younger kids from Aug. 8 through 12, a session that includes painting, costume making and even yoga. Older ones can learn about illustration and photography starting Aug. 15.

If you’re looking for something with a green twist, you’ll find it at Normal Height’s Rare Hare Art Studio, where recyclables are transformed into works of art. Though camps are available for Pre-K to 7th graders, the preschool friendly “Jackson Pollock Junior” week is already sold out. Session still available include Asian Art for second to seventh graders (Aug. 9 to 12) and Crazy for Cats for first through seventh graders (Aug. 30 to Sept. 1).

Carlsbad Art Farm is exactly what it sounds like: an outdoor studio space that’s surrounded by lambs, chickens, ducks and other animals. Children going into grades two through eight spend the day painting, petting animals and sometimes even making ice cream. Hurry up if you’re interested in this one because sessions only go through Aug. 12.

Tiny dancers, or, specifically ballerinas age four to 10, can still catch some sessions at the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet in Balboa Park. Girls and boys learn ballet techniques, perform in a studio show and explore the park starting on Aug. 15th.

Another Balboa Park-based camp is one of the city’s longtime favorites: San Diego Junior Theatre. Sessions for August include traditional acting lessons for kindergarten through 12th grade; a “So You Think You Can Dance” week for fourth through seventh graders and “Triple Threats” week for sixth through 12th graders who can sing, act and dance.

Finally, Recreational Music Center, located at the NTC promenade in Liberty Station, is a young musician’s dream comes true. Beginning and advanced students will learn how to play drums, bass, guitar and piano as well as design a CD cover, mix music and perform live. It’s open for ages 8 to 14 and it’s insanely popular. There are only two available weeks left for the summer: Aug. 22 to 26 and Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.

(You can register for the camps by clicking on the links provided.)

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