5 Cool Summer Art Camps (That Still Have Openings)

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While there are endless options for kid’s art classes in the DMV, some of them are overcrowded and lackluster. If your kid is looking for something new when it comes to art—something as unique as them—we’ve got you covered. These awesomely out-of-the-ordinary, small art classes, give kids an opportunity to be creative and hands on, with individualized attention.

Photo: Carriage House Arts and Crafts

Red Panda Art Studio
Red Panda Art Studio is a new studio opened by Stephanie Shevitz, a former Teach for America corps member and DC public school teacher. Stephanie has over 8 years of experience working with children, and has taught art to kids ages three to ten in a variety of settings. Along with Sandra Rodrich, a Red Panda instructor who studied interior design in Barcelona, they develop classes and camps, where children can channel their inner artists to explore and create freely, work with others, and learn about art and artists.

This summer, Red Panda Art Studio is offering summer camp at the Little House at Westmoreland Hills Park in Bethesda, Md. Yes, a Little House! There is a specific theme to each week’s session and their goal is to engage campers’ creativity, enhance their imagination, and explore their artistic abilities – with an overall focus on having fun and collaborating with peers. In addition to creating art, there will be a lot of time for open exploration, movement, and outdoor activities since the little house is on the grounds of Westmoreland Hills Park.

Themes include “Under the Sea” where kids will create water-themed mixed-media artwork etc. A sure favorite will be Science and Art” which includes potion-making, slime creation, and crystal growing. Magical Creatures” where campers venture into the world of the magical and mystical! And “Nature and Art” which will allow for campers to spend time outside seeking inspiration – and bringing that inspiration indoors into their artwork.

5315 Elliott Rd. (Bethesda, Md)
Online: redpandaart.com

Barn Again Home
Growing up in southwest Louisiana, provided Angie with an abundance of exciting visual, musical and social stimulations that still influence her art, today. As a young girl, her mother saw artistic potential in her and always encouraged her to pursue her passions. She learned to be “green” before being “green” was cool and, from an early age, learned how to re-use/re-invent things in atypical ways. She’s passed on her passion for art and love of up-cycling to her daughters who run “Camp Yaya Art Camps for Girls & Boys”. Camp Yaya takes place in Angie’s really cool 120 year old renovated barn studio and is taught by Angie’s older daughter’s,  Abigail & Emma. The girls decided to share their passion for creating things with other kids and headed up their first camp eight years ago. They use recycled items for as many projects as they can and campers end up with a lot of amusing and quirky things to take home

Old Town (Kensington, Md)
Online: barnagainhome.com

Olivos ART Studio
Sergio and Claudia Olivos are mentors, entrepreneurs, teachers and parents holding BFAs, MFA, teaching certifications and many years of teaching experience. Since 2005, they have been offering children the opportunity to experience genuine arts programming in their private studio. OlivosARTstudio offers exciting projects, individual attention and genuine care for the growth and development of creativity and great memories of summer fun and art!

No experience is necessary to enroll in their summer camps. This is the ideal environment for children who love creating and exploring and every moment of camp is filled with adventure. A typical camp day includes making art, going for nature walks, learning about different art movements or artists, and thinking about how art influences our world.

Their groups are small and focused on the Fine Arts…learning and reviewing basic drawing and painting skills while focusing on an art movement or artist from Classical or Modern Art. On Friday participants host a “mini opening” for family members to showcase their art!

1830 N. Quintana St. (Arlington, Va)
Online: olivosartstudio.com

Art Jamz
ArtJamz is the epitome of cool! It’s a public art studio and lounge where anyone can paint and create a work of art. They do not offer camps but suggest freestyle painting sessions where people can design an original work of art. They provide studio time, canvas, art materials and guidance. All you do is show up, paint, listen to fun tunes and create. Get arty at ArtJamz during their family-friendly all ages guided kids paint classes.

ArtJamz Kidz Academy is committed to introducing the basics of art to children ages 3-13. They underscore the importance of learning past and present artists as well as foundations in color, composition, and shapes in order to awaken a growing interest for the creative field.

Their classes are taught by skilled instructors with a passion for providing children with educational yet creative outlets. Each child gets their own canvas to paint and keep, an easel, smock, and unlimited access to a huge selection of art materials. Think glitter, stencils, palettes! You want to join in on the fun? Parents can get their own easel and canvas or grab a drink at the bar and hang out in the artists lounge while the kiddos unleash their inner artists. Oh, and you can paint on the walls. The kids will like that!

1728 Connecticut Ave., NW
Online: artjamz.co

Carriage House Arts and Crafts
Imagine taking art classes in a carriage house in Georgetown. For realz! Jennifer Wilkin Penick was a studio art major in college and later earned an M.A. in Italian Art History. She fell in love with Rome and spent 25 years living and working there. She recently moved back to the U.S. and now devotes her time to teaching art and making creations that are inspired by the life she lived in Italy. Jennifer and her husband bought and restored a row house in Georgetown that has a carriage house in the back. She has recreated an Italian garden and on nice days, students are encouraged to sit out there and get creative inspiration from nature. This summer, she is offering Mixed Media Art Camps in the Carriage House. Classes will be small (limit 5 kids) for ages 5 to 11. Art instruction will involve a wide variety of techniques and materials — large and small projects, 3D and drawing/painting, collage and much more. She strives for her students to be inspired by significant artists of the past, by ancient art, and by contemporary artists, as well.

Online: jenniferwilkinpenick.blogspot.com

Does your kid have a favorite are studio? Tell us about it in the comments below. 

—Guiomar Ochoa