Dear campers, parents and friends,
I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to the Ohlone Art Camp. If you are a returning camper, it’s good to see you again! If you are new, I look forward to introducing you to my favorite thing to do…creating art!
WOW! This year, I am celebrating my 21st year of art camp!! Ohlone Art Camp started at Ohlone Elementary School but moved to my backyard studio during remodeling at the school in 2000. I kept the name “Ohlone Art Camp” because I am sure that Ohlone Indians once lived in my neighborhood; I have found arrowheads, bones, and seashells in my yard!
I believe in running a low-key, calm, and fun camp. Children are under so much pressure nowadays and I am happy to offer a fun space where they can set their own pace and create some amazing art projects. So much of our lives is filled with “hurry up, we’re going to be late!” so in my camp I believe in slowing down and taking time to think about what you would like to do and then creating – slowly and thoughtfully. I have no such thing as “late” to camp (with the exception of pickup times!!) so that the pressure is off of everyone.
I believe that there are no mistakes in art... I tell children that no matter what comes from the brain, it is something that they have created and whether they like it or not, I guarantee that parents and even the person sitting next to them will! I no longer use the phrase “Good job!” as I find children are more interested in hearing my questions about their use of color or what a specific design element means…it prompts some amazing conversations! Children find great joy and often become highly animated in relating their artistic endeavor and in describing their masterpieces! It gives them a great sense of accomplishment and pride.
Ruby, my tiny Chiweenie, turned three on December 30, Kira, a two-year-old female Siberian husky who has the most amazing blue eyes, and Jameson AKA Jamey, is a handsome Plott hound who is one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever had!
Our beautiful corn snake named Willy is still with us! A couple of years ago, after almost 15 years of no visible sign of gender, our snake became Wilhelmina, after laying a bunch of eggs (not fertilized, of course)! I am looking forward to the possibility of welcoming some new Chinese Silkie chickens this spring. The vegetable garden is always in state of planting and young hands are welcome to help!
If your child wants to do some reading, they are welcome to find a spot and do so. We will discuss one new word per day and find interesting subjects of conversation which in the past have ranged from King Tutankhamun to travels in Shanghai! We can bring out the encyclopedia (yes, I still have a set!) and cruise the world! I have resubscribed to my favorite two magazines: Archaeology and Inspirations (the most gorgeous embroidery magazine from Australia!).
Remember that art is so limited if not completely cut out of school curriculums and it is a critical form of human expression which fills a need in children for a multitude of reasons! I offer out-of-the-ordinary art forms with the silk painting and embroidery classes plus a variety of additional crafts such as mosaics and mask making.
Classes and camps fill up quickly so get your registration in right away and reserve your spot! I look forward to seeing you soon!
Kristen Lohnes Johnson